2011Ijabla2011 Dionisio Ruiz Ijalba, Maturana Tinta, Rioja, Spain.
The incredibly rich and dark Vina Ijalba Maturana Rioja is a very hedonistic red that would not be out of place in a top flight of Napa Cabernets! Matron Tinta is a rare native varietal in Rioja and is almost never made as a single varietal wine, the grape has little information of it’s origins, though it is believed to be a distant relation to Cabernet Sauvignon, which when you taste it seems almost certain to be true. Vina Ijalba is know for crafting wonderful value wine and have a glorious array of wines, especially noteworthy are their beautiful Graciano Rioja offerings, but this 2011, a warm and decedent vintage, Dionisio Ruiz Ijalba Maturana Tinta is a standout and is the most powerful and dense wine I’ve ever had from this winery. This thickly textured and opulent red starts with deep creme de cassis, violets and minty dark chocolate with a black cored purple hue in the glass, this is serious stuff, very Ribera del Duero in style with blackberry, plum sauce, sweet smoky vanilla and a mix of anise, coconut oil, sage and tangy dill. At first the wood and sweetness of flavor and ripe tannin hit you hard, but with air and food this wine turns on the charm, it is very seductive, sexy and aggressively pleasing with a lengthy finish that lingers with mocha, tobacco leaf and blueberry compote. Not terribly subtle, but a great wine for the price, it is a perfect wine get a big WOW effect around the table and wonderful with a big steak or with rosemary roasted lamb, drink over the next 3 to 5 years.
($25 Est.) 93+ Points, grapelive

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