2011 Pierce Ranch San Antonio Valley Graciano

SKU #1138404

While California's Central Coast is home to many a "Rhone Ranger," the growers at Pierce Ranch Vineyards are intent on becoming the area's..."Rioja Rangers"? In any case, they've got an intriguing lineup of varietals closely identified with Spain and Portugal, like this Graciano, so rare in California that it's hard for the exploratory wine drinker to pass up. The winery explains the vintage: "Perched in a highland valley at the southern tip of Monterey County, our vineyards, with their wide variation in diurnal temperature and rocky soils, provide an excellent setting for the classic grape varieties of Spain and Portugal. A standout among these is certainly Graciano, a native of Spain's famed Rioja region. Estate grown in the calcareous rock and shale-rich loam of our Home Ranch Vineyard, the 2011 vintage is a medium-bodied wine with dark, rounded fruit and a solid tannic structure. A limited-run bottling, it was fermented in small lots and aged in French oak for 18 months. Blackberry and black cherry combine with hints of shale and thyme."

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Price: $15.99
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Staff Image By: Bryan Brick | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/29/2014 | Send Email
Pierce Ranch is maybe the most interesting vineyard nobody has ever heard of. In the far southern reaches of Monterey County, near Lake San Antonio and the Mission of San Antonio de Padua, the Pierce family planted mostly Spanish and Portuguese varietals over 30 acres at about 1000 feet elevation. After visiting the vineyards back in March with some co-workers from K&L we came back truly impressed with the quality of the vineyards and even more so by the shocking value of the wines. As one of the numerous grapes that are blended into Rioja to give the wines depth, bolster aromatics and add tannic structure. Rarely bottled on its own there the 2011 Pierce Ranch Graciano is really a treat for anyone that is looking for something out side of Cabernet that still offers intensity and power in a red wine. Inky in color and in its dense aromatic structure the nose is worth the price of admission alone. Electric lavender qualities are backed by bright plum and a wealth of pencil shaving notes. On entry this is surprisingly fresh with a ruddy undertone of clay and blood and a wealth of both red and black fruits. A red meat wine if there ever was one.

Staff Image By: Jason Marwedel | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/7/2014 | Send Email
Very few people grow Graciano in California, and even fewer are able to capture the essence of this unique varietal. The folks at Pierce Ranch undoubtedly lead the pack. A lovely nose of dusty dark plum, blood orange and exotic spice, the palate offers medium weight and sappy texture. Gentle acid and tannin frame this wine, making it a unique red that everyone will love!

Additional Information:


Other Red Wines


United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Monterey/Carmel Valley

- These heavily planted regions on either side of the vast Salinas Valley account for much of the mass-produced, commercial wine sold in supermarkets nationwide. In the hills, however, and in sub-AVAs like Chalone and Santa Lucia Highlands, quality is much higher. Pinot noir and chardonnay look to be particularly promising.
Alcohol Content (%): 14.2