Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Bodegas Bielsa: A "Natural" From Campo de Borja

Campo de Borja has nearly 20,000 acres planted to vines. The climate—dry with extremes of temperature (over 100° F to 19° F)--tends to produce big-bodied wines high in alcohol. Co-ops dominate, and with notable exceptions (Borsao Reserva, Fagus) tend to produce wines of excellent value but a certain predictability of style. But the “natural” forces are now at work in Campo de Borja, too. Judging from a newly imported garnacha, the new guys are raising the stakes.

Bodegas Bielsa Viñas Viejas 2009: This is 100% Old Vine (45 years and older) Garnacha, organically grown by winemaker Roberto Pérez on Rhone-like large pebbles (galets). Aromas and flavors of licorice, blackberry, strawberry jam, and earth make a full-frontal assault on the senses. I've been tasting a lot of Loire reds lately, and have grown used to parsing subtleties. Not necessary for this! What sets it apart from even the better conventionally produced garnachas from the region is complexity. That jumble of aromas and flavors just keep coming on and evolving in the glass. Although well-disguised, there is also some tannic structure at work here. At $12.50 (Vinsite) this really is a great value. Imported by Farm Wine Imports.

For your amusement: Forbes (Capitalist Tool) thinks the stuff is great, too. (You'll need to click through an ad.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Actually Jose Pastor. Although biased, the 2010 is delicious at the moment. Great summer drinking with a bit of a chill on it. cheers!