Artisans of Barossa Graciano 2016
Graciano’s traditional home is Rioja and Navarra in Spain where it forms a key component of the Tempranillo based Grand Reserva wines, contributing structure, acidity and ageing potential to these superb dry reds from the northern Ebro River valley. It’s a relative newcomer to the Barossa Valley, but a hardy variety that revels in the warm and dry conditions. To date, only a small number of artisan producers are experimenting with Graciano and single varietal offerings are rare. Plantings are sparse and relatively young, but with each new wine released there is growing belief that Graciano is an exceptional and exciting new addition to the Barossa vineyard landscape.
We’re very fortunate to have access to a rare, 10 year old Graciano vineyard in the Light Pass sub-region of the Barossa Valley, planted on ‘terra-rossa’ soils over sub surface limestone. With a decade of experience under their belts, growers Simon and Kendy Cowham now understand how to get the best results from the variety and the vineyard and are producing outstanding quality fruit. The crop was hand harvested in mid March: - 50% of the fruit was destemmed and 50% retained as whole bunch clusters, and then cold soaked for 10 days at 8C before being allowed to naturally warm to start fermentation in a small 1.5 tonne open top fermenter. Hand plunged daily for 20 days before being pressed off to seasoned 300 litre oak barrels for maturation on full press solids for 12 months in oak before being bottled without filtration.