A very good mature Rioja from 1970
There is one great source for traditional, old Rioja in America and that is Mannie Berk of The Rare Wine Co. One of Mannie’s recommendations is the 1970 Bodegas Franco-Españolas, Rioja Bordon Cosecha Especial. Bodegas Franco-Españolas dates back to 1901 when it was founded by Frederique Anglade. The name reflects that fact that the operation was financed with both French and Spanish funds.
Frederique Anglade was a merchant who largely shipped Rioja in bulk back to France for blending. In 1890 he began to mature small amounts of wine for direct sale thus providing a foundation for the winery. By 1905 he was sending 60,000 hectoliters of wine to Spain, Europe, and America as well as producing some 200,000 bottles a year.
According to Jean Read in Wines of the Rioja (1984) no vineyards were owned so both fruit and finished wine were purchased from all over the region. Several different wines were made including this mid level Rioja Bordon which was regarded as “fuller bodied”.
At nearly half a century of age this wine still retains sweet, concentrated flavors of red fruit. The 1970 vintage is an excellent one and it is clearly reflected in this wine. The wine peaks after half an hour with gentle, ethereal flavors, the right amount of acidity, and a bit of grip for substance. The estate was sold off in 1973 so this is one of the last wines released under the original ownership.
1970 Bodegas Franco-Españolas, Rioja Bordon Cosecha Especial
Imported by the Rare Wine Co. There are aromas of sweaty leather, wood, and red fruit. In the mouth are sweet, concentrated flavors of strawberries. Light in body, the sweet red fruit returns in the middle before the dry finish. The wine cleans up a bit with the right amount of acidity, a bit of grip, and a very gentle ethereal sweet flavor in the aftertaste. With air it adds both meat and blood notes. ***(*) Now.