REVIEW - RIOJA BORDON GRAN RESERVA 2001
Agent: Pure Global Imports Inc.
This little Spanish harlot is actually one of my favorite wines and it seemed only fitting that I rip off the winter bandage with a bottle of it among friends.
So, what is a Gran Reserva you ask? Well, I can tell you. In Bodegas it means that it must be aged for a minimum of 5 years before it’s released. This one in particular spends at least 2 years in oak casks and at least 3 more years in the bottle. How ever the majority of the wood that it sees is actually old oak so it imparts very little of the big, toasty, vanilla extract and stucco that you see with a great deal of other wines that spends the equivalent amount of time in new oak.
Being mostly tempranillio, 80% to be exact, its exceptionally close to its traditional expression even with its blend of 17% Grenache, 2% Mazuelo and 2% Graciano. Lets break it down shall we.
In the Glass; Off the start I noticed that this wine wasn’t the full red like I thought it would be, but it is over 10 years old so its no surprise to see that the bright ruby red I was expecting had faded a fair bit and has some tawny to it
On the Nose; starting off a bit dull but after a quick swirl she came right to life. I had strong ripe and dried fruit off the top with this one, and strong earthy notes as well. Like is said, its very close to the traditional Rioja style and comes with sparks of vanilla and chew tobacco and something that I can only describe as “cowboy-esk”. It’s like woods, and campfire (perhaps because I was drinking it beside a bonfire?), herb garden and wonderful saddle leather notes – the kind of leather that’s well worn. Even though this wine sees an exceptionally long time in oak, but not new oak, my cowboy aromas are just hints and not over the top. An absolutely wonderful integration of oak on the nose of this wine.
On the Pallet; Before we start I would highly recommend decanting this wine; in one of the bottles I had before there was a bit of sediment in the bottle (but not this one luckily enough, cause I didn’t have a decanter with me), but 10 or so minutes with some air really helps wake this girl up. When she’s up, we get spicy black cherry, tobacco, vanilla, and that cowboy quality I was talking about before. But we also get some great sandalwood and minty coolness. With a long but gentle finish this medium to full body wine has a great complexity and you can actually feel it evolve in your mouth.
Food suggestion: Beef or lamb, I had a peppercorn steak and baked potato with it. The peppercorns were a bit much with the wine but they were both really tasty and I pulled through just fine.
Like is said, Rioja Bordon is one of my absolute favorite wine producers. I have yet to be anything other then extremely pleased with all of their products so even I highly recommend that you all go try this wine. Even if Spanish wine isn’t “your thing”.