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CVNE Contino Rioja Reserva 2012

This classic Rioja from Alavesa shows bright, deep garnet colour. Aromatically intense, it stands out the black fruit and black olives. The palate is fruit elegant and straightforward though despite the mix of 4 grapes, Tempranillo (85%), Graciano (10%), Mazuelo (3%) and Red Grenache (2%). It is warm(abv 14.8% but feels less than that), medium bodied with a long fruity and spicy aftertaste. From a small and very vintage of 2012.

Contino Reserva produces by the winery Contino, which is owned by Compañía Vinícola del Norte de España. This group also provides the famous Imperial(28-ha, La Alta Rioja being the flagship), Vina Real(the Crianza and Reservas being the leader with both Atlantic and Mediterranean Rioja stylistics) and CVNE which is the 'cash cow' and produces from wineries in both La Alta and Alavesa. Of course there are other modern lines too.

Consumer tends to compare, but each style for these 4 wines is so different and does not render into ranking which is higher. The soils of Contino Reserva comprise sandy loam and clay, with an abundant presence of stones, so the wine is elegantly soft with structure. The climate of the area stands out for being dry and hot in summer and cold in winter, hence there is an elegance. Manual manually, the de-stalked grapes are put in small boxes for carrying the bunches; therefore there is always a ripeness to the taste which is not demanding at all despite the wood ageing. Fermented in 12300-litre stainless steel vats at 28-30ºC, after which maceration took place for 15 to 20 days. Malolactic fermentation followed to render the wine more delicate and with more reasonable acidity levels. The wine is in French and American oak barrels where they stayed for two years, after which bottle ageing started until the present time.


he score is high, such as:

James Suckling (2012)94 pts Aromas of wet earth, spice and dark berry follow through to a full body, round and soft tannins and a long and decadent finish. Black olive and dark fruits. This is the only wine made from Contino in this year. Drink now.

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