Verdad 2009 Graciano Ibarra-Young (Santa Ynez Valley) – Burnt aromas, tutti-frutti flavors. Are we sure this is graciano? Because it tastes like Purple Nurple (the drink, not the bullying technique). Finishes short and bitter, and ultimately that’s kind of a blessing.
Sin-Ley “Traza” 2007 Rioja (Center-North Spain) – 100% graciano. There are so many styles of and takes on Rioja that it’s hard to say if this “tastes like” Rioja or not. So, on its merits as a red wine of indeterminate origin: it dances, alive and full of energy. There’s spice, light tan minerality, enveloping presence without weight, and a lot of fun red fruit drenched with sunlight. An extraordinary amount of fun, this wine is. (1/11)