CVNE Imperial Gran Reserva 2016, Rioja, Spain

The finest Rioja Alta vineyards are destined for the production of Imperial Gran Reserva. Imperial Gran Reserva is an iconic Rioja and Spanish wine. It is only made when harvests are exceptional. This wine is designed to last and improve over time. In 2016, the small plots Remedio and Encinas were selected, located in Villalba between 550 and 650 m of altitude, very close to the Sierra de Toloño and with a climate of Atlantic and continental influence. These plots represent a total of 12- hectare among the 42 that CVNE owns in this town. The plots of Barbarroja and Antoñanzas were also chosen in 2016, situated in Torremontalbo and where the low yielding vines are 40 years old. The vines are bush trained, dry farmed and the plots are small. The soils are clay with areas of river pebbles, are low in organic matter and are situated on gentle south facing slopes. The climate is moderate continental. Following rigorous ripening tests, the manual harvesting process begins in which the grapes are collected in 20 kg boxes. On arrival at the winery, the grapes are kept in a cold store for 24 hours to improve fruit extraction and stabilize the color. Following a conveyor belt selection process, the grapes pass by gravity into French oak vats, where alcoholic fermentation takes place with our own yeasts at a controlled temperature of 28-29°C. The wine is then aged for a minimum of 24 months in new French and American oak barrels, with racking every 8 months. Finally, the bottles are aged for a minimum of 36 months in our hundred-year-old cellars before finally being released onto the market.