LCBO Sale Wine of the Week: August 23

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Rioja Bordon Gran Reserva 2007

Sale $21.90, Regular $23.90
Discount (until September 10): $3.00
LCBO #428060 | 750 mL bottle

Tastes like: Savoury, juicy, smoky — this is a sultry little number. Lots of black berry fruit, dried raisins and sweet oak. Supple verging on silky.
Pairs with: Your most exotic fare, from magret de canard to roast quail (or any game bird) to leg of lamb over a smoky fire. Hard cheeses too.
Good for: A dimly lit room with some crackling logs in the fireplace.
Alcohol: 14%
Drink: Now.

Why we're drinking this
It’s a rare treat to have a 10-year- old beautifully aged wine for just a hair over $20. This is a staple at the LCBO and for good reason. It’s hard to beat this value. And no one we’ve served this wine to has been unimpressed. Tempranillo is the main grape at 80%, with 16% Garnacha and a couple points each of the obscure grapes Mazuelo and Graciano. As required for Gran Reserva status, the wine was aged a minimum of 36 months in American white oak. That’s where the deep smoky and vanilla tones come from. All you really need to know is that this is from the Rioja region of northern Spain, it’s old and it’s bloody good.

Tasting note
This is a joy to sniff. Lots of ripe cherry, blackberry, plum and sweet spice and vanilla. Just a hint of smoke and toasted oak, generous but not overwhelming. The savoury quality makes it a great foil to game birds and anything that tastes better with herbal and woody flavours like black tea, olive, thyme and twigs. While this wine is clearly mature — note the garnet rim and paler colour — it’s still loaded with fresh fruit vitality. It should do well for another couple of years in bottle. But it’s drinking very well right now, so why wait?

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Rioja Bordon Gran Reserva 2007

This week's selection by kwäf Taste Bud Dick Snyder