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Contino Graciano Rioja 2016

Contino Graciano Rioja 2016

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"I sampled two vintages of the Graciano bottling, but only the 2016 Graciano was in bottle, and the 2017 was still in tank. 2016 was a warm and healthy harvest that delivered quantity and quality. It has very good freshness and a fine thread on the palate, with vibrant acidity and an electric sensation. It's dry and leaves a chalky sensation on the palate. The wine had a slightly longer élevage of 26 months, and part of the time was in used barrels. The nose has bright aromas and better integrated oak. It feels varietal, and the acidity feels subtler and folded into the fruit, and the character reminds me of the first vintages of this wine. This should age nicely in bottle. 3,332 bottles were filled in February 2019. Drink: 2019-2019. 94 points

Contino changed winemakers before the 2017, when Jorge Navascués took over from Jesús Madrazo. I have now tasted the first wines from Navascues, and there is a slight change in style. 2017 was the earliest harvest ever, but they didn't suffer from the frost, lack of rain and warm weather. Many of the wines are now bottled in Burgundy bottles, the traditional one in Rioja Alavesa."

Luis Gutierrez, Wine Advocate (243)