Wednesday, 14 March 2012.
A tasting of CVNE wines for Cambridge University Wine Society, led by Brigitte Hennesy of Hatch Mansfield, CVNE's UK agents.
2010 Monopole Viura
White stone fruit, white peach also red apples; fresh and fruit forward, possibly even floral; lifted nose. Cool, low acid; fruit is there, but unremarkable, touch of green apples; rather neutral.
2010 Cune Barrel Fermented Blanco
Nutty oak, slight developed nose; savoury touches. Palate is larger and fatter, the acidity is more persistent and generous, theres white fruit but also buttery, savoury tones. Quite interesting on the palate, better texture..
2011 Cune Rioja Rosado
Vibrant, bright attractive red hue. Fruit driven, notes of strawberry and sweet raspberries, lifted freshness, lively. Clean, fresh red fruit; lifted, a touch off dry, shows the ripeness of fruit; medium acidity. Such a bright and vivacious Rose, great summer quaffer; drink as soon as possible, you dont want to miss out on its brightness.
2009 Monopole Tempranillo
Red plums and red cherries; sweet spices with a touch of woody licorice. Palate is filled with soft fruit, red plums; not fully extracted, crunchy red fruit; freshness is dominant, not tannic at all. Almost made in a Beaujolais style, you could perhaps even chill this.
2008 Cune Crianza
Still plums but getting darker, more sweet spices and sweet vanilla; some secondary notes of leather, woody too. Fresh acidity on the palate; red fruit, plums and cherries; vibrancy about this, good fruit with a noticeable tannic grip at the end; everything is integrated and balanced. Nice expression.
2007 Cune Reserva
Red fruit, slightly more volatile with notes of liqueur; warming sweet spices and a good whack of vanilla, fragrant. Palate shows good fruit though perhaps a touch hot / alcoholic; lots of fruit; slightly more weight and extraction, a bigger wine than the Crianza. Still freshness runs through; actually feel less balanced than the Crianza.
1999 Imperial Gran Reserva
Quite muted, sour cherries and red currants; volatile sweet spice, not fully expressive and forward. Rather tart acidity; sour raspberries, tart currants; flavours are more focused, almost linear; the spice and development can be felt at the back. Not sure this is showing as well as it could.
2005 Vina Real Gran Reserva
Sweet spice to the fore, developed secondary notes of tanned leather, cedar and mahogany; big, expressive, also sweet vanilla. Good fruit concentration; darker berries and plums, still good freshness and acidity; very together. Ready now but will reward further cellaring, drink now - 2020+.
2004 Pagos de Vina Real
Dark fruit, sweet spice and woody licorice; quite alcoholic, brooding wine. On the palate, dark fruit of black berries, dark plums; quite woody, linear tannin grips; more extraction and concentration of flavours; lashings of sweet oak and ripe fruit. Theres maybe a bit of freshness from the acidity, but its getting awfully close to being unbalanced. Big bold wine, dare I say Parkerised? Drink now - 2020+
2005 Contino Graciano
Red plums, nice fragrance coming through, sweet spice, vanilla and even dried herbs. Good concentration, acidity on the higher side, giving it a good freshness, dark fruit looms in the background, ripe tannins. Though the tasting note seems entirely normal, theres something unusual in the palate which I cant exactly point out...
2008 Contino Vina del Olivo
Red fruit of plums and cherries; kirsch / liquer like nose too; then secondary savoury notes of game and cured meat, a ferral / earthy note with sweet Chinese five spice; old school nose, very attractive. Nice acidity, plenty of dark fruit; extracted and concentrated mouthfeel; woody licorice notes on the long finish; very good structure showing in the wine; fruit, oak and spice all integrated. A great, classy wine, my favourite of the night (by a good distance); will reward cellaring; drink now - 2025+.