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I've had both red and rose versions of Marcillac, each very attractive in their own right, though the rose in particular was distinctive. Rather powerful for a rose and full of brambly, rusty, lightly peppery red fruit that carries a rustic edge, this is a truly attractive expression of rose perfect for a country picnic. The red versions are quite similar if obviously more intense with flavors based on red fruit, excellent acidity and subtle if slightly wiry and dry tannins all wrapped in dried herb and mineral notes. These are exciting wines that never will win accolades from the pundits, though they often win the dead soldier award, a reference to the first bottle emptied at a dinner or tasting, when they make appearances.

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  • Snooth User: Richard Foxall
    Hand of Snooth
    262583 4,004

    Speaking of off the beaten path grapes from Rioja, the less-well-known Graciano makes really nice reds as well. Usually found in Rioja blends, there are some varietal bottles making their way to the US now. We finished one off last night, from Rio Madre (a label I bet was created just for the US market) and at $10 or so, this is a pleasure-giving bargain.

    May 22, 2013 at 2:18 PM

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