These red wines are produced by Bodegas Franco-Españolas, a winery that was founded in 1890 in Logrono, Spain, in the aftermath of the French wine industry's most devastating incidents - the phylloxera plague. Bordeaux winemakers affected by the plague departed for Spain in search of the country's best soil and climate to continue their winemaking traditions. From the Bordeaux firm "Anglade", Frederick Anglade Saurat and other Spanish partners founded Bodegas Franco-Españolas. The winery name translates in English to "French Spanish Wineries". By 1922, the winery became entirely Spanish-owned. Today, it is owned by Carlos and Rosa Eguizabal, the second generation of the Eguizabal family that has owned the winery.
At Bodegas Franco-Españolas, the philosophy is to age all of its wines longer than legally required. For example, the Gran Reservas are barrel aged for 36 months instead of the minimum legal requirement of 24 months. Furthermore, all barrel ageing at Bodegas Franco-Españolas is done in American oak.
It's interesting to note that Oenologist Carlos Estecha began working with the Eguizabal Group of Companies since 1988 and continues to this day - that's 27 years!
Today, Bodegas Franco-Españolas is one of the oldest and most prestigious wineries in Spain and in 2015 celebrated its 125th Anniversary.
Thank you Eurovintage Wines & Spirits for the opportunity to taste these lovely wines. The latest vintage of the Gran Reserva is widely available at the LCBO, while the Reserva and back vintage Gran Reserva wines may be available for purchase through the agent. Please contact Eurovintage for availability.
Tasting Notes:RIOJA BORDÓN GRAN RESERVA 1982 - DO Rioja, Spain (XD)
Blend of Tempranillo, Graciano, and Mazuelo (a.k.a. Carignan). Medium+ intensity nose showing great complexity with rustic, earthy, tobacco, burnt caramel, old leather, blackberry and some dried herbs aromas. The palate is light-to-medium bodied with tannins fully resolved and flavours consisting of sour cherry and earth notes. Balanced acidity. It's a touch warm with dried herb notes on and the very long finish. Still very well-balanced at this mature age. Drink soon. Interesting to note that the empty bottle was extremely light. Score: 91 pts
RIOJA BORDÓN GRAN RESERVA 1985 - DO Rioja, Spain (XD)
Blend of Tempranillo, Garnacha (a.k.a. Grenache) and Graciano. Medium+ intensity aromas of toasty smoke, wood, dark currant, dark cherry, mulling spice and some raisined notes. Medium bodied on the palate with herbal, coriander, dark fruits and some olive flavours. It has good acidity and a lengthy finish. Will continue to drink well for a number of years. Score: 89 pts
RIOJA BORDÓN GRAN RESERVA 1994 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (XD)
Consisting of 80% Tempranillo, 10% Garnacha, 5% Graciano, and 5% Mazuelo, this has medium-to-high aromas of blackberry, dark cherry, leather, forest floor and well-integrated oak. On the palate, it's medium+ bodied with a chalky spine, fresh acidity and very nice aroma replays. The finish is very long with hints of raspberry. Excellent balance overall. Good tannic structure will allow it to age another 7-8 years. One of my favourites of the tasting. A delight! Score: 91 pts
RIOJA BORDÓN GRAN RESERVA 1995 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (XD)
Same blend as the 1994, this has medium+ intensity aromas of blackberry, earth, raspberry, spice and vanilla. It's medium-to-full bodied with a chalky spine and very good acidity. The aromas echo on the palate along with sour cherry and oak flavours. A touch warm on the lingering finish. Still has life. Score: 89 pts
RIOJA BORDÓN GRAN RESERVA 2001 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#428060) (XD) - $22.95
Blend of 80% Tempranillo, 16% Garnacha, 2% Mazuelo and 2% Graciano. Medium-to-high aromatics with oak notes leading the way followed by dark berries and floral hints. It's full-bodied with nicely balanced flavours of herbal, eucalypt, blackberry, sandalwood, and spice on the palate. Mouth-watering acidity and a very long finish that is slightly hot, but fruit holds it up well. Nicely balanced with plenty of finesse. Drink over the next 10-15 years. My favourite of the tasting. Score: 91 pts
RIOJA BORDÓN GRAN RESERVA 2005 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#428060) (D) - $22.95
Consisting of 80% Tempranillo, 10% Mazuelo, and 10% Graciano, this has a somewhat closed nose but shows ripe fruit, blackberry, sweet vanilla, barnyard and some blue fruit aromas. It's medium-to-full bodied with nice aroma replays, bright acidity and finishing long. Big, full-throttle wine. Doesn't seem to have matured much over the last 10 years. Lay this one down for 5 years and drink over the next 10-15 years. Score: 90 pts
RIOJA BORDÓN GRAN RESERVA 2006 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#428060) (XD) - $22.95
Blend of 80% Tempranillo, 10% Mazuelo and 10% Graciano and features medium+ intensity aromas of pached raspberry, kirsch, blackberry liquer, sandalwood and some earth. It's medium-to-full bodied with aromas echoing on the palate and a chalky spine. Acids are mouth-watering, while the finish is long and warm with floral hints. Will age gracefully for 10 years or more. Score: 91 pts
RIOJA BORDÓN RESERVA 2007 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#194753) (XD) - $19.95
Barnyard, earth, mushroom and sandalwood aromas from the glass. The palate is medium-to-full bodied with bright acidity with blackberry and sandalwood flavours. Chalky tannins. Excellent length on the finish. Better in 4-5 years. Score: 90+ pts
RIOJA BORDÓN RESERVA 2008 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#194753) (XD) - $19.95
The nose somewhat reserved but shows pleasing raspberry, blackberry, sandalwood notes with an earthy streak. It's medium-bodied with nice aroma replays. Still a bit tight, but has juicy acids and a medium-long finish. Score: 89 pts
RIOJA BORDÓN RESERVA 2009 - DOCa Rioja, Spain (#194753) (XD) - $19.95
Medium+ intensity nose led by smoky oak notes with underlying raspberry and blackberry aromas. On the palate, it's medium+ bodied dark and red cherry, blackberry, and subtle oak flavours. It has very good acidity, while the tannins are still very tight, and finish length is medium-to-long. Cellar 2-3 years or decant and serve now. Score: 88 pts