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Year Wine Region Format Qty Score Price Wishlist
CVNE Corona Semidulce 1939 (1x75cl)

CVNE Corona Semidulce 1939 (1x75cl)

Wine Advocate (100)

It's an historical wine, a one-off, semi-sweet white produced at the end of the Spanish Civil War, a wine impossible to replicate, fruit of impossible circumstances, a wine I've had the luck to drink and share with many people on a number of occasions and which never fails to impress everyone. The perfect 1939 CVNE Rioja Blanco Semi Dulce Corona is a mythical wine! 1939 saw the end of Spain's Civil War, and the country was upside down. There were some major battles fought in Rioja, and by the time they had to harvest the grapes, there were not enough men in the village. They must have focused on the best parcels, surely giving priority to red grapes. Some vineyards were overlooked, as happened with the whites that eventually produced this wine. These grapes were harvested extremely late, into November, close to December and their health was not optimal, they had developed some botrytis and were clearly rotten. The people in charge of making the wine surely didn't know about botrytis cynerea, or noble rot, and were surely afraid their grapes were rotten and they would not be able to produce any decent white. So they did the best they could, but the fermentation never finished completely and there was some residual sugar in the wine. So, as they did with all their wines, they put it in oak barrels to mature and kind of put it in a corner hoping nobody would notice its shortcomings. We have to realize that CVNE was already producing quite a lot of wine at the time, so it's not unusual to have a few stray barrels here or there that nobody pays attention to. What is not that normal is that the wine was REALLY forgotten and was "found" during a stock take for an audit in 1970! So the wine aged slowly in barrel for some 30 years! Once found, nobody saw any reason to keep the wine in barrel any longer, so they decided to bottle it. Not knowing quite what to do with it, the bottles were stacked somewhere and the same story was repeated, as the stash was forgotten and basically untouched until thirty something years later: thanks to the daughter of one of the family owners (the winery is still in the hand of the same family that created it back in 1879). The proud father had a vague idea about a somewhat sweet wine that could be served at his daughter's wedding and asked to get some bottles to taste. They uncorked it, tasted it and found a complex, subtle white with great balance between alcohol, acidity and a little bit of residual sugar (around 20 grams), which took the edge off the acidity and made the wine rounder, as old Viura can be too austere. The slow aging, first in an oxidative way during the years in oak provided some nuttiness, and spicy aromas, while the botrytis added some of those dry apricot, beeswax and pollen notes, hinting on honey, but also the long reductive period in bottle made it very elegant and polished, with infinite nuances of white pepper, quince, faint smoke, walnuts, petrol...This redefines complexity, elegance and slow aging. The palate is prodigious, with a gobsmacking (literally!) balance, pungent flavors, freshness, acidity, very faint sweetness and length like only something which has slowly evolved over 70 years can be. The aftertaste should not be measured in seconds, but in minutes, and the empty glass keeps changing and giving different tones for hours. If you leave a little bit in the bottle for the day after (yes, it's difficult, I know!) the wine is even better on the second day. There is no reason to believe that if the wine is as good as it is today it is not going to reach its one-hundredth birthday. The wine is mainly Viura, but there might have been a little bit of the white Garnacha Blanca in the blend. At this stage nobody really knows (or cares). This is simply otherworldly, superb, perfect wine, whose only improvement would come if they had bottled some magnums! A dream. A unique, historical wine. If there is a perfect white Rioja, this is surely it. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2039.
In Stock in Singapore

Rioja 1x75cl 1 100 (WA) Read Review/Description HK$9,385.00

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