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Written Notes

Although the Spanish Civil War was declared to be at an end by Franco after the surrender of the Republicans on April 1, 1939, Spain was still in pandemonium by the autumn. In the Rioja region, harvesting was at the back of people’s minds and thus many grapes were left hanging on the vine, becoming affected by Botrytis, until somebody could pick them. This Corona Reserva is probably made from Botrytis affected Viura, with some Malvasia and Macabeo, though nobody seems to know. It was left ageing in acacia casks for over 30 years until it was “rediscovered” in the early 1970s and finally bottled, with only 4,000 or so bottles produced. Some 1969 and 1970 Malvasia and Viura was added to “freshen” the wine. The beautiful golden amber color of this wine immediately suggests “sweet” though “semidulce” (half-sweet)—as declared on the label—turns out to be an accurate description. The nose displays very complex, honeyed, nutty, “burnt” aromas not unlike an Amontillado Sherry. At over 70 years of age it retains searing acidity, which suggests that the wine (in analytical terms) is probably a bit sweeter than “semidulce”, though with all that acidity the impression is indeed of an off–dry palate. CVNE’s Chief Winemaker María Larrea thinks there is 40 grams per liter of sugar. This extremely rare wine is an extraordinary effort from a period of great upheaval for Spain.
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Information

Origin

Haro, Rioja

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