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Two Grand Tour Highlights Poured Side By Side

Photo by: Greg Gorman

Posted: May 18, 2009 2:40pm ET

The last leg of Wine Spectator’s Grand Tour was Saturday night in Las Vegas, where there were scores of great wines, and I had the pleasure of meeting many readers and bloggers and sharing favorite wine tips.

In these kinds of walk-around tastings, where it's tough to take detailed notes while socializing (though I admire those who do) , I just make note of standouts. I singled out about 15 extraordinary wines out of about 50 that I tried, but two in particular, poured side-by-side, won the night's honors for me. My colleague Tom Matthews, who covers Spanish wine for Wine Spectator, suggested I give them a try. Great tip.

The first wine, the 2005 Bodega Borsao Campo de Borja Crianza Seleccion, was not only a show-stopper, with its rich, polished layers of Grenache, Merlot and Tempranillo fruit, but also a huge wow for its price, at just $16.

At the adjacent table was my wine of the night, the 2006 Alto Moncayo Garnacha Campo de Borja Aquilon, a wine that's new and not yet reviewed (I guessed it was in the 95-plus range, non-blind, on Saturday night), but again, wow. What great depth, purity of flavor, richness and concentration. Plenty of jazzy new oak, too. The price: $140.

Two great wines, two different prices.

Marissa Ocasio
Connecticut —  May 19, 2009 4:15pm ET
As a student in the WSET Diploma question we have mock questions and this week's was the following (thought I would pose it to you in light of the wines you talk about today):¿Rioja has been overtaken in quality by some emerging Spanish DO regions.¿ Discuss whether the above statement is true illustrating your answer with reference to FIVE Denominaci¿n de Origen regions.
Keir Mccartney
League City,TX —  May 19, 2009 5:08pm ET
The 2005 Borsao is a great QPR but it is now becoming difficult to find the 2005 here in TX and the 2006 is not as good.(IMHO) Borsao also consistantly do a great job with their "Tres Picos" label. It's what Spain does so well.
Marchello Chacchia
Connecticut —  May 19, 2009 8:20pm ET
Spain gets some props- hoorah! Just finished a bottle of the 2007 Borsao Tres Picos- mmm, mmm, good. Tried the 2006 Crianza Seleccion and it was ok. Would really like to try the 2005, but unfortunately can't find it- still looking. Amazing what a vintage can do. I missed the Grand Tour this year ("budget cuts") and regret it still. Glad to hear so many good wines are showing well. Cheers.
Brian Loring
Lompoc, CA —  May 20, 2009 12:35am ET
The Aquilon is KILLER!! Another hit from superstar winemaker Chris Ringland.
Chris A Elerick
Orlando, FL —  May 20, 2009 1:29pm ET
james - alto moncayo garnacha campo de borja veraton 2006 is my favorite wine right now. at $25 it has a knockout nose and a persistent, layered finish. the garnacha campo de borja 2006 (a step up from the veraton) is even bigger and more expressive at $40.

a local boutique wine shop here in orlando has opened my eyes to the delicious options from spain, namely garnacha and monastrell. check out the bodegas el nido jumilla clio 2006 for $46. great when opened, but unbelievable after about 24-48 hours!

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