2010 Sheldon, Graciano, Lodi, California.
Graciano, one of the lesser known Rioja red grapes is a rare find in California, though there are a few plots that provide wonderful grapes to a few winemakers, including the Ripkin Vineyard in Lodi that Sheldon sources for this wonderful and exotic red. Graciano is also know as Tintilla, as found in the remote Canary Islands, where it is a stand alone wine more so than in Rioja where it more often than not is a small part of the blended wine, it also is found in the Sherry region of Spain. The Sheldon’s are convinced that it is best to use it as a single varietal and the results achieved so far are very compelling, as the wine is almost an instant sell out with their mailing list. The 2010 vintage was tiny, only about 50 cases or 2 Barrels were made, and at this time very very few cases remain at the winery, worse is that 2011 doesn’t look like a wine will be made, so I suggest a rush to their tasting room or website to get yours now. The 2010 is full bodied with lovely perfume, silky texture and grapey red fruits while subtle red spices and lavender notes float in the background. This red is graceful and pleasing with old world charm and delicate balance and a long fruity finish.
($42 Est) 92 Points, grapelive