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Zuccardi (Argentina) "Q" Tempranillo 2000
Well, if there is a more sumptuous, all-enveloping, hedonistic red wine to be found at under £8, then I've yet to taste it. I recommended this wine in the 1998 vintage, and though cut from exactly the same cloth, this 2000 just has more of everything. "Q" is the premium range from Zuccardi, with hand-picking of ripe Tempranillo grapes from the best sites, a slow, 20-day fermentation and ageing for one year in medium-toast American oak barrels. The nose has layer upon layer of bursting berry and plum fruit, cinammon, tobacco and chocolate. There's a great blue/black density of fruit that sweeps through onto the palate. Soft and yielding in the mouth, there is plenty of depth to the fruit, with a solid underpinning of sweet oaky tannins, spice and toast into the finish. Good length, with that velvet texture and mouthfilling, expansive quality staying focused as it floods through to the finish. Tempranillo is the main grape of Rioja, but few Riojas manage the sheer opulence of this wine.
£7.99 Tesco, but only biggest 70-odd stores. Tesco Online has the also very impressive "Q" Malbec.