Imperial Gran Reserva 2016 and Contino Gran Reserva 2015 have been chosen as Top 20 Rioja Gran Reserva by the Master of Wine Sarah Jane Evans, published in enDecanter February 2023.
Imperial Gran Reserva 2015 – 95 points
“One of the great gran reservas, Rioja lovers are on first-name terms with this wine; they rarely use ‘gran reserva’ to describe it – ‘Imperial’ will do. As a wine it has had its ups and downs, but today it is back on track. The style reflects our different world and consumer demands, with more generous fruit layered with the ever-elegant oak, and particularly in this fine vintage. Fermented in small oak vats, aged in French and American oak for two years, before bottle age. Drink 2023-2040. Alc 14.5%.”
Contino Gran Reserva 2015, 94 points
“Contino is famous for its wonderfully sited vineyard, and for being a very early adopter of Graciano as a single variety. Two years after this vintage (10% Graciano), there was a change of winemaker. Today there are clear movement towards greater freshness. Look out for forthcoming vintages; they should be very promising indeed. Dense and dark, aged three years in French and American oak, with a fine finish of supple tannin. Drink 2023-2040. Alc. 14%.”