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2007 Rioja Imperial Gran Reserva

Torremontalvo vineyard, Imperial.  La Rioja
Torremontalvo vineyard, Imperial. La Rioja

The vast majority of what we taste in the office is on the young side; when we have the opportunity to taste a wine with some maturity it is a pleasure, all the more so when the provenance is perfect.
We recently opened a magnum from a late release of CVNE’s 2007 Rioja Imperial Gran Reserva.  This is a wine we know – it was originally released (and sold very well) in 2014.
At 15 years old, it is just getting into what will be a very long sweet spot.  Still dark ruby in hue, the fruit has developed a savoury character and the tannins have softened into a wine that is quite distinct in terms of its flavour profile – this is textbook Rioja – and has a warmth that only mature wine can bring.  It is a special wine.
At £420 per 6 magnums in bond it is also a bargain.  Made only in great years, Imperial Gran Reserva is one of the great wines of Spain - it is easily the equivalent of a serious classed growth claret – and, whilst it is now firmly into its drinking window, this is a wine that will keep and develop for decades. Essentially this is the same as an ex-château release from a great vintage of Bordeaux at a fraction of the price.
Each magnum is packed in its own wooden case; the minimum order is 3 magnums.

Colour Region Vintage Wine Size Qty Units Price IB GBP Per Score
Spain2007Rioja Imperial Gran Reserva, Compañia Vinicola del Norte de España (CVNE)

3 bottle minimum order

MG5 \ 232420.00693+ LG3246.66666666666793.1093.10Rioja Imperial Gran Reserva, CVNE1.510
Wines are offered subject to remaining unsold. E&OE.

The 2007 Imperial Gran Reserva is again a great wine in the making. Red fruit and plenty of spices (nutmeg), the palate shows great acidity and abundant tannins that need resolving with time in bottle. Great tension and nerve. I think it will take some time to be released, which is good as it will require some patience. Drink 2016-2021.

Luis Gutierrez, Wine Advocate (210), December 2013

Brilliant ruby-red. Complex, highly perfumed scents of red fruit preserves, vanilla, woodsmoke and sandalwood, with a sexy floral quality in the background. Quite concentrated for the vintage, offering sweet red and dark berry flavors firmed by a spine of minerality. Closes smooth, broad and spicy, with outstanding focus and fine-grained tannins. While one could enjoy this wine immensely right now, my guess is that it has at least a good decade-plus of life ahead of it.

Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar, September 2014

2007 is a great, classic vintage of Imperial Gran Reserva in the making, and, not surprisingly, the wine is absolutely stunning in its youth. This is a touch more reserved out of the blocks than the Viña Real Gran Reserva from this vintage, not to mention the seemingly riper ’07 Imperial Reserva, as it wafts from the glass in a nascently complex blend of black cherries, dark berries, a touch of nutskin, cigar wrapper, a lovely base of complex soil tones, toasted coconut and a smoky topnote. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, pure and already very velvety on the attack, with a superb core of fruit, beautiful transparency down to the soil, ripe, suave tannins and simply great length and grip on the very pure and promising finish. This is a legend in the making.

John Gilman, View From the Cellar, November 2014

Tasted from magnum. Still a deep ruby-garnet colour. The nose is intense, with deep, sweet liquorice, succulent cherry fruit and savoury leather. With air, the savoury aromas build but the fruit remains prominent. This is equally true on the palate, which shows intense black fruit wrapped in grippy but ripe tannins. This is a smoky, richly flavoured wine that shows all the character of Rioja, yet with a precision and cleanliness of fruit. Spice box, cedar and tobacco build but the fruit drives everything forward. After time and decanting, the leather and earthy notes are more prominent, and the tannins gentler. This is a very fine example of Rioja that is perfect to drink now. The structure melts with food, and a light decant will only help to boost the aromatic complexity.

Thomas Parker MW, Farr Tasting, May 2022