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Bodegas Bhilar “Lágrimas de Graciano” 2018: Rioja, Spain

Grapes: Graciano

Region/History Notes: While Rioja is vast in its styles, 90% of the wine they produce is red, and of that, 90% is from Tempranillo. Graciano- locally pronounced “grath-ee-AH-no” but you don’t have to lisp it,  is typically blended in small amounts to Tempranillo to add some floral bouquet and structure. It’s rare to find a 100% Graciano, but I don’t understand why- it’s so delicious! Of course, this biodynamic producer can do no wrong in my book and always delivers so much in every bottle.

Tasting Notes: The smell of rotting flowers can be a good thing in wine, and this proves it! Tobacco, mushrooms, and forest floor notes give depth and weight to the intense black cherries and violets that abound on the palate. Rich, mouth-coating, powerfully flavorful, but with an overall softer finish that makes it easy to drink. Such a delightfully interesting wine!