Cune Winery

CVNE (Compañía Vinícola del Norte de España) is one of the most renowned and historic bodegas in all of Spain. Founded in 1879 by the Real de Asúa brothers, Eusebio and Raimundo, the company has been an integral part of the Rioja region's ascendance in the world of fine wine. With their combination of traditional roots and innovative vision, CVNE has been one of Rioja's most reliable sources for high quality wine. The company is still run by descendants of the Real de Asúa brothers, now represented by the fifth generation with current CEO Victor Urrutia Ybarra.

Since its founding, CVNE's goal has been to increase the scope of production while maintaining the level of quality on which their reputation was built. Forty years after the original bodega was created, CVNE expanded into the Alavesa region. Today, CVNE is comprised of three separate bodegas: Cune, Viña Real, and Contino. Each of the three estates produces a distinct style of wine from a distinct terroir, and each of their flagship bottlings occupies a well-deserved place in the pantheon of great Spanish wine.

CUNE

Cune is the winery where the company began in 1879. It still sits on its original site, Barrio de la Estación, in Haro, Rioja Alta, directly next to the train station. They produce white, rosé, crianza, and reserva wines, sourced almost entirely from Alta fruit. Additionally, Cune produces a sub-label called Imperial (named for the original half-liter "Imperial pint" bottling) which releases Reserva and Gran Reserva bottings in exceptional years.

The bodega in Barrio de la Estación boasts an impressive collection of 19th century structures which surround a central patio. Chief among the architectural wonders is the Nave Eiffel, designed by Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel. This room, begun in 1890 and completed in 1909, is a textbook example of the marriage of aesthetics and functionality. The roof is supported by metal trusses which crisscross the room at regular intervals, thus eliminating the need for columns and making for a more efficient use of space.

The beauty of the winery notwithstanding, the real wonders of Cune are found below ground. To walk through the dank, dimly-lit cellars is to trace the history of the bodega, vintage by vintage, era by era. Through civil war, regime change and the march of technology, Cune has remained a constant in the cultural iconography of Spain.

Viña Real

Viña Real, CVNE's Rioja Alavesa-based winery, released its first vintage in 1920. The Viña Real style is one that showcases the forward fruit of Alavesa while simultaneously possessing the structure to age for half a century and more. The original fruit source was in the Elciego area, in the heart of Rioja Alavesa. Those vineyards were located adjacent to the old Camino Real, from which the wine takes its name. Nowadays, the grapes are principally sourced from sunny south-facing slopes which run from the Sierra de Cantabria mountain range down to the Ebro River. As is also the case with the Cune line, the Viña Real wines are produced from over 50% estate fruit, an unusually high percentage for Rioja.

The new Viña Real facility was completed in 2004 from a design by the Bordelaise architect Philippe Mazieres. The winery is situated on top of the hill known as Cerro de la Mesa and commands sweeping views of both the Alavesa vineyards and the town of Logroño, Rioja's commercial center. The heart of the facility is a huge circular chamber which, when viewed from the outside, resembles the upper portion of a giant wine barrel. Inside, the facility is a marvel of modern technology. The above- ground portion houses the winemaking facility, which was designed with the goal of complete reliance on gravity-flow, made possible in large part by a rotating central crane. Below this is the main ageing room where the barrels rest in concentric circles around the central axis. The facility also features twin tunnels dug into the center of the hill where the bottle ageing takes place.

If the Cune bodega represents CVNE's commitment to tradition, the Viña Real bodega demonstrates their forward-thinking philosophy and their embrace of modern technology.

Contino

Contino is a single-estate bodega (62 ha of vineyards) based in a 200-year-old farmhouse just outside the town of Laguardia in the Alavesa region. The estate's name comes from the royal guard of 100 soldiers who guarded the monarch. The label is emblazoned with the bust of San Gregorio, the patron saint and protector of vineyards.

José Madrazo Real de Asúa (father of Contino's current winemaker, Jesús Madrazo) established the estate while serving as CVNE's technical director in 1974. The idea was to create one of the first single estate bodegas in the Rioja region, in direct contrast to the Rioja tradition of blending grapes from different regions and sites. CVNE had long been sourcing fruit from the Contino site for its Viña Real, but decided to purchase the entire plot around the farmhouse and plant it all to vines (a large portion of the land still had other crops planted at the time).

The current winemaker at Contino, Jesús Madrazo, spent much of his childhood at the bodega and possesses a remarkable depth of knowledge about all the details of the estate. After half a lifetime's worth of intimate exposure to the terroir and vinification practices, it's little wonder that his work at Contino is held in such high regard. While the bulk of the vines planted at Contino are Tempranillo (85%), Madrazo has also been a champion of the Graciano grape which comprises the bulk of the remaining planting. The balance is planted to Garnacha, Mazuelo and Viura.

