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wine of the week 31/05/2009

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   Campo Aldea (Spain) Rioja Graciano 2005
It is very unusual to find a Rioja made from 100% Graciano, instead of the ususal Tempranillo-based blend. That's partly because the high-quality Graciano is naturally low-yielding unlike the productive Tempranillo. This is is big, gamy and super ripe on the nose with masses of deep, plummy fruit and a great sense of richness. The palate has relatively restrained, lightish mid palate, where the spice of the 24 months in French and American oak comes through strongly, but it delivers a great deal of rich, full fruit that builds in the finish as smooth, silky tannins and good acidity grip. It's terrific that a wine such as this is available on the high street. Available in 200 stores and online, it costs £9.99, Marks & Spencer.