Province Running Bulls Merlot Graciano 2005 Tasting Notes
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Province Running Bulls Merlot Graciano 2005 Tasting Notes

Hailing from Navarra in northern Spain, Running Bulls is interesting wine; the producers generate a number of grape combinations, all following organic precepts of viticulture. The 85% Merlot is complemented by 15% Graciano, a traditional Spanish grape (sometimes called Graciana) that we ought to see more of; the Graciano adds both tannins and acidity to the Merlot, melding with that grape in a manner similar to Cabernet Sauvignon, but with its own earthy character.

I like the combination. I find many Merlots boring, not because of the grape, but because of how it is handled, blended, or, in many cases, not blended. Running Bulls does not suffer from this defect. I decanted the wine for three hours. To the eye it is a clear, medium intensity ruby, to the nose and palate it speaks redcurrant and sour cherry. The wine is dry, and the blend results in nice mid-levels of both tannin and acidity.

This wine came my way young, but I can imagine it improving not too long in the bottle: three to five years. The way I see it, Running Bulls qualifies as a serious wine if you put it in a formal environment, with a good steak dinner, for example, but I could also well envision it livening up a festive barbecue come summer (and here I think the Graciano character speaks with force.)


Verdict: A Fine Effort
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Wine has an uncanny two directions to it. It goes in as a liquid and tends to come out in the form of words. How else can we explain the millions of words wine continues to generate?

food writer Elliot Essman James Beard Foundation Journalism Award
James Beard Award Nominee Elliot Essman

food writer Elliot Essman James Beard Foundation Journalism Award

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