2012 Imperial Gran Reserva
Grapes: 85% Tempranillo, 10% Graciano, 5% Mazuelo
The grapes for Imperial Gran Reserva come from the best and oldest vineyards around Villalba, Briones and Torremontalbo, and which are over 40 years old. Rigorous work in the vineyard followed by hand-harvesting and exhaustive selection in the field ensured the collection of great quality grapes. Once in the winery, the grapes were held in a refrigerated chamber for 24 hours and then subjected to a second manual selection on a selection table. To ensure gentle handling, the grapes were fed by gravity to French oak vats for the alcoholic fermentation. Once completed, the wine was then aged in French and American oak barrels for 24 months, followed by another 36 months of bottle aging.
94 pts Vinous Media
(raised in new and used French and American oak barrels for two years) Vivid ruby-red. An intensely perfumed bouquet evokes ripe raspberry, cherry-cola, potpourri and exotic spices, with a suave vanilla topnote and a smoky mineral flourish. Sweet and broad in the mouth, offering lush red fruit, spicecake, mocha and coconut flavors that steadily tighten up on the back half. Finishes extremely long and spicy, with a resonating floral quality, well-knit tannins and lingering oak spice notes. This one is still quite young.
97 pts Tim Atkin (Master of Wine)
This comes from vineyards in Villalba, Briones and Torremontalbo and is another brilliant release from María Larrea. Savoury, sweet and well balanced, with 10% Graciano adding extra backbone and the zest that you expect from this special red.
95 pts Robert Parker Wine Advocate
The wine that represents the traditional and serious reds from Haro, the 2012 Imperial Gran Reserva is a classical blend of Tempranillo with 10% Graciano and 5% Mazuelo that matured in barrel for two years. It has a textbook serious Haro nose, with dark spices, ripe fruit, something balsamic and a round, full-bodied palate within the straight and serious style of the wine. 2012 was a warm year, but the wines are fresher than those from 2011. This has fine, slightly grainy tannins with good grip. A textbook Imperial Gran Reserva. 50,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in May 2015.