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Cune 'Imperial' Rioja Reserva 2014
92  Wine Advocate 
Wine Advocate 92+ "The 2014 Imperial Reserva is 85% Tempranillo with 5% each of Graciano, Mazuelo and Garnacha fermented in stainless steel vats and matured in oak barrels for two years. It's the more balsamic and aromatic of all the Reservas, with intoxicating aromas of cigar box, ash, incense,
Item Number: 31401
Bottle:$34.95
Case: $419.40
Allow 2-4 days shipping/pickup

Cune 'Imperial' Rioja Gran Reserva 2011
96  James Suckling 
James Suckling 96 "Enticing aromas of ripe strawberries and raspberries with a mineral and salty character. Iodine, too. Tree bark. Full body, fine-grained and concentrated tannins and a long and clean, salty and light coffee finish. Great balance and structure. As it should be. Drink or hold.
Item Number: 31393
Bottle:$55.95
Case: $335.70
BTL

Cune 'Gran Reserva' Rioja 2011
94  James Suckling 
James Suckling 94 "A very powerful CUNE with so much blackberry, fresh mushroom and floral character. Big and tannic yet so polished at the same time. Even structure. It shows wonderful potential for ageing. Better in 2020. Publish Date: Monday, July 24, 2017"  Wine Spectator 90 "This red has
Item Number: 29809
Bottle:$26.95
Case: $323.40
Allow 2-4 days shipping/pickup

Cune 'Monopole' Viura 2017
88  Wine Advocate 
Wine Advocate 88 "The just-bottled floral and fruit-driven white 2017 Monopole is 100% Viura that fermented in stainless steel with neutral yeasts and was bottled early. It's very balsamic and has notes of pear, quite typical Viura, with some waxy apples as well. These young whites have to be
Item Number: 29297
Bottle:$10.95
Case: $131.40
BTL

Cune 'Vina Real' Rioja Reserva 2013
92  James Suckling 
James Suckling 92 "This shows really pretty fruit with chocolate, meat and plum character. Medium to full body, soft and velvety tannins and a flavorful finish. Very well-done for the difficult 2013 vintage. Drink now. Publish Date: Monday, July 24, 2017"  Tasting Notes Garnet color with medium
Item Number: 28393
Bottle:$25.95
Case: $311.40
Allow 2-4 days shipping/pickup

Cune Reserva Rioja 2013
90  Decanter 
Decanter 90 "CVNE is a giant of Rioja, but one which consistently strikes a balance between quality and quantity. This is textbook: oak is present but well integrated into flavours of wild raspberry and vanilla. Robust and elegant, it is ageing gracefully."  Tasting Notes Garnet color with
Item Number: 26689
Bottle:$21.95
Case: $263.40
BTL

Cune 'Vina Real' Crianza Tempranillo 2014
92  James Suckling 
James Suckling 92 "A perfumed nose of dried-flower, blackberry and currant character. Cloves and cinnamon too. Full-bodied, very fruity and concentrated with soft and ripe tannins and a long, fresh and lightly oaky finish. Drink now or hold. Publish Date: Friday, December 2, 2016"  Vinous Media
Item Number: 26423
Bottle:$12.95
Case: $155.40
BTL

Cune 'Crianza' Rioja 2014
(1)
90  James Suckling 
James Suckling 90 "A fresh and easy Rioja that shows plum and cherry character. Hints of cream. Mushroom, too. Medium body, low tannins and a crisp finish. Delicious now. Publish Date: Monday, July 24, 2017"  Wine Spectator 88 "This firm red shows black cherry, plum, toast and tar notes, with
Item Number: 25263
Bottle:$9.65
BTL

Cune 'Monopole' 'Classico' Viura 2014
(2)
93  James Suckling 
John Gilman 93+ "For decades, this bottling was produced with fifteen percent Manzanilla added into the blend just after the completion of fermentation, with the remainder of the cuvée made up entirely of Viura. It was extremely popular in its day in Spain, but as fashion changed in the 1980s, the
Item Number: 24569
Bottle:$24.95
Case: $299.40
BTL

Cune Rioja Crianza Rioja Crianza 2012 1.5L
91  Wine Spectator 
Wine Spectator 91 "Cherry and vanilla avors mingle with leafy and spicy details in this round red. Orange peel acidity, cedar and tobacco notes give this a traditional accent. Drink now through 2025.—T.M."  Wine Advocate 90 "A wine that is extremely popular in Spain is the 2012 Cune Crianza,
Item Number: 23426
Bottle:$25.95
Case: $155.70
BTL

Cune 'Gran Reserva' Rioja 2010
(7)
94  Wine Spectator 
Wine Spectator 94 WS TOP 100 2016 Rank 22 "This generous red shows a traditional character, with leafy, dried herb, tea and spicy notes framing dried cherry, licorice and leather flavors. Firm tannins and balsamic acidity impart structure. There’s plenty of depth here, culminating in a juicy,
Item Number: 22336
Bottle:$26.95
BTL

Cune 'Imperial' Rioja Reserva 2012
93  James Suckling 
Wine Enthusiast 93 Cellar Selection "A ripe fruity set of berry and cassis aromas shows a slight hint of raisin. This is a stacked saturated wine with raw tannins and plenty of power. Blackberry and earthy notes finish stout and compact: this doesn't vary or waver on the back end. Best from

