Wednesday, March 19, 2008


This wine caught my eye at the Ourglass Wine Shop and was in some side bins under a sign announcing that it is a store favorite, and for $8.99 I couldn’t resist. Like a puppy at the pound, this bottle looked at me and said, “Take me home with you.”

Sometimes I find the back labels useful unless they start to smell 'off', like Marketingese. This back label was helpful. It gave basic information about the blend, the style, the D.O. and the importer.

I’m making spaghetti and meat sauce tonight and I was looking for something different than the 15 or so bottles of Italian that we have. Then I heard the same voice coming from that bottle, “Pick me!” I usually don’t pay attention to voices, (as Taster B will attest to) but this time, I decided. I’m kind of glad I did.

Established in 1980, the guarantee of origin and quality “Campo de Borja” has a wine-producing heritage rich in Garnachas. This wine is skillfully blended with Tempranillo to make a spicy, flavorful wine that makes me think I should start to listen to voices more often. The wines are made as varietals and blended after fermentation. Here’s what’s under the (synthetic) cork.

Bodegas Borsao

Vintage: 2006
D.O. Campo de Borja
Alcohol: 14.0
Price: $8.99

Color: Ruby
Intensity: Rich medium
Aromas: Raspberry, cherry, bell pepper, earth, tar, smoke
Flavors: Boysenberry, cherry, cinnamon, clove, licorice, coffee, chocolate, nutty
Body: Full
Sweetness: Dry
Tannins: Fine and silky
Finish: Moderate

Summary: Wowie-zowie! Intensely fruity, spicy wine with fine textured tannins. The tempranillo lends balance and finesse. This is great wine that I would drink now and for the next two years. It has a big wine taste without heaviness. The finish is smooth and spicy. Yea, I’m buying this one again.

I had this with spaghetti with a lighter sauce, (not my usual full blown Italian). I was Jonesing for some tapas. Some paella, lamb, pork, Moroccan, Lebanese, or fajitas, all would go well with this wine. The label says it can be enjoyed on its own, but I think it is a little too impetuous for that. Enjoy this with food. Taster B didn’t think it went well with chocolate.


Orion Slayer said...

I'm always on the look out for a good Tempranillo. This one sounds like a winner. Have you ever had Negroamora or Primativo with spaghetti? If so, how did you like it?

Taster A said...

I’ve never tried the Negroamora with spaghetti, but I find that Primativo does very well, especially done in an Italian style. Primativo is our good old buddy, Zinfandel of California. It seems that records of Zinfandel go back to California as early as the 1830s, but Primitivo is first recorded in Italy in the 19th century and later than the California records. Well, head scratching by the folks that ponder such problems have genetically identified that Zinfandel and Primitivo are the same grape, in fact they are the Crljenak Kastelanski grape from the Dalmatian Coast. This grape was replaced in its region buy the Plavac Mali. Plavac Mali is a cross pollination of the Crljenak and Dobricic varieties.

How cool is that?

So, I drink Zinfandel with Spaghetti all the time. Primitivo, I would expect being made in an Italian style would be more of the expression of the fruit, not quite over the top with fruit-bombness and oak intervention. You see, the Italians tend to age in used oak, Slovenian oak and other more subtle oak treatments. My experience is that they both are great with Sketty.

Any other feedback out there on comparing Zinfandels and Primitivos? We’d like to read about it!

Orion Slayer said...

Thanks for the cool information on the Primitivo/Zinfandel connection. The Primitivo I has was less like a fruit-bomb than most of the Zinfandels I drink. It seems like the Primitivo would go better with spaghetti.