2012 Rio Madre Rioja Graciano

For a Friday evening meal, there’s little that I enjoy more than this classic ritual: glass of interesting red (okay, maybe glasses), delicious steak from the grill, and crispy salad. Throw in a potato of some kind–it was roasted potato tonight–and you’ve got yourself a veritable feast.

And on this particular Friday, the part of the red was played by the 2012 Rio Madre Rioja Graciano. I don’t remember where we got this red, luscious beauty but it was a good one. Rich, deep red in the glass, and lots of cherry in the taste. Do you get a hint of spice or something in the finish? I can’t place it but pretty sure it’s there and you’ll know it when you taste it too.

I am positive the 2012 Rio Madre Rioja Graciano is my first sampling of a Graciano grape, and it was a great experience. This Graciano is aged for 11 months in French oak, by the way, and that’s probably where some of its subtle flavors are engendered. If the other Rioja wines are as good, then I’ll have something beyond Tempranillo to look forward to from Spain. Some reviewers advocated opening this and allowing it to breath for a full year; it may have set for a mere hour (or less) in our home. Ran through nearly the entire bottle tonight and wish I had another waiting in the wings.