Cune 'Monopole' Viura 2016
(1)
91  James Suckling 
James Suckling 91 "Always a delicious white with sliced apple, melon and green pear character. Medium body, bright acidity. Lively finish. Drink now. Publish Date: Monday, July 24, 2017"  The Wine " 100% Viura. All grapes come from the 'Rioja Alta' subzone, where higher altitudes and Atlantic

Cune 'Imperial' Rioja Gran Reserva 2010
95  Wine Enthusiast 
Wine Enthusiast 95 WE Editor's Choice TOP 100 2017 Rank 44 "Certain wines exude a sense of elevated excellence. This one gets to that level via aromas of spice cake, baked plum and tobacco aromas. A stocky saturated palate is structured and built to age, while this tastes of cool blue fruits,

Cune 'Crianza' Rioja 2013
91  James Suckling 
James Suckling 91 "A discrete nose of fresh black-cherry and blackberry character. Full body, excellent balance and lovely freshness. Tannins are medium and soft, following through to a refreshing, red-fruit finish. Drink now. Publish Date: Thursday, December 1, 2016"  Wine Advocate 89 "The 2013

Cune 'Imperial' Rioja Reserva 2011
96  James Suckling 
James Suckling 96 "Enticing aromas of ripe strawberries and raspberries with a mineral and salty character. Iodine, too. Tree bark. Full body, fine-grained and concentrated tannins and a long and clean, salty and light coffee finish. Great balance and structure. As it should be. Drink or hold.

Cune 'Vina Real' Gran Reserva Tempranillo 2009
94  Wine Advocate 
Wine Advocate 94 "The really impressive 2009 Rioja Gran Reserva is a classic among classics, mainly Tempranillo with just 5% Graciano, the wine fermented in stainless steel and matured in new barriques for 24 with rackings every four months. This is a ripe and powerful wine but not heavy. It has

Cune 'Vina Real' Crianza Tempranillo 2012
92  Wine Advocate 
Wine Advocate 90-92 "The 2012 Viña Real Crianza, from a very dry, early harvest, feels fresher than the 2011. It's a similar blend of 90% Tempranillo and 10% Garnacha Tinta with Mazuelo and Graciano fermented in stainless steel and matured in barrel for 14 months. The wine was about to be bottled

Cune Reserva Rioja 2012
(4)
93  Wine Enthusiast 
Wine Spectator 93 "This sleek red offers cherry, licorice, mineral and smoke flavors that mingle harmoniously over light, firm tannins, driven by lively acidity through the savory finish. Discreet, but shows depth and intensity. Drink now through 2025. 600 cases imported. –TM"  Wine Enthusiast 93

Cune 'Monopole' Viura 2015
(1)
90  James Suckling 
Wine Spectator 90 "This white is fresh and bright, but also dense, with a firm backbone of crisp acidity that carries pear, McIntosh apple and verbena flavors. The juicy, floral finish brings you back for another sip. Drink now through 2020. 4,000 cases imported. –TM"  James Suckling 90 "Aromas

Cune 'Vina Real' Crianza Tempranillo 2011
91  Vinous Media 
Wine Advocate 90 "Viña Real has now it's own separate winery, but it's still the CVNE brand from Rioja Alavesa. The 2011 Viña Real Crianza, mostly Tempranillo with 10% Garnacha, Mazuelo and Graciano fermented in stainless steel, matured in barrel for a little more than one year before bottling. The

Cune 'Imperial' Rioja Reserva 2010
93  Wine Spectator 
Wine Spectator 93 WS TOP 100 2015 Rank 56 "Smoky and tarry notes give this rich red an austere character, but plum, licorice, soy and mineral notes promise an expressive future. The tannins and acidity are balanced and unobtrusive. Best from 2016 through 2030. 1,500 cases imported."  Wine

Cune 'Crianza' Rioja 2012
(2)
91  Wine Spectator 
Wine Spectator 91 "Cherry and vanilla avors mingle with leafy and spicy details in this round red. Orange peel acidity, cedar and tobacco notes give this a traditional accent. Drink now through 2025.—T.M."  Wine Advocate 90 "A wine that is extremely popular in Spain is the 2012 Cune Crianza,

Cune 'Crianza' Rioja 2011
89  Wine Advocate 
Wine Advocate 89 "The 2011 CUNE Crianza jumps out of the glass with pure raspberry aromas and has a very fresh palate, with perfectly integrated oak and fine tannins. Highly drinkable, text-book Crianza at a very good price. You can drink it now to enjoy its fruity exuberance, but it should develop

Cune 'Monopole' Viura 2014
90  Wine Spectator 
Wine Spectator 90 "This white is fresh and bright, but also dense, with a firm backbone of crisp acidity that carries pear, McIntosh apple and verbena flavors. The juicy, floral finish brings you back for another sip. Drink now through 2020. 4,000 cases imported.—T.M."  Wine Advocate 87 "The