Choosing among the Top 5 is like choosing among your children. But we’ll admit to having a favorite on the Top 5 Spanish Reds because of how many great values that one spot on the list represents. Bodegas Borsao produces no fewer than four terrific values, from the $5 Borsao Viña Borgia to Borsao Tres Picos, which costs three times as much and is worth every penny.
Most of the Borsao reds, imported by Jorge Ordonez Selections, are made from garnacha, the Spanish name for the grenache grape made famous in France’s Rhone Valley (the dominant grape in renowned reds of Châteauneuf-du-Pape). But possibly the best value is the red blend, simply labeled Borsao, which is 80 percent garnacha and 20 percent tempranillo, the signature grape of Spain’s famous Rioja wines. (Oddly, the redesigned label of Borsao Tinto, as it’s also called, included “Garnacha” on the label, though it’s still an 80-20 blend.)
Like all the inexpensive Borsao wines, Borsao Tinto is consistently good year in and year out. You don’t have to worry about what vintage it is if you see it on the shelf. At its typical price of $8 to $10 a bottle, it’s always a great value. But this week it’s on sale at Paul’s of Chevy Chase, which has the 2009 Borsao for just $6.99 a bottle or $79.99 for a case (or $6.66 a bottle). It’s also $6.99 a bottle at Chevy Chase Wine & Spirits ($81.18 for a case) through August 6, so you’ve got a few weeks to stock up.
(See the slideshow for prices around town or compare prices nationwide and find these Borsao wines online or at a wine shop near you.)
After the 2008 vintage was awarded 89 points and the top spot on Wine Enthusiast magazine’s Top 100 Best Buys, the 2009 vintage earned a solid 87 points from Wine Advocate’s Jay Miller and 88 points from Josh Raynolds of Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar.
“A deep purple-color, it offers up a brooding bouquet of spicy black cherry and blackberry fruit with a hint of violets in the background,”wrote Miller in the April 2010 Wine Advocate. “Sweet, long, and layered, this lengthy effort is an excellent value for drinking over the next 3 years.”
“Bright ruby. Sexy aromas of red and dark berry preserves and violet, with a spicy quality gaining strength with air,” agreed Raynold in the Nov/Dec issue of IWC.“Very fresh, juicy raspberry and blackberry flavors gain depth with aeration. Slightly jammy but offers a load of sweet fruit and finishes with good lift and clarity.
“It sounds like a broken record, but this is another remarkable value from Borsao.”
And even though some of our readers won’t get the reference – a skipping CD? a balky iPod? – we don’t mind sounding like a broken record either, saying this is a great red for pairing with summer barbecue or sipping with a slight chill on to take the edge off this obnoxious heat.
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