Ultimate Gran Reserva Rioja
Wine Spectator European bureau chief James Suckling, has honored the “driven and structured” 2011 Viña Real Rioja Gran Reserva with 95 points, making it one of his top two Gran Reservas from that excellent vintage. Vina Real Gran Reserva is no stranger to such acclaim, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate describes it as “one of the most consistent historical reds from Rioja.” Vina Reale is a jewel in the crown of the CVNE wine dynasty, which is still run by the family who founded it in 1879, and whose Rioja was the first-ever Spanish wine to be named Wine Spectator’s #1 Wine of the Year. Softened by two years in French and American oak in the Gran Reserva tradition, the 2011 Viña Real is full-bodied and c, complex with a finish that “goes on for minutes.” A beautiful example of Gran Reserva Rioja.
The Wine Advocate has serious pull: When Robert Parker’s publication requested that CVNE stage “the mother of all Viña Real tastings,” CVNE complied, uncorking 36 vintages in the most comprehensive examination of how CVNE’s “meatier, rounder, and more powerful” Viña Real evolves. This historic tasting only confirmed the maxim by which the Advocate already lived: “Basically, any old vintage of Viña Real… I come across, I buy.” Despite the stylistic changes that Rioja has seen over a century (the 1941 Viña Real spent 16 years in oak!), Viña Real stands as a bulwark of quality and longevity.
That past is the 2011 Gran Reserva’s future. James Suckling declares that it “needs two or three years of bottle age.” We believe that with a long decant, the wine is ready now, but agree with Suckling: Patience will certainly be rewarded. Like the older Viña Real wines, this one won’t just go on and on, but will get better and better.