The signature red variety of Spain is showcased in this beauty from family-owned Bodega CVNE. Founded in 1879, as French winemakers arrived in Rioja fleeing phylloxera in their country, two Spaniards set up a business to capitalize on the recently flourishing trade of the wine business. C.V.N.E., Compañía Vinicola del Norte de The CVNE was named after the winery’s initials, but a mistake – the ‘V’ was written as a ‘U’ – led to the creation of the “Cune” label. Today CVNE crafts some of the finest from the region, highlighting the essence of Rioja.
CVNE Rioja Reserva ($24) is 85% Tempranillo, with 15% Garnacha Tinta, Graciano, and Mazuelo, aged for a minimum of 18 months in French and American oak, and a minimum of 6 months in bottle before release. But, like many of Rioja’s premium producers, the wine is held until the winemaker feels it is ready to be enjoyed. With a lovely balance of tannin, fruit, and acid, the silky wine layers red cherry, red plum, nutmeg, and vanilla. This is the perfect wine with chicken and sausage paella or simply Jamon and Manchego.