|Bodegas Franco Espanolas Rioja Bordon Reserva|
Many people know that red wines are a great match for beef, lamb, pasta and game, but they are equally enjoyable when sipped with chocolate. With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, you might want to add a little something extra to that box of chocolates by uncorking a bottle of "vino tinto" as the Spanish call it as an accompaniment.
Two wines that recently crossed my path seem a good fit not only the for traditional red wine mates but for chocolate as well. Bodegas Franco Espanolas Rioja Bordon Reserva may seem a mouthful to say but it goes down with a soft and rich texture that’s long on the palate and robust enough to stand up to chocolate.
A blend of 80% Tempranillo, 15% Garnacha and 5% Moscato, the Rioja Bordon is a dark ruby red color with a touch of spice, balsamic and black pepper on the nose. The most famous of Spain’s native grapes, Tempranillo, although full-bodied, has an almost neutral profile. Hence the need for blending it with grapes such as Garnacha (Grenache in French) and, in this case, Moscato.
Produced in the Rioja district of northeastern Spain, the Bordon Reserva is aged two years in American oak, then matured in the bottle an additional two years. In a recent tasting I caught aromas like black raspberry, cherry, minerality, leather with a touch of cedar. Suggested retail price: $15.
|2010 Jacopo Biondi Santi Braccale|
Hailing from Tuscany, Italy, the 2010 Jacopo Biondi Santi Braccale is a fruit forward red with a dark burgundy color and an initial burst of intense berry and cherry flavors that linger with a spice-driven finish. The wine is a blend of nicely balanced 80% Sangiovese Grosso (80%) and Merlot (20%) grapes.
This medium bodied wine goes well with pastas, cheese, red meats and chocolate and, while it can be drunk right now, will mature even more with age. The alcohol content is 13%, and the Wine Advocate gives it a score of 88 points. The Braccale is available in Pennsylvania for $18.99.