Sunday, 31 July 2011

Vinifera Graciano 2008 Mudgee, NSW

I do actually drink and sample wines from all over, but here's another wine of interest from Mudgee!  In my defense, it is a little bit exotic...

Graciano hails from Spain calling the Rioja region home, therefore perhaps this wine is a little Latin flavoured. This example is interesting as the variety is still a relative rarity in Australia, and this is the only example from Mudgee.

The wine, probably quite enjoyable with a few
pages of The Adventures of Augie March...

The wine is light Garnet with good clarity. Nose is of floral notes, citrus and spice flowing through to a shellac, leather and a wood dust note. Although the wine is light to medium on the palate, this is deceptive as there is considerable depth. Initial sweet fruit gives way to sour cherry, cumquat and a hint of anise/musk. There's a good savoury character coming through to back the fruit in a leathery wood note. Good acidity keeps thing nice and tight, without being overbearing. Tannins were quite fine. Overall it probably finishes a little short, but there seems to be a lot of potential here, and I think it could age gracefully, if you are into a number score I'd say about 89+.

This wine is exciting for a few reasons, not least of which is the relative rarity here of the variety. Intriguingly, the grape is noted for somewhat harsh tannins, but in this case as a varietal wine the producer seems to have tamed this. I'm unsure of the vinification process used in this instance, but it has successfully overcome any issue in this regard.   (The grape is often blended with Tempranillo and Grenache, giving tannic backbone and color to the wine.)  The flavour profile is also a welcome change from many of the usual suspects; I certainly enjoyed the duality of this wine with it's seeming opposites of sweet fruit and floral citrus notes set against the savoury leather, sour cherry and firm acidity. Tempranillo (another Spaniard) is enjoying a wave of popularity at the moment, I think this grape in Australian conditions could be as good, if not better.

If you want to check out this producer:

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