With ample experience in making and aging great wines dating back to 1964, Santiago Ijalba García left his position as general and technical manager in a historic Haro bodega to launch his own personal project. In 1998 under his newly-incorporated company Santiago Ijalba S.A., he created the VIÑA HERMOSA brand. The bodega is situated in the small town of Gimileo, close to Ollauri and a mere four kilometers from Haro, the “capital of Rioja wine” and his home town. Today, the family bodega already includes a new generation. Young Roberto Ijalba Pérez’s passion for oenological innovation and cutting-edge trends are beginning to make their mark on the bodega’s wines.
Among the innovative trends is the production of organic wines such as the Mutuo 100% Tempranillo and the Mutuo Crianza, a blend of 85% Tempranillo, 10% Mazuelo and 5% Garnacha.
In searching out organic wines, I contacted Santiago Ijalba to find where their oraganic wines can be found. Through their importer PRGrisley, I was sent a sample of both wines.
The first night I opened the Crianza. There was no vintage date on the label or bottle, or a NV notetation. Based on what I found on the net, it is probably a 2004.
The aromas of black cherry and ripe plum come at you immediately after pouring. After a few swishes, a bit of licorice and some leather, but the fruits are very distinct. The color is a dark red almost purple.
In the mouth, very smooth and velvety and refreshing.
I had this wine with stuffed cabbage. That, I would not recommend. The wine worked with the stuffing of beef and rice and also with the tomato sauce, but stay away from the cabbage.
I would like to try this with my fave dish, chicken Parmesan.
The second night I had the 100% Tempranillo. Again there was no date anywhere on the bottle, but I'm guessing it is a 2006.
The color was a dark purple. The aromas were more berry like. Blackberry with a hint of spice and vanilla. Also got some egg-nog?? That's different.
In the mouth, more full bodied than the Crianza. Fruity and complex. Well balanced with a long silky finish. A lot less oak than the Crianza, which left me favoring the Crianza. I think this will do well with your Thanksgiving Turkey with cranberries and lots of veggies.
Only found these at PA State Stores, for under $20.
You can check with their importer (PRGrisley) for locations near you.
Both these wines are organic. I am not yet convinced that organic wines are any greater than those that are not, but I have yet to find one that is even so-so or just mediocre. I guess I'll just have to keep trying, but at under $20...
Take it from an amateur wine lover....Great Buy!