2015 CVNE, Imperial Reserva, Rioja, Spain
£19.75, selected Co-ops
I have seen this wine a few times recently and every time I taste it, I love it. It’s interesting that there are quite a few merchants retailing it right now and, because of this, you might as well look around for a low price. You may be able to find it cheaper if you surf the internet for a few hours, but you will not find it on the high street for less cash than this bonkers Co-op price tag of £19.75.
CVNE is a legendary estate and 2015 is a stellar vintage. It is a fairly fleshy vintage, too, and this means that it is drinking well already, but there is also the stamina here for this wine to develop well for a decade, too. You can have fun with this wine – opening bottles whenever you like over the next ten years and, every time, it will tell you a different story.
Made from 85% tempranillo and 15% graciano, mazuelo and garnacha grapes, all old vines, and built on a fairly sturdy 14% alcohol framework, it uses both American and French oak in its recipe and this both accentuates its classical stance and also brings some flair. With four years of maturation, half in wood and half in bottle, this wine is already mellow and complex and I cannot think of a more daring wine for a summer barbecue – or, for that matter, an autumnal game dish, a wintry beef stew, or succulent spring lamb.
• Matthew Jukes is a winner of the International Wine & Spirit Competition’s Communicator of the Year (matthewjukes.com)