I am very grateful to have been invited out a couple of weeks ago to the beautiful vineyards and future site for the new tasting room of Gracianna Winery in the heart of the Russian River Valley. The winery tasting room is started and expected to be completed in April of next year. The Amador family is very close knit and very inspiring to me, building their dream of a family owned and operating winery. When I arrived out to their vineyards that afternoon I was greeted by Trini Amador IV winemaker and one of the family owners and his sister Ashley Amador, another family owner. Trini and Ashley Amador were so kind and so full of passion that it radiated off them and was so contagious. Instantly making me feel as if I was part of the family. Both were extremely excited to share their Gracianna wines and story with me. The name Gracianna comes from an Amador family grandmother, Gracianna Lasaga. The present on the wines label symbolizes their gift of giving to family and friends old and new and bringing everyone together in celebration. Their bottles of wine are their family gifts to share with everyone. Trini Amador knew at a very young age that he wanted to make wine. He was caught by his parents at the age of sixteen trying to make wine in family garage. Today Trini Amador IV makes three great varietals all from the Russian River Valley. Gracianna wines are all unfined and unfiltered.
I first tasted their 2010 Chardonnay. A 100% Russian River Valley, barreled in 100% French Oak. This Chardonnay had great aromas of citrus, lemon, and grass. First tasting crisp light pear, grass, and finishing with a lemon, vanilla cream. The finish is the biggest part to this Chardonnay and my favorite part. Gracianna 2010 Chardonnay is not over powered with oak, still tasting lots of fruit on the palate. This is a very nice Chardonnay taking “Best of Class” at the 2011 Sonoma County Fair. $34.00 a bottle.
Their second wine I tasted that day was my favorite one, 2009 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir. A 100% Pinot Noir grapes from the Bacigaulpi Vineyard, barreled in French Oak for eleven months. This is definitely a true Russian River Valley Pinot Noir, full bodied, complex, with huge structure. My kind of Pinot Noir. Gracianna’s 2009 Pinot Noir has aromas cherry, mushroom, and musty earth. First tasting red cherry, spice, and light licorice, finishing with that Russian River mushroom forest floor. A very robust yet smooth, well balanced Pinot Noir, taking a gold metal at the 2011 Sonoma County Harvest Fair. $48.00 a bottle.
Lastly I tasted the Gracianna 2009 Russian River Zinfandel. This Zinfandel is a blend of 95% Zinfandel and 5% Petit Syrah, again coming from the Bacigaulpi Vineyards in the Russian River Valley. This wine is aged in both French and American Oak for 11 months. Gracianna’s Zinfandel has huge aromas of dark berries and light must. A very big and bold wine tasting of blackberries and spice. As this wine opened up it became much more softer and silkier to the palate. $42.00 a bottle.
Again I want to thank Trini and Ashley Amador for sharing their wines and a great afternoon out at their Vineyard. Also I want to thank Trini Amador III and Lisa. I can’t wait to make another visit next year to see the completed tasting room.