Bodegas Franco-Españolas was founded in 1890 as an indirect result of one of the biggest catastrophes in the history of European wine making.
In the second half of the 19th century, French vineyards were almost completely decimated by phylloxera (a plague of root devouring mites). This led vineyard owners from Bordeaux, a region characterised by the high quality of its vines and a great tradition for making world – renowned wines, to search in Spain (where phylloxera had yet to appear) for suitable soils and climates where they could continue to produce and age the wines for which they were famous. The Rioja region in Spain, with a long history of viticulture as well as convenient rail links to the rest of Europe, was the region they chose for this cross-border commercial venture.
In 1890, a Frenchman from Bordeaux named Frédéric Anglade and several Spanish winemakers founded the winery that was named after their international partnership. Over the ensuing century Bodegas Franco-Españolas has built a reputation for traditional wines made from the Tempranillo grape, slowly aged in oak barrels for many years before release. In modern times they are stalwart traditionalists, upholding a style that is less and less prevalent in the Rioja region.
These wines haven’t been available on the market here in California for several years and the last one we were able to get was the 2001 Rioja Bordon Crianza that many of you bought by the case. This winery makes Rosado, Reserva and Gran Reserva wines as well as one of Spain’s top selling white Rioja, Diamante.
We contacted the US importer on the east coast and were able to work out some great pricing for taking a fair amount of wine.They arrived last week and are now available for purchase while the supply lasts.
Diamante 2008 This white Rioja is one of Spain’s best selling white wines. Made from Viura & Malvasia, there is a bit of residual sugar which gives this wine it’s touch of sweetness. $12.99
Rioja Bordon Rosado 2008 A blend of Garnacha and white Viura, we finally have another Rioja Rosado in stock. Distinct watermelon and mineral make this a refreshing quaffer. $11.99
Rioja Bordon Crianza 2005 The 2001 was a staff and customer favorite and hopefully you’ll find the current release just as enticing. A bit richer than the 2001, this is still a classic Rioja Crianza at an oustanding price. $13.99
Rioja Bordon Reserva 2004 I think we’ve got an amazing deal on this Reserva from an outstanding vintage. Impressive for the price. $17.99
Rioja Bordon Gran Reserva 1999 Here it is. A 10-year old wine for an amazing price. Soft and round this is a classic aged Gran Reserva for one knock out price. $23.99
Baron d’Anglade Reserva 2001 Named after the founder of the Bodega, this is a denser,bolder wine than the regular Reserva. This wine is from the stellar 2001 vintage Notes of dark cherry, allspice and clove, tobacco smoke and vanilla on a round, velvety frame. Regular retail would be $60, but it’s $49.99
A new Paula Wolfert cookbook:
“Mediterranean Clay Pot Cooking” (Wiley 2009, $34.95).
We’ve been waiting for this one literally for years! Ms. Wolfert is clay-pot crazy, and she freely admits it, so when she told us she was working on a book about cooking in clay we got really excited. Her cookbooks are so wonderful due to her years of research and experimentation. This type of research takes years. Yes, Years! But, the wait is finally over. The book hit our shelves last week, and we can’t put it down. It’s full of all you need to know about cooking in clay – cazuelas, tagines, Romertopfs, all of it.
Here is a small sample of what you will find in this inspirational book, intended to help you use up the end-of-season tomatoes currently in the local markets.
Slow-Roasted Tomatoes w/ Rosewater
7-8 ripe medium tomatoes
Coarse sea salt
1 tablespoon turbinado sugar
Pinch of ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons rosewater
2 tablespoons pinenuts or sesame seeds, toasted
Cut each tomato in half horizontally and squeeze gently to extracy the seeds. Lightly salt the tomatoes, turn them upside down on paper towels, and let drain for 30 minutes.
Gently squeeze the tomatoes again to rid them of any excess moisture. Arrange in a single layer in a lightly oiled baking dish / cazuela. Mix 1 teaspoon coarse salt with the sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle a pinch over each tomato half. Drizzle with the olive oil.
Place the tomatoes in the oven and set the temperature at 250 degrees. Bake for 3 hours.
Raise the oven temperature to 400 degrees and continue to bake for 30 minutes. Turn off the oven and let the tomatoes finish baking in the receding heat. They will be wrinkled and slightly charred.
Remove the roasted tomatoes from the oven. Splash with the rosewater and scatter the toasted nuts on top. Let stand until cooled to room temperature. Serves 6.