Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Why Wine: Joeshico Wine Review; Two Great Organic Rioja's

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!


Shelly said...

See. Based on your notes I thought the Tempranillo sounded like the better of the two. Cabbage and wine? Won't be a problem here as no one would even consider eating cabbage (I would, but wouldn't cook it just for me).

I need to get my hands on an organic wine to see if I can taste a difference. I'm also curious to know if it has any impact on the price?

The Wine Whore said...

Egg-nog! How cool! I love a good Tempranillo but a lot of the ones that I have tasted have been slightly too acidic for my taste. This one sounds nice and smooth... just the way I like 'em!


wine blog said...

You have a really great wine blog! I would love to swap links and have my readers enjoy your content! Wierd those wines didn't have a vintage marked on them... Anyways! Hope to chat in the future. Cheers!

RandomWineFacts said...

Hi Joeshico, thanks for the Review.
It's happened to me before that I searched like crazy for a vintage on a spanish wine. Here's a little tip: All Spanish DO (Quality) Wines have a rather small, mandatory official DO label. It has the regions name and logo on it as well as the word cosecha (harvest) e.g. 2004. It's really tiny and therefore easy to miss. As far as I know, all DO Wine and especially Rioja DOCa must carry a Vintage. If your bottles dont have these labels, you should do the Importer a favor and let him know.

michael said...

Joeshico- I apologize for not providing the vintage information to you when I sent the samples!! The Crianza was in fact the 2004 vintage and the Cosecha was the 2006 vintage. Randomwinefacts is correct in that all DO quality wines from Spain have to have the vintage on them. In this case, DOC Rioja wines will have a stick on the back that will have a colored label and will indicate the vintage year. Here is a great article on it from the fine people at Catavino.net.


Hope this helps- again, sorry for the lack of info!


Michael Grisley
P.R. Grisley Co.