This Austin Hope Graciano is a beautiful dark red, almost purple color. Aromas of fresh violets, juicy mulberry and a touch of cedar continue through the palate with the addition of light mint nuances and a dash of pepper. On the finish, fine firm tannins integrate nicely creating a robust wine that is incredibly balanced.
2019 was a challenging growing season. Above average rainfall persisted throughout the spring with the last rainfall occurring May 31st. These conditions kept the spring free of frost threats but relatively cool, leading to slow vine growth. The cooler weather also delayed fruit development. The summer months were somewhat erratic with short heat waves followed by cooler periods. These conditions helped the vines and clusters to somewhat catch up. Ultimately, the cooler weather persisted with only a few autumn heat spikes, leading to slower berry maturities and a later harvest. Mid- late October brought overnight freezes which required some harvest mitigation, but by early November harvest was complete and the late harvest resulted in intense color and great tannin structure.
This blend is comprised of 45% Hope Family Vineyard and 50% Paper Street Vineyard (5% of Merlot from another Paso Robles vineyard). The grapes were hand-picked and fermented separately by vineyard block in five-ton, open-top tanks. After daily pump-overs (for color and tannin extraction) for 10 days, the tanks were tasted and analyzed for their tannin and structure to determine the length of extended maceration. The wines of 2019 were held on their skins for an additional 30 days before they were racked into 50% 1-2x used French oak barrels where they aged for 8 months. The Graciano was racked once during its aging before being blended, filtered and bottled in late June of 2020.