2014 Sheldon, Graciano, California.
If you are looking for an ultra intriguing rare wine that is so cool you’ll think it was from the Cotes du Jura, then you’ll want to experience the Sheldon Wines Graciano, the rare Rioja varietal that is believed in some quarters to be related to Trousseau that is also found in Jerez and more famously known as Tintilla in the Canary Islands! The 2014 Sheldon Graciano is mostly from the limestone soils, below sea level in Ripkin Vineyard near Lodi and with one barrel in the blend coming from Luc’s Vineyard in Sonoma that is set on volcanic soils with loose loam and gravel making for a pale low alcohol red with vibrant spicy flavors and old world leathery earthiness. This unfiltered and slightly cloudy ruby colored red is similar to Arnot-Roberts’ Trousseau, with seductive lightness it comes in at 12.5% alcohol, showing strawberry, rhubarb, cinnamon stick, peppery raspberry and plum as well as a touch of bitter/minty anise, a hint of cedar and chalky stones. A deeper sense of fruit comes through with air, but this is balanced by a forceful savory game/leather accent, finishing with a nice burst of acidity, silken tannin with lingering tart cherry, red peach/blood orange and rose petals. This wine will certainly challenge your palate with it’s delicacy, nervy light to medium body and all the old work funkiness present in the 4 barrel, of which only about 100 cases were made, Graciano, those that like Wind Gap, Broc, Ryme and Cruse wines will love this stuff. I’ve loved this juice for years, and it sells out fast, so I’m thrilled to get some, it’s a real geeky pleasure. Dylan and Tobe Sheldon put out some fun wines from their micro winery, this are very limited offerings so it’s best to get on their list, be sure not to miss this one as well as their The Red Hat Petite Sirah/Cabernet Napa Valley field blend, their new Sonoma Valley wild pergola trained lighter style Cabernet Sauvignon that has a Anjou Rouge quality to it, sold through retail and restaurants as well as www.sheldonwines.com and their value priced Lindsay Blair Hillside Syrah sold through the www.LBWineco.com these are tiny production hand crafted wines with native yeasts and no new oak made to be enjoyed young.
($36 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive

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