This is one of the best values we have found in a very
long time. The Graciano grape is very rare in the world. Oz
Clarke’s Encyclopedia of Grapes states that only 1000 acres of
Rioja’s 125,000 acres of vineyards is planted to Graciano vines
although that number continues to rise. It is a difficult grape to
grow. It buds late, is susceptible to mildew and does not yield
a lot of fruit. It also does not enjoy above average summer
heat. It is usually blended with Tempranillo-based wines to
add a floral dimension like Petit Verdot is used in Bordeaux to
add a bit of complexity. Cuné, Artadi and La Rioja Alta make
beautiful majority-based Graciano that sell for around forty
dollars and up. That is what is amazing about this wine by
Bodegas Ilurce’s Escudero family. Their vineyards near the
town of Alfaro produce great fruit and they released this new
label imported by Dedham’s own Spanish wine expert Jorge
Ordoñez. This medium-bodied, licorice and violet scented
wine exudes blackberry and cherry flavors. The clean finish is
bright and assertive. This red over-delivers for the money and
is so cheap we recommend you buy two at a time.
|Wine maker notes
|The grapes are hand-harvested into small baskets to prevent bruising. The bunches are brought to triage tables for selection of only the healthiest, ripest grapes.
The fermentation temperature is between 68°F and 77°F. The long slow maceration enables us to extract great aroma and color potential. The complexity of the wine is enhanced by malolactic fermentation.
|Bodegas y Vinedos Ilurce is a family company founded by grandfather Amador Escudero Perez in 1940, after the Spanish Civil War, when he bought a winery located in Alfaro (La Rioja). But, in fact, the origin is the great grandfather (Juan Escudero) who was cultivating vineyards and making wine in 1850, in a village called Gravalos (La Rioja). In the old winery 3 generations (the grandfather, our father Amador Escudero Abad and us) have been making wines until 2010.
In 1994 our father, Amador Escudero Abad, created the brand ILURCE making young red and rose wines. In 2000, we start to lay down wine in barrels, so the first Ilurce crianza wine (2000 vintage) was born in 2003. In those years, we started to export wines, so we need more facilities and our winery became small.
In 2010, the Escudero Carra family started to make wine in a new winery, just built to develop new projects, new activities, … but without forgetting that the most important is our vineyards and the know-how inherited from our ancestors.