In the Rioja region of Spain, Graciano is known as a traditional, low-yield blending grape for bottlings of Tempranillo, adding color, aromatics and tannin structure. Now that Doug McCrea, a longtime Rhône Ranger, has shifted his focus to Spanish varieties, it’s a natural step for him to begin working with Graciano, which he receives from Phil Cline’s Two Coyote Vineyard in the Rattlesnake Hills. This debut vintage with Graciano, coming from fourth-leaf fruit, offers layers of aromas that hint at blackberry, cola and pomegranate, backed by sassafras, vanilla and mint leaf. McCrea’s winemaking skill shows with this expertly balanced structure of plum, pomegranate and black currant, which enter with jamminess before bright acidity and medium tannins develop a full mouth feel. That texture, combined with a finish of vanilla and black currant, would seem to set the table for an entree of osso buco. These wines are available at the Salida Wine Bar in Yelm and now in the g.Cuneo Cellars tasting room in downtown Walla Walla, and his success with this will be answered with a doubling of production from the 2013 vintage.
Production: 48 cases