97 Point CVNE Real de Asúa Carromaza Rioja 2020

18 September 2023

CVNE’s Real de Asúa was an experimental concept born in 1994 as a dedication to Eusebio and Raimundo Real de Asúa, who founded the fabled Rioja house in 1879. Over time it has been condensed down to a single 2.37 hectare plot called Carromaza (now stated on the label). Unlike traditional Rioja the emphasis is on the purity of fruit and freshness, qualities sometimes overlooked in favour of extended barrel aging. The wine demonstrates immense control, showcasing its exuberant core of fruit and modern, silky tannins. An abundance of blackberries and blackcurrants mix with mandarin peel, scented floral aromas, wild herbs, delicate hints of oak spice and liquorice; it finishes with a creamy smooth texture and svelte tannins.

Carromaza is situated in Rioja Alta in the village of Villalba. This south facing vineyard lies at an altitude of 550 metres and is heavily influenced by the Atlantic. Strong winds require the vines to be trellised, and the vineyard can be affected by spring frosts. However, its location in the foothills of the Sierra de Cantabria Mountain range provides essential protection from these climatic challenges. In contravention of Rioja norms, the wine ferments and undergoes malolactic fermentation in 225L French barriques using wild indigenous yeast. Once racked it spends much less time ageing, just 12 months in new and second fill barrels.

"Such purity and clarity to the wine with blackberries, blackcurrants, violets and orange peel. Medium to full body and fine tannins. Polished, bright, vivid and agile. Powdery tannins with wonderful length and finesse. Savory, too. Give it three to four years of bottle age. 97/100” James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

The second release on the Place de Bordeaux of this 'more modern' wine from the established Spanish winery says CVNE CEO and fifth-generation family member Victor Urrutia made from the 2.37ha plot of 30-year-old Tempranillo grapes known as Carromaza in the village of Villalba, 700m high in Rioja Alta. From the fresh and cool 2020 vintage, this is intensely fragrant, verging on heady aromatics on the nose; baked plum, strawberries and soft aniseed, cinnamon and clove spices. Supple and so smooth but with a crushed velvet edge giving weight and texture. Instantly satisfying on the palate with delicate, yet enrobing tannins that give structure and support but don't overwhelm the crunchy, ripe and fleshy fruit. Acidity is high and perfectly balances the warming underlying elements. Rich, sumptuous, seductive but with poise and nuance - everything feels well defined with the most delicious juiciness on the mid palate. Bright, shiny, alive and utterly drinkable. Wild yeast fermentation. Ageing 12 months in new and one year old French oak barrels. 3.6pH. 95 IPT. 97/100” Georgie Hindle, Decanter

Please note that the wine is abroad and is expected to ship in the spring. The prices are listed under bond excluding duty and VAT. 3L & 6L bottles are limited and subject to confirmation. Please contact your account manager or follow the link below to place your order or enquire about large formats.

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