I don’t always fall for the pitch and buy the wine that has been awarded a rating of 90+ or has appeared on some wine critic’s top 10, 25, or 100 list for the year, but vinodivino’s recent email about the Viña Zaco’s Tempranillo from Rioja at the everyday price of $15.50 caught my eye. Yes, Spain is hot. Yes, wines from Rioja can be incredible. But even with many wines from Rioja in the $15-20 range, some of the better wines push $30+. The wine did happen to land on Wine Spectator’s Top 100 for 2009 list with a rating of 90, so I thought I would give it a try.
I tasted this wine over two nights. The first impression left me feeling so-so and not terribly impressed. The second try was quite different, so I will focus on my notes from day two. The Viña Zaco is a solid brick color, and still quite dark. The nose is dusty earth and black cherries. It tastes of chocolate, smoke, and cherries, with some herbaciousness. It is light bodied with zippy acidity and pleasant tannins. This wine just kept getting better in the glass, so I do recommend decanting it. And as you’re waiting for the wine to breathe a bit, check out their slick website, too.