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10.29.2004

2003 Borsao "Primizia" Grenache, Campo De Borja, Spain

I like to keep it real here. The last couple of weeks has seen me drinking some pretty expensive stuff, to the point that people are sending me e-mails asking me for charitable donations. Not really. But the last thing I want this blog to become is a journal of great wines that most people can't afford. With that in mind I bring you probably the single best supermarket wine available in the States today and unarguably one of the best global wine values anywhere. I've been buying this stuff by the twos and threes in my local grocery store for the last year or so, and frankly should have just gotten a subscription of it, one bottle delivered every two weeks forever. Cheaper than cable and a heck of a lot more enjoyable.

Bodegas Borsao is located in the town of Borja, a small village surrounded by hills and rivers about 30 miles outside of Zaragosa, Spain. For those less familiar with Spanish geography, Zaragosa is located in the north central part of Spain. The D.O. appellation Campo de Borja is very close to Rioja and borders the southeast corner of the Navarra D.O. region.

Bodegas Borsao was founded in 1958. Its vineyards, planted primarily with Grenache, Tempranillo, and Cabernet, sit between the mountains behind the town and the local river Ebro at an elevation of approximately 1200 feet. While it has been around for a while, a recent modernization coupled with a gigantic marketing push into the US and the UK has put Borsao on the map, as well as into the limelight. To wit, Robert Parker recently described them as "one of the world's greatest value-priced wineries."

This wine is 100% Grenache and is fermented in steel. it is a young wine and fully expressive of all that the varietal has to offer. For those unfamiliar with the varietal it's a great introduction and likely to taste like nothing you've ever had before.

Tasting Notes:
The wine is a lustrous medium garnet color in the glass with a highly perfumed nose containing aromas of violets, strawberries, blackberries, and white pepper. In the mouth it has a great acidity and delivers flavors mostly dominated bight a bright tart raspberry, with little or no tannins, tapering towards a satisfying finish that has some floral elements.

Food Pairing:
This is an excellent food wine -- the acid levels will go wonderfully with a lot of cuisine from light to hearty, especially all things spicy. Try them with pork picadillo empanadas and chipotle salsa.

Overall Score: 8.5/9

How Much?: $7.99

This wine is everywhere these days, and will most likely be found at your local grocery store. If the big chains don't have it, then check someplace a little more upscale like a Whole Foods or Andronicos, etc. There are zillions of places to buy it online, too, of course.

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The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson Wine Grapes The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson to cork or not to cork by George Taber reading between the vines by Terry Theise adventures on the wine route by Kermit Lynch Love By the Glass by Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher Noble Rot by William Echikson The Science of Wine by Jamie Goode The Judgement of Paris by George Taber The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil The Botanist and the Vintner by Christy Campbell The Emperor of Wine by Elin McCoy The Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud