Bodegas Agronavarra Graciano, Agramont | 2021


I love Graciano. My first hard crush on this spice box variety was in 2009 when I travelled to Rioja and tasted a 100% Graciano (made by the extraordinary David Sampedro). It was like a pretty and exotic version of Tempranillo, shattering my glass with its sleek red fruits, bold acidity, and extravagant spices. Typically used as a blending grape in Rioja, Graciano is experiencing a resurgence because it tolerates heat very well. In the modern era of climate change, we’re beginning to see more bottlings where Graciano is no longer the supporting cast, it’s the star.

Agramont Graciano is made by Bodegas Agronavarra, located in the Navarra wine region (to the north and east of Rioja). More influenced by the sea, Navarra is a milder climate, producing wines of considerable weight, fruit, and tannin, evident in this stunning 2021. Aged mostly in used French oak barrels, cedar and dried tobacco outline all the shades of red fruits, followed by cardamom, white pepper, and rose. On the palate, there's an equal match of fruit and earth, livened by a cool acidity. The coolest thing, though, about Graciano is that it rarely produces big wines. With moderate alcohol and fresh zip, try this with a charred tomato pie, white clam, simply bacon, or eggplant deluxe. Remember, it doesn’t have to be Italian wine to be a pizza wine. Just say “Gra-SEE-aan NO!” and forget about it. ~Allegra A

Winemaking style
Try with
Beef Carpaccio with Parmesan and Arugula

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