Every Thursday I feature a wine I particularly enjoy, whether it’s something new and different, is a great value, or from a producer worth checking out. For this week, my Wine Of The Week is the 2011 Rio Madre Graciano. This week’s wine is something different and a great value too!
This wine is produced by Bodegas Y Vinedos Ilurce, which was founded by the Escudero family in 1940. It’s a family operation – the fourth generation of this family of vintners is now working on the wines. All aspects of the wine making process are shared by the entire family.
The winery is located in Alfaro, La Rioja, Spain, where the family owns 60 hectares of old vine Grenache (a.k.a. Garnacha), Tempranillo, and Graciano grapes.
This wine is made from 100% Graciano. Graciano is a grape I’d never heard of before trying this wine. That’s because it’s primarily used a blending grape in Rioja wines, which are dominated by Tempranillo.
According to Karen MacNeil’s Wine Bible
High-quality but not widely Spanish grape, with delicate slightly spicy flavors. Used primarily in Rioja as part of traditional Rioja blends. Also found to a small extent in Languedoc-Roussillon, where it is called morrastel
From the bottle…
“Graciano is a Rioja grape which adds so much to the Rioja blend: great color, good acidity, wonderful blue/purple fruited lively fruit. Rarely is it bottled as a single varietal wine, but on the rare occasion that it is, and it’s affordable, it is worth checking out.
My first thought when I tasted this wine was it’s delightfully spicy! My second thought was…$10 bucks…Really?!
My tasting notes follow:
Opaque violet color with spicy ripe mixed berry, cola, licorice, and a bit of floral aromas. On the palate, it’s medium bodied and fresh with blackberry, pomegranate, cherry, spice, and mineral flavors. Medium long finish.
Rating: A- (90pts): This wine is a way over delivers in terms of quality for the prices. The best thing I can say about it, is that I will buy more! Check it out!
Pair with: Tapas such as spicy cheese and sausage tortilla or Spanish stuffed tomatoes; grilled lamp chops, Beef chili or Pasta Bolognese!
The Wine Geek Stuff:
- Alcohol: 14%
- Closure: Nomacorc
- AVA: >Spain>La Rioja> Rioja
- Grape Varieties: 100% Graciano
- Cooperage: 10 months in French oak
- Retail: $9.99
- Cases produced: Unknown
- Drink: now – 2015
- >>Find this wine<<
Wine purchased for review.
(A+) – 98-100/Extraordinary
(A) – 94-97/Outstanding
(A-) – 90-93/Excellent
(B+) – 86-89/Very good
(B) – 80-85/Good
(C) – 70-79/Bleh
(D) – 50-69/#Fail
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