Last summer, as a treat for my son-in-law and daughter who had bought me a fine bottle of Rioja as a Father's Day present, I dug into the cellar to dig out a couple of Riojas from the 1970s--a 1978 CUNE Crianza and a 1975 Vina Turzabella Gran Reserva from Ramon Bilbao. Both were beautifully complex. And, surprisingly, the CUNE Crianza was showing as well as the Gran Reserva beside it. Crianza is the lowest level of Rioja, aged for the shortest period in oak, while the Reservas and Gran Reservas are made for aging (and even more aging.)
I made a mental note to buy some current bottles of CUNE. And, after tasting this 2011 at a wine dinner hosted by Cosmo's Cucina Restaurant and D&W Market in Kalamazoo, I have done so.
Deep ruby color. I'm sure it has seen more new oak than the 1978. Deep, deep scents and flavors of cherry and red berries. I can taste the oak but it's subtle and well integrated with the concentrated fruit flavors. I thought I smelled Garnacha, but I learned later that it's 100% Temperanillo. How will this wine taste in 35 years? I probably won't be around to find out, but I suspect that it might.