Also recommended: 2002 Reserva Rioja (86).
Other wines tasted: 2006 Monopole Blanco Rioja*. (Pasternak Wine Imports, Harrison, NY)

2006 CVNE (Cune) Rosado Rioja

($12) Orange-pink color. Bright strawberry and raspberry aromas are dusted with talc-y minerality and white flowers. An impressively focused, pure, light-bodied rose, displaying an array of red berry flavors and a refreshing jolt of orange zest on the finish. Awfully easy to drink.

88

2004 Cune Vina Real Rioja Crianza

($16) Deep red. Ripe blackberry, cherry and plum on the nose, with gentle baking spice and forest floor notes adding complexity. Sweet dark fruit flavors are deepened by a subtle vanillin oak quality, which adds structure. Finishes fresh and juicy, with very good length.

89

2004 CVNE (Cune) Pagos de Vina Real Rioja

($91) Youthful purple. Sexy oak spices accent candied cherry, plum and boysenberry, conveying an exotic personality. Juicy cherry and dark berry flavors are deep and creamy, with strong vanilla and mocha qualities adding sweetness. Youthfully tannic and impressively broad and sweet on the long, spicy finish. Traditionalists will be less enthused than I by this.

91

2001 Cune Vina Real Rioja Reserva

($24) Medium red. Ripe cherry and plum aromas are strongly influenced by vanillin oak and mocha. Sweet, toasty red berry flavors verge on jammy but are enlivened by zesty acidity. Fine-grained tannins add support to the long, sweet finish. The oak is pretty strong right now but I'll bet that it will be absorbed by the fruit with time in bottle.

89(+?)

2001 Cune Imperial Rioja Reserva

($35) Medium red. Spicy redcurrant and cherry on the nose, with high-pitched rose and mineral accents and a whiff of smoked meat. Suave, understated red fruit flavors are gently braced by dusty tannins and take on anise and roasted coffee flavors with air. Tangy cherry and licorice flavors cling on the long, youthfully taut finish. From the way this shut down with air, I'd leave it alone for a few years.

90(+?)
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