Gracianna Winery is operated by the Amador family, but not in Amador County. You’ll find this craft operation on the Miracle Mile of Westside Road in Healdsburg, California, part of the Russian River Valley (where all of its grapes are grown or sourced). Today we look at 4 recent releases from this small operation which focuses heavily on pinot noir and zinfandel.
2016 Gracianna Pinot Noir Bacigalupi Vineyard – Quite dense and brambly, with a heavy bill of licorice, smoky fire embers, and some black pepper. Over time a distinct tobacco note comes to the fore, specifically showing a sweet pipe tobacco note, and dusted with hints of tomato leaf, saddle leather, and a smattering of dried herbs. The fruit here is simply underripe, which lets a certain vegetable — though not greenly vegetal — note dominate. B / $54
2017 Gracianna Estate Pinot Noir Mercedes Riverblock – Now we’re starting to hit the ground running with a more representative RRV pinot, a more complex melding of black fruit and wet earth coming together to present a more cohesive experience. The same licorice and tobacco notes are here — along with some pencil lead elements — but with an edge of blueberry jam that gives the wine some needed sweetness. Still, the overall presentation is on the brambly side and, today, still a bit austere. B+ / $68
2018 Gracianna Westside Reserve Pinot Noir – Dense and brambly again, this is a powerhouse of a pinot that exudes notes of licorice, wet leather, and toasted wood, set against a backdrop of intense, extracted black cherry and some plum notes. The finish finds a sweet edge of blackcurrant and showcases a rush of spice and vanilla, though things dry up soon after, showing a touch of a balsamic note. B+ / $76
2016 Gracianna Zinfandel Bacigalupi Vineyard – There’s a lot more chocolate on this otherwise blackberry-heavy zin than I was expecting, as well as a significant, savory quality that comes across like a reduction you’d get on top of your duck breast. A bit wild and groovy, there’s a certain funky quality to the wine that culminates in a weedy, vegetal note on the finish — though notes of vanilla and brown sugar temper that character, to some degree. B / $46