Two styles of Spanish Tempranillo wines

Here are two wonderful Spanish Tempranillo wines that are very different in style. One is from the Toro region of Spain and the other from Rioja. Both are 100% Tempranillo wines and both have received 90-Point ratings from wine critics.

Spanish Tempranillo

Bodegas Bilbainas

Bodegas Bilbainas

Bodegas Bilbainas Viña Zaco Rioja 2010 – $9.99 K&L Wines and The Wine Stop

This is an impressive bottle of wine for a measly $10. It is well made and full of wonderful flavors. The mouth feel is a thing of beauty and there is a healthy finish to the wine. Previously I reviewed the Dinastia Vivanco and La Mantesa wines from Rioja. Those were outstanding wines for $17 and $18, and this wine is close in quality at a much better price. This is an easy wine to make a decision about buying again. It is case worthy! One would be hard pressed to find a much better wine at $10. 89 Points for us, the Wine Spectator gives it 90 Pts.

image of vina zaco

Viña Zaco

image of Winemaker Diego Pinilla Navarro

Winemaker Diego Pinilla Navarro

On a side note, I was lucky enough to visit Bodegas Bilbainas in the town of Haro, Spain. At the Digital Wine Communication Conference in October of 2013, the wine bloggers boarded several buses for a day trip to Rioja wineries. I was fortunate that our bus took us to Bodegas Bilbainas in the morning and later in the day to Bodegas Palacios. At Bodegas Bilbainas, we met winemaker Diego Pinilla Navarro and his team and toured the winery and, of course, tasted mucho vino. It was a delightful time and this Viña Zaco is a reminder of that day.

Teso La Monja Romanico Toro 2010 – $13.99 K&L Wines and The Wine Stop

The land of Toro is an altogether different breed than the Rioja region. In Toro the Tempranillo grape is called Tinto del Toro. It is a grape that in this region produces big wines and as the winemakers say in Toro, “The Wild Horse must be tamed!” Otherwise, the wines can be too big and tannic. In the case of Romanico, the wine has deep, dark, black fruit flavors. This is for folks who like their wine big and forceful. It’s a wine to drink with a big, juicy steak off the grill. This wine has many favorites among the wine experts: Robert Parker 92 Points, Steve Tanzer 91 Points, Wine Enthusiast 90 Points. As for myself, I do prefer a wine in a much more moderate style, as in the Vina Zaco above. The Romanico is still a dandy and I will go with 89 Points.

image of Romanico wine

Romanico Toro 2010

A Trader Joe’s Wine

Marellino Di Scansano 2012 – $7.99 Trader Joe’s

discanoVintage Wine Taster Mike on the Scansano: The wine is produced by Cala De Poeti. This appellation got its DOCG designation in 2000. I tasted a number of small producers about a year ago and they were of very high quality and all were excellent buys. This wine sold at TJ’s is medium bodied and rather shy in fruit. It did smell and taste better after a few hours of breathing time. This wine requires light food or snacks to bring out its flavors. It is not tannic or harsh and is a pleasant glass of wine. It is not a blockbuster by any means, but for under $8 it is a good buy. Drink now. 86 Points.

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