x
  • Country ranking ?

    53
  • Producer ranking ?

    5
  • Decanting time

    4h
  • When to drink

    2020-2035

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The Story

Imperial is one of the renowned references in the entire history of Spanish winemaking. It is a true classic in Rioja and was first bottled in the 1920’s. Its name was originally adopted after a special bottling for the English market in a bottle called ‘Pinta Imperial’ or ‘Imperial Pint’ (an Imperial pint, half a litre approximately). 

Vineyard

The grapes to make Imperial have always come from our own 28 hectares of vineyards in Villalba (Rioja Alta), and selected vineyards in the nearby communes of Briones and Montalvo, where our vines average age is kept over 20 years to secure quality. 

Rioja Alta is the westernmost part of Rioja's three subregions. Its climate is noticeably influenced by the Atlantic Ocean. The soil in Rioja Alta is rich in iron salts, limestone and clay, along with nutrients deposited in the region by the tributaries of the Ebro River. Rioja Alta is known for producing full-bodied wines with a medium alcohol content and a high acidity level that are suitable for being aged in casks, forming the basis of most red Rioja

 

Aging in cask 36moths and aging in bottle 48 moths before going to market .
This wine is produced from grapes harvested in vineyards that are over 20 years old in the area around Villalba and Haro in Rioja Alta. They are bush pruned, with low yields, and hand harvested. Only the healthiest and ripest grapes are selected, and following destalking, the grapes are cold macerated prior to a cold temperature fermentation. Following a long maceration to achieve optimum colour and structure, the wine goes through a malolactic fermentation, to refine the wine, and to leave it with the necessary acidity to complete its American and French oak maturation, and subsequent bottle ageing prior to its release to the market.

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Latest Pro-tasting notes

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Written Notes

Made in a hot year, but not showing the effects of the weather, this comes from vineyards in Villalba, Briones and Torremontalbo and is another brilliant release from María Larrea. Savoury, sweet and well balanced, with 15% Graciano adding extra backbone and the zest that you expect from this special red. 2021-35.

  • 97p

The wine that represents the traditional and serious reds from Haro, the 2012 Imperial Gran Reserva is a classical blend of Tempranillo with 10% Graciano and 5% Mazuelo that matured in barrel for two years. It has a textbook serious Haro nose, with dark spices, ripe fruit, something balsamic and a round, full-bodied palate within the straight and serious style of the wine. 2012 was a warm year, but the wines are fresher than those from 2011. This has fine, slightly grainy tannins with good grip. A textbook Imperial Gran Reserva. 50,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in May 2015.

I've put the wines from Viña Real and CVNE together, as they have traditionally been brands of the same winery; and even though Viña Real now has a separate winery, ownership and the winemaking team are the same. They have been extending their vineyards to use a higher percentage of own grapes for their wines.

  • 95p
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Information

Origin

Haro, Rioja

Other wines from this producer

Clarete

Contino Gran Reserva

Contino Rioja Garnacha

Corona Reserva

Crianza

Cune Reserva

Imperial Reserva

Medianas

Monopole

Real de Asúa

Viña Real Crianza

Vina Real Gran Reserva

Viña Real Reserva

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