The Garnacha empire
In a relatively short time, Bodegas Borsao has gone from being one of the examples of the wine growing stagnation of some Aragonese cooperatives, to being among the best examples of a company with an intelligent renovation. Although Bodegas Borsao, founded in 1958, is still a cooperative with more than 400 members who cultivate and control more than 1,500 hectares of vineyard,the new wines not only brought a breath of fresh air to Campo de Borja, but they also meant a new beginning for many other Aragonese wines: modernity.
More about Borsao
To understand the evolution of Bodegas Borsao we must go back to the Monastery of Veruela, whose monks had an essential role in the development of vine cultivation and in the way wines were made.
Thanks to this tradition, in the 19th century private wineries were established in the surroundings of Veruela. They started to emerge in the 50s, due to economic difficulties, when small groups of farmers got together to form cooperatives, which currently comprise the most part of D.O. Campo de Borja.
This is why the origins of this winery date back to 1958, when the winery was bought from a private owner and the Cooperative of Borja and the original brand of Borsao were founded. However, it was not until 1981 when the first bottles were marketed, and in 1991 the first exports were carried out.
Some years later, the cooperatives of Pozuelo and Tabuenca joined the Cooperative of Borja, providing their human resources and, most importantly, their vineyards, mainly of Grenache, which are nowadays the biggest assets of the winery.
Bodegas Borsao is closely linked to Bodega Alto Moncayo, a small winery that was created in 2002 by Jorge Ordóñez, a renown importer of Spanish wines in the United States, and by several national and foreign partners, such as oenologist Chris Ringland and Bodegas Borsao. Currently, José Miguel Sanmartín is the director and manager of this winery and also of Bodegas Borsao, one of the partners of Alto Moncayo.
History of the winery
The union of the three cooperatives was carried out in 2001, and at that time, a new company called Bodegas Borsao S.A. was incorporated. It is located in the surroundings of the village of Borja, and it has an astonishing 2,400 hectares of vineyard.
From that moment, the 620 partners of the cooperatives and the management team that started the founding of the new winery, also began to set the guidelines for vineyard care, grape harvesting and reception, followed by a renovation of the facilities of the winery, which have been modernised continuously.
The technological capacity, the modernity of the facilities, the great potential of the vineyards and a meticulous sensitivity for work done properly, are the basic pillars of this exemplary winery, which in a few years consolidated the brand Borsao as an example of quality wines from Aragón, and more concretely from Campo de Borja.
The main objective of the wines from Bodegas Borsao, is to preserve the features of the grapes that come from its vineyards and the uniqueness of the Grenache variety. Despite the amount of hectares that they own, for the wines of the Selección range, the harvest is performed manually and the grapes are collected and transported in 20-kg baskets to make the wines of this range. The winery works to preserve the intensity of the fruit, the body and the roundness of Grenache.
The winery has 1 million cold energy units (fg) to perfectly preserve the fruit characteristics of the grape, and the wood is used in moderation to add complexity and softness to the wines, and not with the purpose of covering the fruit character of the Grenache. This is why they adapt the use of wood to the style of the wine, with different types of wood and the combination of new and used barrels. The different measures also help to round and maximise the expression of their wines.
Wines from Bodegas Borsao
Bodegas Borsao produces half a dozen wines, including 2 whites, a young single-variety of Maccabeu under the label Borsao Viña Borgia, and another one with Maccabeu and Chardonnay with 3 months of ageing in barrels with the brand Borsao Selección Blanco. The winery also produces two rosé, Grenache varietal with the brand Borsao Viña Borgia, and the Borsao Selección, also with Grenache. Within the range of reds we can point out Borsao Viña Borgia, the young varietal Grenache wine, with ripe fruit with floral tones on the nose. In the mouth it has a pleasant tannin in perfect balance with its acidity. Another young wine they make is the Borsao Tinto Selección, with 85% Grenache, 10% Tempranillo and 5% Syrah, from vineyards between 15 and 25 years of age, planted on clay-limestone, stony and silty soils. On the nose it shows ripe fruit with floral tones. A wine with body, spicy and with a complex and long aftertaste.
Borsao Tres Picos is a limited edition wine, made from 100% Grenache from 35-60 year-old vineyards located at 600-700 metres above sea level, planted on clay-limestone, stony and silty soils. It is made by fermentation in stainless steel deposits at a controlled temperature, and then it is aged for 5 months in new Bordeaux French oak barrels. On the nose it shows a great concentration of aromas of ripe red fruits with floral shades, while in the mouth it is a rich and well structured, evoking flavours of blackberry, plum and tones of leather and vanilla, with a sweet and silky tannin.
Borsao Berola is a wine made with 80% Grenache and 20% of Syrah, from mountain vineyards that are 35 to 60 years old, for the Grenache, and 10 years old for the Syrah, both cultivated at 600-700 metres of altitude, planted on clayey-calcareous, stony and silty soils. The fermentation of each variety is carried out separately in stainless steel deposits at a controlled temperature. At the end, it is aged for 14 months in Bordeaux French and American oak barrels. It is a wine with a remarkable aromatic complexity, with nuances of black fruit, and balsamic and toasted touches. Warm and amiable in the mouth, with soft but persistent tannins in perfect balance with its alcohol.
Borsao Bole is the youngest version of the Borsao Berola, aged for 3 months in first and second-use French oak barrels. Powerful on the nose,with aromas of ripe fruit and spices that stand out, and with nuances of new wood. Structured in the mouth, with a lively and tasty mid-palate.
Borsao Crianza Selección is made from 60% Grenache, 20% Merlot, and 20% Tempranillo, from 20-40 year-old mountain vineyards located at 500-700 metres above sea level, planted on clay-limestone, stony and silty soils. The fermentation of each variety is carried out separately in stainless steel deposits at a controlled temperature. At the end, it is aged for 10 months in Bordeaux French (90%) and American (10%) oak barrels. Vanilla aromas with intense fruity tones and sweet tannins from the oak. It has a long and pleasant aftertaste, very harmonious, perfectly structured and meaty.
Borsao Reserva Selección is born from 55% Grenache, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Tempranillo, aged for 17 months in Bordeaux French (90%) and American (10%) oak barrels. It is a vigorous wine, rich in alcohol but without covering the fruity smells and flavours given by the soils of the region.