Imperial is one of the big names of Spain. It is a true classic in Rioja and was first produced in the twenties. Its name comes from a special bottling for the English market, in a measure called ‘Pinta Imperial’ or ‘Imperial Pint’ which is approximately half a litre. It has always been characterised by its very high and constant quality in every vintage.
Deep cherry colour with shades of shiny red. To the nose, aromas of berries and liquorice balanced by hints of clove, rosemary, thyme and tobacco leaves coming from the oak cask ageing. To the palate, it shows its elegance thanks to a gentle tanin providing roundness and freshness. The wine tastes for long in the palate, with an interestingly complex aftertaste.
This wine is produced from grapes harvested in vineyards that are over 20 years old in the area around Villalba and Haro in Rioja Alta. They are bush pruned, with low yields, and hand harvested. Only the healthiest and ripest grapes are selected, and following destalking, the grapes are cold macerated prior to a cold temperature fermentation. Following a long maceration to achieve optimum colour and structure, the wine goes through a malolactic fermentation, to refine the wine, and to leave it with the necessary acidity to complete its American and French oak maturation, and subsequent bottle ageing prior to its release to the market.
Food Pairing Notes
Game and red meats are ideal pairings for this wine.
85% Tempranillo, 10% Graciano, and 5% Mazuelo