In Navarra, in northern Spain, Xabi, Mikel, and Iñaki Sanz Larrea have taken over their family winery and started their own label, Zorzal. By using very little new oak and no additives, they are crafting beautiful expressions of Garnacha as well as Graciano, an indigenous variety usually used as a blending grape. Their Graciano ($11) shows crushed raspberry and earth on the nose; the palate displays berries and medium tannins, and a soft but powerful finish.
Unlike most wines of the region, there is not too much extraction here, meaning the wine doesn’t burst onto your palate like a fruit bomb—but there is still some juiciness. It’s drinkable and affordable and therefore a perfect go-to weeknight option, which is why it’s one of the top-sellers at Lower Manhattan’s Chambers Street Wines. Ariana Rolich, the Spanish buyer there, loves the Graciano and other “new wave” Spanish wines for their approachability. “These aren’t super cool, funky, trendy wines,” she said; rather, they “fly off the shelves,” which is wine retail speak for “good labeling, correct price point, tasty.”