the spanish aquisition


TSA is delighted to announce the acquisition of a fantastic traditional Rioja producer, CUNE! Founded 1879 by the Real de Asua brothers of Bilbao, C.V.N.E (hereafter, Cune) has been an integral part of the Rioja region's ascendance in the fine wine world.

Early success came as a negociant house supplying bulk wine to a France devastated by phylloxera and oidium. Committing to a fine wine vision of Rioja, the brothers soon moved away from bulk wine shipping and began purchasing and planting vineyards around Rioja Alta and employed cellar masters from Bordeaux. The company is still run by descendants of the Real de Asua brothers, the fifth generation current CEO Victor Urrutia Ybarra. Innovative vision combined with traditional roots has seen Cune become one of the most consistently reliable sources for high quality Rioja wine. Cune also have a single vineyard property, Viñedos del Contino.

The new acquisitions:

Cune 'Monopole' Viura Blanco 2011 (screwcap) $25
Floral with peach and almond kernel (sorta nuts and patisserie over cold steel), with cool green herbal and subtle phenolics at back. In mouth, the rich, ripe peachy aspect is edged and constrained by bitter herb and soft nutty tannin. Mild and medium-bodied, it's a very harmonious entry level wine, with fair length. A high quality wine at the $.

Cune Crianza 2009 $33
Red fruits, balsalmic, chocolate, heather in a nice open and gentle nose, nicely woody. The palate likewise is spacious and gentle, with a good long slow red cherry core fruit, a bit of cola, nut and a hit of scrubby heathery herb. Savoury, long and low in the mouth with balsamic old wood and fine volatile acidity adding a sourness which caresses and elongates the gentle earthy red fruit. Quite fine and elegant, gentle and amiable old school Crianza that has been protected and developed rather than clobbered. 13.5%, US and French oak.

Cune Reserva 2008 $55
Smelling like, and delightful to sup with, a charcuterie board (no garnish, no varnish thanks, just give me the meat and the wood). Tobacco in clay, jerky meat, some 'shroom and fine old wood aromas. The palate's elegant, open, beautifully laid out. Cune style is like looking down and along a road winding through a plain. The dry, elegant, briary blackberry fruit is complexed with typical heather, a touch of shroom and a judicious titch of aldehyde and a gently chocolatey tannin-oak heart.

Imperial Gran Reserva 2004 $125
Ever fancied great second growth claret? Blackcurrant, cassis and wild cherry fruits meet tobacco, violet, peony, leather, undergrowth and old ink. Cold metal mineral gives real dance and composure to the palate. The best metaphor I can think of is to imagine taking two sheets of fine parchment with dried inkblots on them, and between them pressing and drying peonies ... now, slowly rehydrate them with your mind, follow the ethereal dance, the subtle wafting of ink, earth, paper and flower ... sweetness becomes spice, oak becomes space ... it is exceptionally hard to describe wine this good. It's utterly fabulous.

Contina Reserva 2006 $100
Deep, complex and very high quality amalgam of oak, earth, fruit - the savoury, the meaty and the mystic. The red fruit confiture over hung meat and fine oak is subsidiary to a fabulous sense of 'wineness', it's all sweet and leathery with old wood aromatics, pimiento, allspice, black pepper. The palate is a similar glide from glyceric cherry through leather to sourberry. It's deep and smooth, meaty with subtle leather, sweet cedar and vanilla wood spices and brighter pip-squeak fruit and acid levity. Long, possibly profound.

Click here for for more information on Cune.

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