Lágrimas de Bhilar, Graciano

Appellation: DOCa Rioja (subregion: Rioja Alavesa)

Varieties: 100 % Graciano

Harvest and Production: The destemmed grapes are pressed before undergoing fermentation with indigenous yeasts in concrete vats for 6 months, on lees. During this period, malolactic fermentation takes place naturally.

Very few 100% Graciano wines are made, even less frequent are those made in concrete vats (this might be the only one). Produced in a cooler area (Rioja Alavesa), this wine is unique and an exceptional deal.




2022 vintage

  • David Sampedro likes to pick his Graciano before his Tempranillo because “it doesn’t like the sun”. Fermented in concrete before ageing in foudres, it has appealing sage and oregano aromas, lots of acidity, spicy tannins and a green, herbal finish that’s reminiscent of a Maturana Tinta. Drink 2024-29.
    92 pts — Tim Atkin, Rioja Report 2024

2020 vintage

  • The peppery and floral 2020 Lagrimas de Bhilar Graciano is expressive, showy and approachable, with a soft texture and a caressing mouthfeel
    with some fine tannins. A lot more serious than the price suggests. Its 13.5% alcohol and has very good acidity. 10,000 bottles were filled in
    January 2021 after one winter in
    concrete tank. Drink 2022 – 2026.
    91 pts — Luis Gutiérrez, The Wine Advocate (June 2022)
  • Lágrimas sees no wood at all, allowing this cooler climate Graciano to express its forceful personality with no filter, as it were. Sappy, bright and tangy, the result is less chewy than many examples of the grape, showing nuanced tannin management, plum and redcurrant flavours and undertones of dried herbs. Drink 2023-28.
    91 pts — Tim Atkin, Rioja Report 2022

2018 vintage

  • A few weeks later (after my visit and tasting the 2017 on site), I also tasted the just-bottled 2018 Lágrimas de Graciano. It feels like an infusion of thyme and sloes, intensely aromatic and showy, with a juicy palate and round tannins, very pleasant and easy to drink. I love it! Drink 2019 – 2022.
    91 pts — Luis Gutiérrez, The Wine Advocate #243 (June 2019)

2017 vintage

  • The super spicy and peppery 2017 Lágrimas de Graciano is from a year when the grape ripened properly. It fermented in concrete vats with indigenous yeasts and matured in oak vats for six months. It’s a young and juicy Graciano that’s very expressive and open and has fine-grained tannins. Very pleasant and easy to drink. 20,000 bottles. Drink 2019 – 2022.
    90 pts — Luis Gutiérrez, The Wine Advocate #243 (June 2019)

2016 vintage

  • As it was in 2015, this is one of the few reds in David Sampedro’s cellar that is completely destemmed. Made with purchased grapes from three parcels in Laguardia, it’s quite a serious entry point Graciano with no oak, but plenty of sap, spice and berry fruit sweetness. 2018-22.
    90 pts — Tim Atkin, Rioja Report 2018

2015 vintage

  • Destemmed in 2015 because the stalks were too green, but this David Sampedro’s jovial (for Graciano) red is still a fresh, cosechero-style red made without oak ageing and intended for early consumption. Bramble and black cherry flavours are complemented by crunchy acidity. 2017-19.
    91 pts — Tim Atkin, Rioja Report 2017