CVNE (Compañía Vinícola del Norte de España) is one of the most renowned and historic bodegas in all of Spain. Founded in 1879 by the Real de Asúa brothers, Eusebio and Raimundo, the company has been an integral part of the Rioja region’s ascendance in the world of fine wine. With their combination of traditional roots and innovative vision, CVNE has been one of Rioja’s most reliable sources for high quality wine. The company is still run by descendants of the Real de Asúa brothers, now represented by the fifth generation with current CEO Victor Urrutia Ybarra.
Since its founding, CVNE’s goal has been to increase the scope of production while maintaining the level of quality on which their reputation was built. Forty years after the original bodega was created, CVNE expanded into the Alavesa region with the separate Viña Real facility; each winery’s flagship bottlings occupy a well-deserved place in the pantheon of great Spanish wine.
Cune is the winery where the company began in 1879. It still sits on its original site, Barrio de la Estación, in Haro, Rioja Alta, directly next to the train station. They produce white, rosé, crianza, and reserva wines, sourced almost entirely from Alta fruit. Additionally, Cune produces a sub-label called Imperial (named for the original half-liter “Imperial pint” bottling) which releases Reserva and Gran Reserva bottings in exceptional years.
The bodega in Barrio de la Estación boasts an impressive collection of 19th century structures which surround a central patio. Chief among the architectural wonders is the Nave Eiffel, designed by Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel. This room, begun in 1890 and completed in 1909, is a textbook example of the marriage of aesthetics and functionality. The roof is supported by metal trusses which crisscross the room at regular intervals, thus eliminating the need for columns and making for a more efficient use of space.
The beauty of the winery notwithstanding, the real wonders of Cune are found below ground. To walk through the dank, dimly-lit cellars is to trace the history of the bodega, vintage by vintage, era by era. Through civil war, regime change and the march of technology, Cune has remained a constant in the cultural iconography of Spain.
The alcoholic fermentation of the grapes from our vineyards in Rioja Alta takes place in stainless steel tanks at controlled temperatures. The malolactic fermentation is carried out in tanks and then the wine is aged in American oak barrels for one year. During this time, the wine acquires the aromatic balance, finesse and expression that characterizes it.
CVNE Cune Rioja Reserva is opaque ruby in color. Oak-spiced red fruit preserves, candied rose, vanilla and a hint of cola on the highly perfumed nose. Seamless and broad on the palate, offering sweet raspberry, cherry-vanilla and mocha flavors that firm up slowly on the back half. Shows very good clarity and red fruit thrust on a very long, smooth finish that features mounting tannins and a touch of smokiness.