The prototype of red from Rioja Alta could very well be the 2016 Imperial Reserva, fine, precise and powerful. The grapes for this cuvée were picked between October 10th and 25th, and it's a canonical blend of 85% Tempranillo and the rest Graciano, Mazuelo and Garnacha with 14% alcohol and balancing freshness. It fermented with their own Imperial yeasts in oak vats of different sizes and matured in French and American oak barrels for 24 months. This wine has a very defined style that should not change; it has more oak than the Asúa Reserva and is made with grapes not only from Haro but also from Torremontalvo, Villalba and Briones. 2016 was a cooler year, and the wines are fresher and balanced. This has the mushroomy touch from the old cave and plenty of tannins that are going to require powerful food and/or time in bottle. A classic among classics. 150,000 bottles produced. It was bottled in June 2019.
Score: 93 points -- Luis Gutierrez, The Wine Advocate, 2020