CVNE, Rioja Reserva "Cune"
CVNE, Rioja Reserva "Cune"

CVNE, Rioja Reserva "Cune"

Rioja, Spain 1994 (750mL)
Regular price$125.00

CVNE, Rioja Reserva "Cune"

Our email offers and cellars are full of traditional Rioja from the likes of Lopez de Heredia and Hermanos Peciña. But even among a stable of legends, C.V.N.E. holds an eminent position for one specific reason—their incredible store of well-priced library wines. Case in point: today’s incredible 1994 “Cune” Rioja Reserva. There’s little in the world of wine to compete with a 30-year-old Rioja from a legendary vintage, with its almost indescribable mélange of just-there fruit, earthy savor, and soulful complexity. Maybe Bordeaux or Burgundy of similar age come close, but to have that experience you’ll need to lay out many times the amount you would on today’s wine (or wait patiently for three decades). In our years of offering C.V.N.E. treasures like this, though, we’ve come to learn that once a wine like this is gone, it’s unlikely we’ll ever see it again. It’s a perfect show-stopping gift for all this year’s 30th birthdays and anniversaries, so grab as much as you can, while you can!

You can’t talk about Rioja without talking about C.V.N.E. (Compañía Vinícola del Norte de España). At almost 150 years old, it’s one of the most storied houses of the region, founded in 1879. The brothers Eusebio and Raimundo Real de Asúa literally built the winery in the train station at Haro, to ensure a ready supply of freshly-harvested fruit from the vineyards surrounding the town. The operation now extends far beyond Haro, but the heart of the business remains here in the Rioja Alta. C.V.N.E.— still owned by direct descendants of the de Asúa brothers, unlike so many other similarly-sized Spanish wineries—now farms over 1,300 acres of old vines here. This is the prime zone of the Rioja region, with Tempranillo vines planted at high elevation in a mixture of heavy clay, limestone, and iron. When you think of classic Rioja and its seductive mix of suave fruit, lifted structure, and seemingly infinite ageability, it’s Rioja Alta you’re thinking of.

The C.V.N.E. story is a story of firsts—the first to ferment in concrete vats, the first winery in Spain to bottle their wines, and the first to export them. Most relevant to today’s offer, they were also one of the first to age their wines in barrel and bottle for an extended period. Like so many other Rioja greats, the bodega was immediately established to produce in high volume and supplant phylloxera-demolished Bordeaux in the British market. And while we love to highlight the small and on-the-rise producers, C.V.N.E. has one undeniable advantage thanks to their size: the ability to hang onto vast stores of back vintages. 

The 1994 C.V.N.E. “Cune” Rioja Reserva is 85% Tempranillo, the remaining 15% a mix of Graciano, Garnacha, and Mazuelo. This is a heralded vintage in Rioja; after three cold, wet years, 1994 offered up near-perfect growing conditions. That’s palpable even after almost three decades: the succulent, plummy red fruit the young wine must have had still forms the aromatic core here, surrounded by leather, tobacco, dill, dusty earth, clove, and dried cherries. It’s still graceful and elegant on the palate, the tannins meltingly soft, its broad flavor spectrum carried along by vigorous acidity. The minutes-long finish resonates with fruit leather and spice tones. Rare is the opportunity to catch a wine this long-lived in its perfect drinking window, but today is your chance. Don’t pass this treasure up! 

CVNE, Rioja Reserva "Cune"

Daily Discovery

Build a Case is a one-of-a-kind subscription service that allows you the freedom to explore our expansive wine selection and consolidate your orders into a custom case over time — without the cost of shipping.
View all