Campo de Borja is considered the ‘Empire of Garnacha’ – the most prevalent grape in the region, which thrives here. Borsao have years of experience crafting ripe and appealing wines from this gorgeous yet lesser-known grape, which although a major component of some of the world’s most famous wines, such as Rioja and Chateauneuf du Pape is rarely given the recognition it deserves as a single varietal.
Grown in the harsh Northern Spanish climate where hot dry days and cool nights are accompanied by the Cierzo wind from the Moncayo which sweeps across the foothills of the mountain. This cold, dry wind reduces humidity levels and allows grapes to be picked a couple of weeks later in the harvest, meaning full maturity is reached while freshness remains. Altitude also helps here with vineyards ranging from around 350m to 800m above sea level. At lower altitudes vines are younger and may require some irrigation, but higher up the slopes the vines are older, unirrigated bush vines.
The winery was established as a co-operative in 1959. In 2001 it joined with two other progressive, co-operative, cellars in the Campo de Borja region to become the Bodegas Borsao that we know today. These co-operative members really know their stuff, often with generations of grape growing experience in the families. Grapes are sourced from over 375 member growers covering 2,400 hectares. Their access to such a large number of vineyard plots is what makes Borsao so special with their wines winning a multitude of awards. They are as recognised for their entry level varietals – as outstanding examples of easy-to-drink inexpensive wines – as they are for their premium wines.
Sustainability is a big focus here too. Water usage is minimised and planting methods are selected based on encouraging biodiversity in the vineyards. In addition to this their brand-new cellar is designed in a way that will minimise energy consumption and since 2020 they have held the Eco-Prowine certification which measures their attempts to reduce their water, energy and economic footprint.
A soft and juicy Garnacha full of vibrant notes of black berry, black cherry and plum with a hint of spice. Tannins are noticeable here giving the wine structure, as is a little acidity helps make it such a fresh and bright red wine.
A perfect match to chorizo with chickpeas (as recommended by Sommelier Wine Awards judge Martin Lam), chicken enchilada or the classic Spanish Pinchos Morunos (check out the recipe below).