Thursday, December 10, 2009


Ijalba, Graciano, Rioja, 2005.

I just couldn't figure out what this wine was. I tasted it blind of course and it had moderate acid, moderate to low tannin, was super fruity, like jammy strawberry and raspberry fruit and the color super dark. And so I thought maybe Grenache - but where would Grenache like that be from in the Old World? Priorat? But it didn't have the alcohol of Priorat.

I got frustrated, Peter said, just guess the region, not the grape and I said, how in the hell can I guess the region without knowing the grape? And the winemaking didn't help either. No oak, all tank, making it primary fruit central, so it could be from anywhere! Finally I settled on Grenache / Syrah blend from Languedoc.

Regardless it was lovely little wine, perfect for holiday cheer (it looks like it's been gift wrapped already) and I shouldn't hold my failures at blind tasting against it.

Domaine LA around $20.


Cabfrancophile said...

Cool find, I have a varietal Graciano to try soon as well to satisfy my curiosity. For some reason I thought Graciano was to Rioja what Petit Verdot is to Bordeaux, a small structural blending component. Sounds less structural and more quaffable, though.

Amy said...

Very quaffable, easy-drinking! Graciano is definitely a blending variety, rare to find it as a monocepage. This is the first one I have ever had...

Robert (@thirstforrioja) said...

This is not really typical of Graciano, it does tend to be more tannic and acidic. Very tough to guess blind and this wine (esp with no oak) not exactly typical and easy to guess.

Best 'classic' examples of Graciano will be from Bodegas Contino or Dinastia Vivanco, though not much about!

Jill said...

I would say it would be impossible to get this right in a blind tasting...doesn't fit either the modern or traditional Rioja mold really. Don't beat yourself up :)