Baron de Ley "Maturana", Rioja 2016/ #9457752
(price for 3 fl), 95p + Gold Trophy/IWC, 92p/Guía Peñin, 92p/Tim Atkin. An extremely rare wine from Rioja's rarest and very own grape, not seen in any other country in the whole world. The maturana grape pretty much died during the Phylloxera!
"Very deep color, intense, sumptuous aroma with forest berries, sweet tones, balsamic and deep, the taste is rounded, powerful, with silky tannins, very long with good acids that ensure freshness".
Maturana "is the soul of Rioja", says Gonzalo, winemaker at Ley. Maturana ripened late (matura), while tempranillo (temprano -early) ripens early. Maturana enjoyed great reputation. But was difficult to grow and disappeared completely when the phylloxera hit Rioja in the 1890s. It is not listed in the books and is not on the list of permitted grapes - until 30 years ago a few surviving maturana vines were found in a remote area of Rioja. Today, 100+ hectares of Rioja's very own grape are planted, which is not seen in any other region or country in the world! Baron de Ley owns the largest (and oldest) vineyard at Finca Alegría (20 hectares) - and this wine is currently the only 100% maturana wine. Ley uses most of the wine for reservas, but also makes approx. 24,000 bottles of the pure Maturana.
New vintages are terrific after 4-5 years, but the wine can probably be stored for up to 10 years (but no one knows for sure yet!). The wine ferments in open oak and closed steel tanks and ages for 12 months in small casks of 100% French oak. before bottling with only one light filtration.
Baron de Ley is located in the 500-year-old Benedictine monastery, which since 1995-96 has been restored to its former glory. The company is privately owned and delivers modern, elegant Rioja of high quality. At the same time, the house has helped revive rare grapes such as white tempranillo, graciano - and not least maturana.
Photo: Ley is located in Alavesa, perhaps the best area in Rioja. The house has a very large domain spread over 4 properties and, unlike most, does not need to buy grapes from outside. Price for 2 fl. The bottles are the number. Also 92p/International Wine London.
Ratings and info: https://www.barondeley.com/producto/varietales-maturana/
About the grape: https://www.riojawine.com/en/rioja/grape-varieties/maturana-red/
Other: The owners behind Baron de Ley also own el Coto (also Rioja) and the Finca Museum in Cigales.
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