100% Graciano from Rioja, Spain.
Available for as low as $8 and widely for around $10.
From the bottle:
“This rare wine is a culmination of many years of hard work and determination. We are finally able to release a wine that is made from Graciano grapes grown in Rioja. Join us in celebrating this unique release and enjoy a glass of this most unusual Rioja.
The Graciano grape has long been fundamental to the wine industry in Rioja. Winemakers depend on it to add a wonderful floral bouquet and complexity to their blends. Rarely has it been used on its own. Several years ago we noticed that our estate grown Graciano vineyards, which surround the town of Alfaro, were capable of producing a wine which exemplifies the best that the grape has to offer. The deep, almost opaque color, the exuberant aromas and luscious flavors of blackberries and cherries tells you this is not a wine to be taken lightly but rather it should be enjoyed to its fullest.
As mentioned on the bottle, Graciano is a fairly common grape in Rioja but it is primarily used in blends. This is due at least in part to its extremely low yields in the vineyard and its susceptibility to mildew — things that make life difficult for wineries that would like to have at least somewhat consistent production from year to year. (You can read more about the Graciano grape here.) This is too bad because an important part of what makes many of those Rioja blends so good is Graciano.
The 2011 Rio Madre Rioja Graciano begins with a really pleasant aroma of blackberry, licorice, cola and a hint of smoke. The aroma is so good you really can’t wait to take your first sip (and then your second and third and…) Tasting this lush, delicious wine reminds me a bit of a big, bold Zinfandel. It features similar flavors as the bouquet with tons of rich fruit and some added wild cherry jolly rancher. A really nice spicy streak builds all the way through the long finish which also highlights some lingering smoky notes. Great Graciano, this is good stuff!
See a listing of local retailers selling this wine here.