Archive for category Wine of the Week
2011 Bodegas Borsao Tinto Selection
Spain > Aragon > Campo de Borja
Where Purchased: Liquor Barn ($8). Also spotted at Corner Wines
When I hear critics screaming amazing things about a certain wine, I generally tend to stay away. Why? Because the process is fairly predictable: critics go stark-raving-mad over a particular wine and say great things about it. The public gobbles it up and the wine sells out. Faced with such high demand, the winery cranks out as much as they can – dollar signs in their eyes. Eventually wine quality goes down the toilet.
Thankfully, that has not been the case with this wine.
My intent was to leave this wine alone. But when it started showing up everywhere – wine stores in several cities, restaurants in several places, my best friend’s cellar – I decided to give it a shot. I’m glad I did.
Up until just a few years ago nobody had heard of Campo de Borja, the tiny region in northwest Spain where this wine is produced. Then some wine critics came along and said a few nice things, making sure to mention what a tremendous value these wines are. Suddenly, boom, people started tripping over themselves to find Campo de Borja wines. Primarily known for producing Garnacha (known as Grenache elsewhere), Campo de Borja has only been formally classified as a wine region since 1980 – practically yesterday by European wine standards.
Bodegas Borsao is one of the largest producers in the region. Independently owned since 1958, 80% of their wine is exported, primarily to the US and other European nations, and wine critics in those regions have returned the favor by adorning their wines with praise.
I cannot disagree with them. For $8, this wine is simply delicious. Dry, fruity, and full-bodied, I could drink this one all day. It pairs well with a variety of foods, but is good just for sipping too. Serve this at a party and your friends will swear you paid a lot more for it!
This is a great summer wine. Perfect for your cookouts, or just sipping on the porch, this wine will pair well with beef dishes or anything off the grill. It might be too strong for fish, unless it’s strongly seasoned.
Blend of 85% Garnache, 15% Tempranillo. 14% Alcohol. Drink within 3 years.
Wine of the Week is a new idea I’m trying out. Each week I’ll share with you a reasonably priced gem that I’ve found among the thousands of wines available at Kentucky’s wine retailers. The only requirement of these wines is that they are well-made, reasonably priced, and tasty! Let me know what you think.
2010 M. Chapoutier Marius White
France > Languedoc Roussillon > Vin de Pays d’Oc
Purchaed From: Liquor Barn ($12) – also spotted at WineStyles and Corner Wine
The words “inexpensive” and “France” aren’t often found found together in the wine world. Even when they are, the guidance of a wine pro is almost a necessity as so many of the value-priced wines exported from France are… well…. crap.
Having said that, let me introduce you to Marius. A two-year-old value brand made by one of the Rhone Valley’s best, and most outspoken winemakers, Michel Chapoutier. The wines of Chapoutier often command price tags in excess of $100, but in honor of his grandfather, he decided to launch the Marius line of more affordable line of wines, after whom they are named.
The Marius white was incredibly enjoyable. It had a clear straw yellow color, with aromas of apples, peaches and hints of citrus. It was slightly dry, but not too acidic, a little flinty, and I swear I tasted caramelized apples. The finish was very clean and refreshing, with more of the apple notes and even a bit of cinnamon. It was well-balanced, with the tannin a little more pronounced on the finish. If you like Sauvignon Blanc or dry Rieslings, you’ll really enjoy this one.
Food: We drank this with Cajun-seasoned chicken, green beans and a basic green salad and it worked pretty well. This would also be great with seafood or cream-based dishes.
The wine is a blend of Vermentino (more commonly found in Italy) and Terret (a popular French grape, often used to make Vermouth). While the Pays d’Oc region of France, where this wine is produced, is known for inexpensive French table wines, the Marius is of unusually good quality. Alcohol: 12.5%