Another Great Value from Spain

monteI know I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: no other country beats Spain for great tasting, great value wines.

The wine that’s got me going again is from Bodegas Borsao, a winery that specializes in the Garnacha grape (“Grenache” to the rest of the wine world). They make many spectacular wines such as Borsao (the baby brother — read my review here), and Tres Picos (the muscular uncle). All of Bodega Borsao’s wines are the darlings of wine critics: they share a boatload of “Best Buy” and 90+ ratings from all the Critics Wine Drinkers Really Listen To.

Monte Oton 2009 is made from grapes grown high on the slopes of an extinct volcano in Spain’s Borja region, where a lot of sunshine and a very little rainfall produce grapes with intense, focused flavors. You get the concentration right away with this wine, and much more complexity than you’d expect at this price point.

The nose offers rich berry fruit, with cherry snuggling up to plum and a little spice creeping in on the backside. The palate is full-bodied but mellow, with more ripe cherry and blackberry fruit. Just when you think it’s simple and tooty-fruity, a zingy, wild, peppery note kicks in on the

Monte Oton was a lot of fun to drink, even though I happened to be eating Thai Coconut Chicken with it. Who would think a peppery red would be palatable with creamy hot/sweet coconut curry? I didn’t, but it really worked. In fact, the experience really opened up my thinking on wine and food pairings.

Did I mention that you can pick up a bottle of Monte Oton for around $10. That’s what I mean about Spanish Value. If you want to find more, look for anything from Spain with the imprint of “Jorge Ordonez Selections” on the back label. This importer has put together an absolutely amazing portfolio of wines, from $8 to $100 or more, and I haven’t found a stinker yet. I’m beginning to look at his imprint like a Seal of Approval…


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