2011 El Torito Tempranillo

Vino de la Tierra de Castilla, Spain; screw cap; 13.5% ABV
$4 at the Richmond, CA, store on 11 Nov

2011_ElTorito_TempWith its corny label and low price, I picked this up expecting to not think much of it, but something about its color through the bottle — a blackish orangey red instead of the usual purplish red — made me think it could be pretty good for the price.  And indeed it is.

On first pour, I couldn’t tell whether it would become something good or not, but after about 2.5 hours (not kidding) in a decanter, it finally started to open up.  (I don’t know if screw cap wines get transit bottle shock, but perhaps this airing time would be shorter if you waited a few weeks to open it.)  Then, it showed a nice nose of tangy, lighter purple grape and plum, purple and red hibiscus tea, and tart red cherries.  Although redder than the nose, on the palate these flavors were complexly layered with woody tannins.  This wine is very good now, and I can’t imagine its getting too old any time soon.

For what it’s worth, the color of the El Torito Cabernet Sauvignon also “looked good.”

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