C.V.N.E Contino Rioja Reserva 2018

93 points James Suckling and Wine Enthusiast, fabulous Rioja of excellent fruit and elegant oak.
Country, Region: Spain, Rioja
Grape: Tempranillo 85%
Vintage: 2018
ABV: 14%
Food friend: Suckling pig
£26.50 Single bottle
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Tasting Notes
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In the vineyard
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This fabulous Rioja shows juicy blackberry fruit, liquorice and balsamic notes with an elegant touch of oak. Some Graciano joins Tempranillo in the blend, giving acidity and great freshness.

In 1879 C.V.N.E was founded by Eusebio and Raimundo Real de Asua in Rioja. 140 years later C.V.N.E is still controlled by the descendants of the founders. With foundations dating from the 16th century, the 62h hectare estate is located in a bend in the River Ebro. Here, a particular microclimate gives a special character to the wine. The name Contino refers to the royal guard of 100 soldiers who continually 'de contino', guarded the king and his family. One of their members, Don Pedro de Samaniego, was rewarded for his loyalty with the property, now home to Contino. In 1973, Contino established the concept of the 'Bordeaux Chateau' in Rioja, creating the first single estate Rioja.

Grapes are carefully handpicked from the best 'microplots' on the estate. There are notable differences between the plots, not in terms of aspect but in the characteristics of their soils. Contino are constantly searching for the perfect connection between them in the privileged setting of Vinedos del Contino.

The wine was made from perfectly ripe, hand-selected and harvested grapes from the vineyards around Finca de San Rafael. The grapes were destemmed and then fermented in 12,000 litre stainless steel tanks at 28-30°C. After a post fermentative maceration of 15 to 20 days, malolactic fermentation was completed. The wine was then racked to previously used barrels (40% American oak and 60% French oak) where it remained for two years. It was then bottled and aged for a further year in the Contino underground cellars until being released to the market.

The dream food match but be roast suckling pig, but would work equally well with grilled and roasted red meats.

91 points - James Button, Decanter. "Contino is a producer of fine Rioja and this Reserva combines a soft and silky mouthfeel, flavours of red fruits and cream with textured, grainy tannins. Towards the finish it reveals its woody character along with warming strawberry and raspberry fruits. Great balance."

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