2008 Francos Espanolas Bordon Gran Reserva Rioja
Today's wine is something I stumbled upon rather haphazardly and rightfully so. But the ending to this story is a great one, as we have here in our hands a Gran Reserva Rioja for under $20. Imagine the possibilities?

To be honest, I hadn't heard much about this producer, Francos Espanolas, prior to today. From what I have been told, this a very old estate dating back to the mid 19th century. They have holdings in various parts of Rioja with some whites and a range of Rioja from Crianza to Gran Reserva––the latter needing 8 years of maturity: 4 in oak and 4 in barrel.

The term "traditional" gets thrown around a lot these days with rather precarious insight, but in my opinion, the dichotomy is almost explicit in Rioja. Traditional Rioja generally uses more than just Tempranillo and French oak. Bordon is a blend of 3 of the 4 allotted grapes with Garnacha and Graciano. There is some new French oak but mostly American. These characteristics allow the persistent, old school, earth driven flavors to really shine through and encapsulate what we all know and love about Rioja.

Nose: All the good stuff dancing and swirling about. Pomegranates and naval oranges; tobacco, chocolate, leather and dried plum, The 11 years of age is barely noticeable in which the naval orange concentration is there but not overly abundant.

Palate: Fleshy core of fruit with roaming and prodding spice notes. Middle palate of dried fruit is engaging and charming with a bold finish where it all comes out with a bang!

The experts say this cannot age much longer. This "expert" disagrees. This is not at it's peak and will get better over the next decade. Oh yeah, this is under $20!

2008 Francos Espanolas Bordon Gran Reserva Rioja
Regular Price: $31.99
Sale Price: $19.99
3 Pack Price: $18.99
6 or More: $17.99