Spanish wine consumers have an advantage over their American counterparts.
Wine cooperatives in Spain churn out enormous amounts of wine every year, mostly for average consumers.
One of these is Borsao near the Campo de Borja, with vineyards that climb up limestone and iron-rich slopes to altitudes of about 2,000 feet. The plantings here can be more than 100 years old, mostly garnacha and tempranillo, and because of the age of the vines, the yields are very small and tremendously concentrated.
Because it has access to plenty of fantastic fruit that other wineries around the world can only dream about, Borsao can create this Reserva Seleccion. The wine shows beautifully now at a relatively mature state in its life. It also has the potential to be a bargain in the U.S. market.
In the glass, this Borsao blended wine is a deep, dark crimson-red color with a solid opaque, blood-red core going out into a dark garnet-red rim definition with high viscosity.
On the nose, there are upfront pungent, spicy crushed black and red plums with a slightly reductive character, blackberry liqueur, pomegranate juice, sandalwood, exotic spices, herb references, cherry sorbet and earthy minerals.
On the palate, there are concentrated and extracted freshly crushed cherries, currants, brambleberries, mulberry sauce and huckleberry coulis, followed by a well-rounded midpalate with excellent tannin structure and a good long finish with hints of pomegranate juice and spicy figs. It lingers for awhile and gives the impression that it is a well-made wine that has good aging potential.
You should open this bottle about one hour before consumption. Borsao will drink well through 2008, and should be paired with a peppercorn crusted fillet of beef grilled medium-rare.
Wine: Borsao Reserva Seleccion
Grape: Garnacha (50 percent), tempranillo (25 percent), cabernet sauvignon (25 percent)
Region: Campo de Borja, Central Spain
Gil Lempert-Schwarz's wine column appears Wednesdays. Write him at P.O. Box 50749, Henderson, NV 89016-0749, or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.