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….
This blend shows up as very dark purple in the glass. On the nose I get blackberry reduction, charred oak, black tea and blueberries. The palate is sublime- dark fruits intertwined with lush oak, bramble, black tea and fine grained tannins. The mid palate is very satisfying. Gobs of blackberry, lashings of wood, crunchy tannins and juicy acidity all come together. The wine finishes semi dry with good mouthfeel and a medium length serving of those delicious, ripe fruits. Figs also come into play right at the end with the last vestige of gum searing tannins. This is a young wine that can be enjoyed now if you like them very dry. I would drink till 2030 with all sorts of roasted meat, venison in particular. Yummy stuff. 91 points from me and at $26, it get 5 stars. Buy a few for the cellar, it will reward you. Tempranillo 75%, Cab Sav 12%, Shiraz 9%, Merlot 3% and Petit Verdot at 1%.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….
Dark shade of purple with nice legs. Almost opaque. On the nose I get red currant, violets, iodine and plum. On the palate it presents with red and black fruits, a touch of oak and black licorice. The mid palate has some black tea, raspberries and tannins that coat with a tarry taste. The finish is quite tart with some juicy acidity. It gives the mouthfeel some cut to the drying tannins, which peaks on the finish. Black cherry is the final note on this 89 point wine. Drink till 2022. For $7, this Tempranillo is a steal that gets 5 stars. Salut….
The third SplashWine in the lineup is a Merlot from Spain. It’s a dull shade of purple and nearly see through. On the nose I get cherry, raspberry and oregano. On the initial palate it is somewhat sweet with cherry juice, more red fruit melange and tart acid. The mid palate is not so sweet and the proper flavors come around. Raspberries and sour cherry are more like it. The wine finishes quickly, with some red fruit, crunchy tartness and a trace of tannins. 83 points from me and 1 star for this $12 wine. Salut….
It looks very dark and brooding in the glass, the legs barely evident- 13.5% alcohol will do that. On the nose it is spicy with dark cherry, cola and a touch of oak. I also notice a spice box component. On the palate it is a bit abrupt- black cherry, green pepper, iodine and anise all greet me. There’s a frontal wave of tannins that also hit right off the bat, quite dry and relentless. The mid palate is more red cherry meets blackberry, with a nice acidic touch to refresh the palate. The tannins are certainly players here, enveloping my gums and making me pucker. The brooding nature of this wine is evident on the palate now as it finishes with crunchy black berries, that tannic grip and some toasty oak nuances. The finish is quite long. I was not sure what to expect from this wine, it was part of a SplashWine shipment. I did see it for sale at $12 online and it got 83 points from one reviewer. I would guess it’s got some Syrah, Grenache and maybe a touch of Tempranillo. Who knows…. For me it’s decent for everyday, gets 86 points and 3 stars. Drink till 2024 with some Jamon, a steak or pasta. 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….