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Bodegas Franco-Espanolas Rioja Bordon Crianza 2011

Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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    Winemaker Notes

    Crimson red with ruby hues, this wine displays soft aromas of toasted oak and vanilla. Structured and smooth, it showcases a savory maturity and elegant tannins. There is great balance between fruits and spice in its long and elegant finish.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Bodegas Franco-Espanolas

    Bodegas Franco-Espanolas

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    Bodegas Franco-Espanolas, Spain
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    Bodegas Franco-Espanolas is an incredibly beautiful winery, dating back to the 1890s, in the heart of Logroño, Rioja's largest city. The winery has been wonderfully and thoughtfully restored. 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 -- from the good quality, fresh young wines, to the Reservas and Gran Reservas, to the aged examples (especially an outstanding old white Gran Reserva, one of the best wines I've tasted this year). In short, this is a producer deserving of much greater attention!
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    Highly regarded for distinctive and age-worthy red wines, Rioja is Spain’s most celebrated wine region. Made up of three different sub-regions of varying elevation: Rioja Alta, Rioja Alavesa and Rioja Oriental. Wines are typically a blend of fruit from all three, although specific sub-region (zonas), village (municipios) and vineyard (viñedo singular) wines can now be labeled. Rioja Alta, at the highest elevation, is considered to be the source of the brightest, most elegant fruit, while grapes from the warmer and drier Rioja Oriental produce wines with deep color and higher alcohol, which can add great body and richness to a blend.

    Fresh and fruity Riojas labeled, Joven, (meaning young) see minimal aging before release, but more serious Rioja wines undergo multiple years in oak. Crianza and Reserva styles are aged for one year in oak, and Gran Reserva at least two, but in practice this maturation period is often quite a bit longer—up to about fifteen years.

    Tempranillo provides the backbone of Rioja red wines, adding complex notes of red and black fruit, leather, toast and tobacco, while Garnacha supplies body. In smaller percentages, Graciano and Mazuelo (Carignan) often serve as “seasoning” with additional flavors and aromas. These same varieties are responsible for flavorful dry rosés.

    White wines, typically balancing freshness with complexity, are made mostly from crisp, fresh Viura. Some whites are blends of Viura with aromatic Malvasia, and then barrel fermented and aged to make a more ample, richer style of white.

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    Tempranillo

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    Notoriously food-friendly with soft tannins and a bright acidity, Tempranillo is the star of Spain’s Rioja and Ribera del Duero regions and important throughout most of Spain. Depending on location, it takes on a few synonyms; in Penedès, it is known as Ull de Llebre and in Valdepeñas, goes by Cencibel. Furthermore in Portugal, known as Tinta Roriz, it is a key component both in Port and the dry red wines of the Douro. The New World regions of California, Washington and Oregon have all had success with Tempranillo, producing a ripe, amicable and fruit-dominant style of red.

    In the Glass

    Tempranillo produces medium-weight reds with strawberry and black fruit characteristics and depending on yield, growing conditions and winemaking, can produce hints of spice, toast, leather, tobacco, herb or vanilla.

    Perfect Pairings

    Tempranillo’s modest, fine-grained tannins and good acidity make it extremely food friendly. Pair these with a wide variety of Spanish-inspired dishes—especially grilled lamb chops, a rich chorizo and bean stew or paella.

    Sommelier Secret

    The Spanish take their oak aging requirements very seriously, especially in Rioja. There, a naming system is in place to indicate how much time the wine has spent in both barrel and bottle before release. Rioja labeled Joven (a fresh and fruity style) spends a year or less in oak, whereas Gran Reserva (complex and age-worthy) must be matured for a minimum of two years in oak and three years in bottle before release. Requirements on Crianza and Reserva fall somewhere in between.

    CGM29433_2011 Item# 145373