Pretty sure this is my first own-labeled Graciano from California. And from SYV, which kinda blows me away as I FULLY expected my first purely-bottled version to come from Paso: currently king at recoiling from the plague of the missing R in Monastrell. I also expected my cherry to be popped by one of the stalwarts of Paso Robles Rhones… but here we are, stuck with the Lindquist folks–someone you didn’t know made it and least expected it.

I ordered this off a rather comprehensive list (probably the second-largest list in SLOco after Lido) as a means to facilitate my on-going conversations about this fool-hardy notion of *summer reds*. If you followed my stories on IG this week, you understand. In short: on one hand we have the fact you can drink anything you want anytime you want and wine *seasons* are fake made-up blogger-fodder for the 99%. On the other hand, you have influencer-chick touting everything from Paso cab to Lodi zin to Rioja and super-Tuscan and everything in between (#sponsored) as so-called *summer-time reds*. NOWHERE is mentioned anything actually meaningful as a hot-weather-sipper–AND THESE WINES DO NOT EXIST IN SUPERMARKETS. So while I do not subscribe to the notion of limiting yourself to summer-time reds, I DO understand there is a definite category of red wines–I drink them in winter too–we like to call *lighter body* and it was in THIS spirit I scanned this basically CA-exclusive and hipster-free list for juicy, light reds. And come away with THIS one. ALONE.

Transparent ruby, chalky nose, a little bit rubbery and chubby, fruit a fig-newton notion, burnished with Fierce Grape Gatorade and orange sherbet. Clean and nice on the palate, fruit riper than expected, a zig-zag of thin acid watering down the fruit and the fruit standing back up in defiance before succumbing to many more brothers & sisters in tart and I suppose tannin in the finish. Grap-ey and lovely, a core of pitchy vibrance enlightening.

And yes, I drank it with a tiny half-ice-cube stolen from my girlfriend’s cocktail dissipated instantly into it. Because that’s how I roll. And so should you.

2014 VERDAD Graciano Iberra-Young Santa Ynez Valley Santa Barbara Co. 13.0

Get the 2017 here:

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