Compañía Vinícola del Norte de España (CVNE) “Cune”, Rioja Blanco

CVNE Rioja Blanco

The Wine of the Week
by Annette Tomei

CVNE Rioja Blanco2011 Compañía Vinícola del Norte de España (CVNE) “Cune”, Rioja Blanco, Rioja DOCa, Spain

Founded in 1879, CVNE is one of the most renowned Spanish wineries and a vital part of the history of the Rioja region. Now in its fifth generation of family operation, CVNE relies on much more than history; they have also embraced technology and innovation in the consistent production of fine wines.  Since its founding, CVNE has grown to encompass three bodegas – Cune (the original winery), Viña Real, and Contino – producing very different styles of wines, as different as their terroir.

Cune is within the Rioja Alta; of the three sub-regions of Rioja, it is considered to be the most prestigious.  The altitude contributes to the production of wines with lively acidity and moderate alcohol content. Most of us associate Rioja with red wines – rightfully so, as they can be exceptional, especially from Rioja Alta – however, white wines from this region are growing in popularity while remaining well within weekday wine budgets.

Rioja Blanco is made from the grape locally known as Viura – aka Macabeo. This grape is plentiful in Northern Spain, and the primary grape of Spain’s sparkler, Cava. Viura can be vinified dry or sweet and is known to have a reliable flavor profile dependent on how it is made.

The Cune Rioja Blanco has an aroma of delicate white tea laced with lime zest and white flowers. It is juicy and tart with an initial burst of slightly under-ripe stone fruit – white peaches and green plums. The finish is bone dry and minerally – perfect for fresh shellfish or other seafood. Sushi anyone?