86
CVNE 2016 Rioja Rosado Viña Real
This is very pink salmon in color with savory, earthy notes layered over fresh fruit. Given its overall combination of lower color and discreet fruit, this surely saw some older oak aging? Indeed, looking at the technical notes, this rosé saw five months of cask aging. This wine has a lot of low tones, which jives with its wood aging and may also explain that this is mostly a white wine-based rosado. Yep! This is 85% Viura and 15% Tempranillo.

There are lots of base notes, a palate-caressing 13% alcohol and tons of strawberry fruit. Mineral, toasty and sweet-tart notes start at the palate and carry into the moderate finish. This is a gastronomic wine that would pair especially well with baked salmon or bluefish terrine.
Drink: 2017-18

89
CVNE 2011 Rioja Reserva Viña Real
I tasted one ounce of this wine each day for three days before I wrote a note on that third day. This combo of 90% Tempranillo mixed with 10% Garnacha, Graciano and Mazuelo was aged in French and American oak casks. By the taste of it, especially the strong dill tones of the wine, I’d say there is more American than French, or at least that the American oak is newer or smaller or in some way more dominant.

Regardless, this wine – though kindly aged by the winery – is still a beast today. I would decant it at breakfast and leave it until dinner – with zero trepidation. With an extreme amount of air (today), the wine begins showing its gorgeously pure and perfumed Tempranillo mulberry fruit tempered on the finish by notes of mulch, white pepper and exotic spice.
Drink: 2018-20