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Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard’s Graciano 2012

Jeff Emery’s Quinta Cruz label showcases grapes of the Iberian Peninsula

“Graciano is a Spanish grape that is grown primarily in Rioja and is very rare in the New World,” says Jeff Emery, owner of Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard.

“It is a low-yielding, aromatic and intensely flavored variety that typically provides a deep core of fruit and structure to blends. Our Graciano exhibits tremendous blueberry fruit surrounded by a zesty spiciness.”

Made under his Quinta Cruz label, which Emery created to showcase wines from the Iberian Peninsula, this CCOF organically grown 100 percent Graciano 2012 ($28) is a delightful red wine treat. Emery says that even in Spain, Graciano is rarely bottled as a single varietal, so it’s fortunate we have winemakers like Emery who always go the extra mile to capture the essence of a certain grape in a bottle.

The Graciano grapes came from Bokisch Vineyard in the Sacramento Valley, where Markus Bokisch, who has Spanish ancestors, grows climate-appropriate fruit. Crammed with intense black fruits, red cherries and red plums, you’ll think you’re in Madrid on your first sip. So, take the bull by the horns, as the Spanish do, and try some of this delicioso dry wine.

Emery will be at the annual Santa Cruz Cancer Benefit Group’s fundraiser Gourmet Grazing on the Green on Oct. 6 in Aptos Village Park with his Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard wine—kudos to him for supporting this worthy cause.

Emery’s wines can be found all over, including at New Leaf, Deer Park Wine & Spirits and other local markets.

Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard and Quinta Cruz, 334 Ingalls St., Santa Cruz, 426-6209. santacruzmountainvineyard.com.

Info About Corks from Pelican Ranch

Did you know that up to 10 percent of wines closed with a cork can suffer from a defect called “cork taint?”

These unpleasant aromas, often described as moldy, musty and more, will ruin the character of a well-made wine, says Pelican Ranch Winery in Capitola, which often hosts educational gatherings—usually served up with their excellent wines and some delicious treats. You can find out about upcoming events by going to their website and signing up.

Visit pelicanranch.com.

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