I don’t recall ever having a pure Graciano, it’s normally used as a blending grape. In the glass it is a pale shade of purple and is fully opaque. On the nose I get charred plums, black berries and a stewed fruit note. The palate is interesting with brooding dark fruits, oak and a vanilla bean note. The tannic structure is very well ingrained in this 9 year old bottle. They are present but not foreboding. The black fruits show up on the mid palate with a touch of bitterness, there is a green note too. On the finish is where I get some nice acidity to go with the oaky fruit compote. There is a nice dryness on the back end from the tannins. The wine is a pleasure to drink but that midpalate greeness has me concerned. This will drink well till 2025 and pair nicely with pasta, roasted chicken and certainly grilled steak. I’m going 89 points and 3 stars for the $12 price point. Salut….
It’s a very bright, shimmery purple in the glass with thin legs showing off the potent 14.5% kick. The nose is classic Rioja- dark plums, bramble, well integrated oak and currants of the black kind. The palate is very smooth, with delicious black fruit components, leather, well ingrained tannins and a touch of acidity. The earthiness of the wine is somewhat subdued, making way for the concentration of black currants, blackberries and mouth coating tannins. The mid palate is really full bodied with black fruits galore, dry mouthfeel from the beautiful tannins and just enough acidity to make my jaw water. The finish is longish and really dry. Iodine and plum reduction come to mind. Oak is ever present and the tannins go on forever. This is a well made wine built for the long haul and some serious, juicy steaks. Drink till 2035. 92 points and for $40, 5 stars. Read all about the 2010 vintage here. Salut….
Bright purple in the glass, semi opaque. The nose is lovely, warm and chock full of dark berry fruits, charcoal and bramble. On the palate I get a really smooth intro to the blackberries, Ribena and earthy notes that allow some oak to mingle. There is a certain rustic twist to this wine. On the mid palate I start to get tertiary flavors of leather and bramble, that earthiness I love in aged Riojas. The wine is quite juicy at this point, the acidity making its presence known. Lithe tannins crop up and the whole mouthfeel is really nice. The finish is a touch dry, acidic and medium in length. The black fruits really present alongside that charred oaky wood note. 91 points, drink till 2027 with steaks, grilled goat. At $30, it’s a 4 star effort that I really enjoyed. Salut….
I have had many bottles of the Marques De Riscal, of whom a friend’s father was on the Board many moons ago. I think of my visit to Spain every time I see the twisted wire around bottles of this Tempranillo.
In the glass it is a reddish shade, pretty opaque and showing off wide legs down the edges. The nose is gorgeous- tar, black plum, earthy spice and bramble. On the palate it is rich, unctuous and very fruit forward with blackberry jam, plum reduction, spice box and cedar. It is delicious. There is a very nice acidic component that carries me to the maid palate where those classic Rioja flavors of creosote come to the forefront. There is a spiciness on the back end that I really enjoy. The back end is long, with a crescendo of tannins peaking at the tail end. It’s a really nice, dry yet tart finish with some definite wood influence. The mouthfeel begs for the Strip Roast I am cooking on the smoker. This wine is drinking beautifully and will cellar well till 2027. 92 points and 5 stars for this $20 stunner. Salut….
It’s showing dark purple in the glass with barely perceptible legs- almost opaque. On the nose I get jammy black currants, mint, cedar shake and bramble. On the palate it is inky, with a nice grip of tannins right off the bat. Black fruits, some earth and sour cherry notes all meet me after the initial wave of those tannins. The mid palate is a little more tart, with a nice touch of acidity. I was hoping for a little more earth out of this Tempranillo. It delivers a more fresh and fruity wine that has its own nuances and attractions. I am enjoying its youth. The finish is a nice tart affair with some sour blackberries and a diminishing tannic presence. The wine is still young but I think it will drink well for 5 more years. I was looking forward to a bit more oak to be honest. Overall- decent, not great. 89 points and 3 stars for this $25 wine that garnered 90+ points from the pros. Maybe I need to let it sit longer before I popped and poured, I don’t understand. Perhaps it’s in a dumb stage. Salut….
A beautiful reddish shade of purple in the glass. The nose is fresh and shows off raspberry, mint and red currants. The palate has red fruits and delightful tannins- juicy. There is a minerality to this wine to go with its cutting approach. It sure is mouth watering. Currants, pomegranate and a touch of that Spanish creosote all come together for me. The finish turns a little more earthy and that Rioja garrigue comes in to play. This is a nice wine with very precise flavors and a tannin/acid balance. The finish is a little short and that will cost it a point but it’s really enjoyable and I would pair it with pasta, beef stew or grilled garlic chicken. Drink till 2028. 90 points and 5 stars for this $15 Tempranillo. Salut….
I’m concerned for this bottle. The cork was extruded, indicating possible heat damage. The color looks good, dark purple, opaque. The nose is reassuring, sublime. Classic aged Rioja. Oaky, earthy, damson and plum reduction. The palate shows some heat damage unfortunately and is a bit thin.
I will try my best here considering- flavors of ripe fig, blueberry and plum come at me with a noticeable amount of earthiness. The mid palate is very much textbook- bramble, dirt, tart acidity and iodine. The finish is decent in length but has some stewed fruits that I think are from the heat. Nice tannins and some bracing acidity all form up at the end. It’s a shame because it could potentially be a 92 point wine. I paid $40 for this Tempranillo which would have made it a 5 pointer. Salut….
The last one of the tasting was this Tempranillo from Rioja. I have had this wine and thoroughly enjoy it’s rustic , brambly approach. There is leather, anise, licorice, plums and that earthiness that only comes from Spain. It was a hit with some but not all the tasters. One of whom claimed it was the best Rioja she had ever had! I loved it and am going 91 points for this $28 wine- 5 stars. Drink till 2030. Salut….
Moderate shade of purple and nearly opaque. I leaves long, thin legs on the glass. The nose is raspberries, cherry and iodine. On the palate is grips right away with acidity, masking the red fruit salad that I finally get. There’s also a rooibos tea component, calming amongst the flurry of tartness. The mid palate is cutting, this acidity is actually bothering me. It’s too much, without fruit to offset it or much tannic bite to balance it. The finish is more of the same. 86 points. A shame really as it got good reviews . Bottle #2 is much better- less cut, more fruit. Still very tart but I will go with 88 points. For the advertised price of $40, this is a 2 star Tempranillo. Sorry folks, nothing to see here. Salut….
It’s a nice shade of purple, perhaps a bit subdued. On the nose it reeks of Rioja earth, bramble, plum and tar. The palate has a definitive creosote taste that I look forward to in Spanish Tempranillos. Plum, blackcurrants and fig paste all come out on the palate. I get a nice acidity on the mid palate alongside some earthy bramble and violets. The finish is dusty, plummy and dry from the meek tannins that finally show up. They are very well integrated and barely perceptible until the end, well played. Overall this wine leaves me with a delicious aftertaste that I’m enjoying for a good 60 seconds, after having had a mouthful of delicious flavors. I like it, a lot. 92 points from me and 5 stars for this $35 effort. Ps. It got a whopping 97 Decanter points, that’s huge. Drink till 2027 with slow cooked beef ribs, stuffed mushroom caps or a grilled duck breast. Salut….