Bodegas Franco Españolas, Rioja Gran Reserva (Spain) “Rioja Bordón” 2005

($25, Vision Wine & Spirits): Astounding to find beautifully matured wine at retail at this price.  This Gran Reserva demonstrates the virtue of cellaring wine…only in this case, Bodegas Franco Españolas did the work and absorbed the expense involved in aging.  Refined and suave like velvet, it conveys a hint of mature, non-fruit flavors without losing any freshness or vivacity.  Those looking for bold flavors of the New World will be disappointed.  But its glossy texture and layers of flavors that caress the palate during a meal are likely to make you a convert to properly aged wines.  It’s appropriate for a special meal with the advantage of having an ordinary price.  I’ve had many older vintages of this wine that are sensational.  Buy this one by the case and savor its pleasure over the coming decade.
93 Michael Apstein Jan 3, 2017