To be honest, I feel like a review of “current vintage” Gran Ricardo is premature. Everything about this bottle – thick glass, waxed over cork, deep punt – screams “take me seriously!” and “give me time,” but I also think it’s fair to treat this wine with the immediacy expected by consumers.

One of the more traditional blends produced in the Valle, the Gran Ricardo is arguably also one of the best-known prestige bottlings. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Petit Verdot, this herbaceous, dusty, Mercurial presentation showcases a graphitic minerality not often associated with Mexican wines. New French Oak is a recent hallmark of top bottlings from the Valle de Guadalupe, and is no stranger here, but the cedar and spice add a rustic edge to Gran Ricardo, keeping it complex and subdued at once.

Full-bodied but not jammy, I am intrigued with the generous blackberry, plummy fruit and savory green herb notes of the wine. The current vintage is rocky and structure-heavy, which makes me curious to see older vintages, as this wine has staying power. Still showy a day after being opened, this is an easy pairing for the spectacular pasture-raised, local grass-fed beef of Baja, or for richer, gamier meats as well. The Valle de Guadalupe is known for unconventional blends, but the quality of Gran Ricardo is a testament to both the time-honored Bordeaux blend of grapes, the terroir of the region, and the quality of Monte Xanic’s winemaking capabilities.


Molly Brooks Advanced Sommelier WSET Level III