The Timeless 1986 CVNE, Viña Real, Rioja Reserva
To some degree how I think about old vintages of Bordeaux has barely changed since my Bristol University days. Back then I would often chat with my friends about the 1961 and 1970 vintages as we poured over David Peppercorn’s maturity chart. There is no doubt if I was now presented a bottle from 1961 I would first think about it as a 30 year old wine instead of its proper 53 year age. Over the last several years I infrequently drank wines prior to the 1998 vintage. This year is an exception, with Rioja alone representing vintages from the 1920s, 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. In this span of just several months my perspective on what is an old vintage from Rioja has changed.
Thus with a bit more exposure I viewed the unopened bottle of 1986 C.V.N.E, Viña Real, Rioja Reserva as young and to some degree, did not hesitate to pull the cork. The Viña Real was first released in 1920 taking its name from the vineyard situated next to the old Camino Real running through El Ciego in Rioja Alavesa. Today at least half of the fruit is still sourced from estate vineyards in Rioja Alavesa with a blend that is mostly Tempranillo followed by Mazuelo, Graciano, and Garnacha Tinta. This particular bottle had an attractive nose of red fruit and mature wood box aromas. The flavors in the mouth were not as complex as the nose perhaps because they were youthful with plenty of acidity and still some structure. It is possible I opened this bottle to early! This wine was purchased from The Rare Wine Co.
1986 C.V.N.E (Compañía Vinícola del Norte de España), Viña Real, Rioja Reserva –
Imported The Rare Wine Co. Alcohol 13%. The nose bore scented aromas of tart red fruit and wood box. In the mouth the flavors took on moderate weight with slightly ripe and tart raspberry notes that became drier towards the finish. There was plenty of acidity complemented the tart red flavors. This wine was still fresh with a bit of structure in the long aftertaste. *** Now-2034.