Monte Oton is the newest venture from the highly acclaimed Spanish producer Bodegas Borsao. Bodegas Borsao is located in the town of Borja, which is set amid the undulating hills of Zaragoza in sight of Mt. Moncayo, the highest mountain in the Iberian Range. Borja is an ancient town whose origins can be traced back to the 4th century B.C. and beyond. The original name of the town was Bursao, from which the name of the bodega is loosely derived. Founded in 1958, Bodegas Borsao is a meticulously run winery that sits astride the lower part of the Ebro River, just south of the Rioja and the southern tip of Navarra. This is Garnacha country, home to one of Spain’s most important but undervalued red varietals. Such is the importance of the local Garnacha grape in Campo de Borja that this viticultural enclave is known as “The Garnacha Land of Spain.”
Not surprisingly, Bodegas Borsao specializes in the production of Garnacha, the region’s most important varietal. Nearly three-quarters of the grape production in Campo de Borja is devoted to Garnacha, or Grenache, as the grape is known to the rest of the world. From vineyards located high in the hills of Moncayo (1,200 – 3,000 feet above sea level), Bodegas Borsao fashions a host of Grenache-based wines. The winery’s entry level red, the delicious, easy-drinking Viña Borgia, is born of 100% Garnacha. The winery’s newest venture, Monte Oton, is even more appealing. It, too, is comprised of 100% Garnacha, but it offers a richer, fuller, more structured experience than the Viña Borgia. The bodega also offers a special selection labeled simply as Borsao. It is typically a blend of 75% Garnacha and 25% Tempranillo, which is Spain’s other ubiquitous varietal. As one would expect, red wine is king at Bodegas Borsao, but this well-run modern winery also fashions small quantities of very good white and rosé wines in addition to its extensive portfolio of excellent Grenache based reds.