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Paxton Winery - Graciano 2020

Price: $29.00

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Producer Paxton Winery
Country Australia
Region South Australia
Subregion McLaren Vale
Varietal Graciano
Vintage 2020
Sku 011345
ABV 14.00%
 Biodynamic Grown Organically 

David Paxton founded Paxton Vineyards in 1979. Over the past forty-two years, he has earned a reputation as one of Australia’s most innovative and adventurous viticulturalists, as well as a pioneer and leader in the country’s embrace of organic and biodynamic farming. Starting in 2005, at the encouragement of his son Ben, David converted one vineyard to biodynamic farming. Within six months, he was so impressed by the results that he converted all his vineyards to biodynamics, with over 200 acres becoming certified organic and biodynamic in 2011. David calls his farming approach “back to the future”: It involves combining traditional, hands-on vineyard management with tools afforded by modern technology. In addition to Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon, Paxton features an impressive array of alternative varietals such as Pinot Gris, Grenache, Tempranillo and Graciano. In the winery, all wines are crafted with minimal additions and low to no sulfur. The winemaking team pays particular attention to the use of oak, working to reduce the influence of wood and instead use barrels that highlight the quality of fruit and the vineyard. The results are wine of purity and finesse that speak to the beauty of McLaren Vale's terroir. 

In 2011, as an experiment, David Paxton grafted over 3 acres of Chardonnay to Graciano in his Thomas Block Vineyard and he was so pleased with the results that he planted another 2.5 acres. Traditionally, Graciano is one of the blending grapes of Rioja, primarily used as a partner in Gran Reserva wines to add color, aroma and flavor to the final blend. It is seldom produced as a varietal wine in Rioja, though examples do exist. Paxton's 2020 Graciano pours a medium purple in the glass with ruby highlights and garnet rim. The nose is wonderfully expressive with notes of fresh blackberries, blueberries, cherries and plums, intermingled with notes of pepper, purple flowers and spice. On the palate, the wine is medium bodied with fine, svelte tannins and a wonderfully round mouthfeel that provides an excellent balance to the bright, refreshing acidity. Concentrated flavors of dark berry and stone fruits are complemented by a note of savory anise and a touch of oak to add complexity. The finish is energizing, elegant and persistent; lip-smacking and refreshing, alluring and intriguing, sending a clarion call to the senses to return to the glass for more. If you were to place this wine in a lineup of Gracianos from Rioja, I doubt you could single it out as Australian: in fact, I would not be surprised if it was selected as the best wine of the group! 

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