Bodegas Franco-Españolas "Bordón" Rioja Gran Reserva 2008
Bodegas Franco-Españolas is an incredibly beautiful winery, dating back to the 1890s, in the heart of Logroño, Rioja's largest city. The winemaker, Carlos Estecha, who has been making the wines for 24 years -- and who also serves as the winemaker for Franco-Española's sister winery, Federico Paternina -- is an accomplished artist as well as a winemaker, and a fascinating person to listen to. And the wines are exceptional.
This is a blend of 80% Tempranillo, 10% Garnacha, 5% Mazuelo, 5% Graciano with 3 years of age in American oak followed by another 3 years in the winery to harmonize before release. This silky red offers flavors of dried plum, tobacco, orange peel and balsamic that mingle over light tannins in a polished texture. Generous yet focused. Benefits from some time in a decanter - an hour or so if you can manage it. Nicely paired with medium-rare steaks, sirloin, or even something covered in Béarnaise sauce.