Campo de Borja Garnacha 2009


Spain, $12

The convention in reviewing wine is that if you can’t say something nice, then don’t say anything at all. While I see the joy of celebrating the good, sometimes you need a dose of the bad, just so you canappreciate the positives. All of which leads me to this week’s selection—a 89–pointer according to the BC Liquor Board, citing the judges at Wine Access as their source.

The first concern is that a check of Wine Access database shows only an 88 point rating; the bigger concern is trying decipher if they were using the 200 point system. Huge segments of the Spanish wine industry seem to be wanting to join the New World Express in producing extracted and boozy reds that speak of no particular place, and if ever there was a poster child forthis trend it’s this bottle of garnacha—or grenache to you and me.

On the plus side it’s only $12, so they’re keeping it real on the price side. They also don’t bury the wine in oak, another plus. On the downside, it’s the hottest wine I’ve had in ages—the warm, gloopy, tongue–coating liquid seems to be the product of something higher than the 14% alcohol listed on the label. Theresome spice, but it seems out of sync with the thick Fruit Roll–Up–esque swack on the palate. And though this vintage was an award–winner at the Wine Access Value awards in 2011, there’s still plenty on the shelves, which should also tell you something.

I realize cataloguing the shortcoming of a $12 wine isn’t exactly the purview of the fair fighter, but that’s where a lot of consumers try new things—and I hate for someone to think this is what even entry–level Spanish wine is like. Stay tuned for nice things to be said again next week.

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