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November 29, 2012

Cune: 'Value' en Espanol


In 1879, the Compañia Vinícola del Norte de España (CVNE, or more commonly known as Cune) was founded by the Real de Asúa brothers in Haro, Rioja Alta. It is one of the most historic and prominent bodegas in Spain that continues to grow in reputation and quality. Today, Cune has three separate bodegas, each with its own distinct style: Cune, Viña Real, and Contino.

The first wines of Viña Real were produced in 1920 with grapes from the Rioja Alavesa region. It is a more modern approach to Cune's traditional Rioja wines. These wines have captured the attention of wine critics all over the world. Neal Martin of Wine Advocate said, "I have been a big fan of Vina Real for many years. A spine-tingling 1962 encountered during my trip attested to the longevity of these somehow, effortless, classic Rioja wines."

These "effortless, classic Rioja(s)" with "longevity" are exactly what we are proffering today. As you can see they were praised by the Wine Advocate (Crianza 91, Reserva 93, Gran Reserva 93) and for this kind of caliber, the prices are more than reasonable. Robert Parker himself said, "This famous estate (C.V.N.E.) has long held, justifiably, an esteemed reputation. Their least expensive offerings are all noteworthy choices for shrewd consumers looking for bargains." This might sound a little 'me-too' at this point, but those who know us also know we have been championing the wines of Cune for a long time.

We are particularly pleased as the lower-priced efforts are starting to hit some better vintages. The 2009 Cune Vina Real Rioja Plata Crianza hails from an excellent vintage and is an inviting proposition at a $13 price tag with an Advocate 91-point score. As to the 2005 Cune Vina Real Rioja Oro Reserva, where else but Spain do you get a 93-point wine with some bottle age for under $30? Even though the ‘points’ are the same, the step up in experience with the 2005 Cune Vina Real Rioja Gran Reserva is commensurate with the less than $10 price increment. Viva Espana.

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