2006 Contino Graciano Rioja (Previously $120)
Wine & Spirits
Jésus Madrazo makes this wine from a nine-acre plot, a masal selection his father planted in the 1980s. This wine's deep black currant scent shows off its fruit while the flavor blends that fruit into an earthiness focused on terroir rather than varietal character. It feels powerful, balanced and complete, with the dynamic energy of a great Rioja red. For setas al ajillo or braised tripe.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Inky ruby. Wild, highly perfumed bouquet evokes cassis, boysenberry, vanilla, licorice and incense, plus a floral quality that gains volume with air. At once weighty and energetic, offering sweet, palate-staining dark fruit flavors and a seamless texture. Turns spicier as it sits in the glass, picking up notes of anise and cracked pepper. The pungent finish leaves sweet floral and dark fruit notes behind, along with a zesty touch of spicecake. Raised in a combination of French, Hungarian and American oak, all new. (JR)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2006 Contino Graciano (100%) spent 13 months in French and Hungarian oak. Dark ruby-colored, it has an exceptionally spicy bouquet along with sandalwood, graphite, damp earth, and black cherry. A bit tightly wound on the palate, its elegant personality is able to poke through along with plenty of layered, savory fruit. Give this well-balanced, lengthy wine another 5-7 years of cellaring and drink it from 2015 to 2026. (JM)
This is my favorite Contino wine. It is the benchmark Graciano from Rioja, and a wine that has inspired so many others to try their hand at making a wine from this finicky grape. Typically the vivid, high-toned blue and purple fruits which Graciano brings to the finished wine play an important role in the aromatic and flavor profile of Contino's wines. To savor this Graciano on its own, though, is a wine drinking experience not to be missed, particularly for Rioja afficionados. A classic, Contino Graciano typically drinks well young and benefits nicely from bottle age. In 1973, Contino was founded and became the first of first of the new wave of single-vineyard Rioja estates. Today, winemaker Jesús Madrazo makes some of Rioja's finest wines, polished and comparably modern, but with a sense of balance and restraint that gives them amazing elegance and great longevity. Simply put, this is modern Rioja executed perfectly. (Joe Manekin, K&L Spanish Wine Buyer)