2013 Zaca Mesa Santa Ynez Valley "Z Cuvée" Rhone Blend

SKU #1309137 91 points Wine Enthusiast

 For one of their lower-priced bottlings, this blend of 55% Grenache, 40% Mourvèdre and 5% Cinsault is a great deal. The nose shows exuberant black raspberry, scarlet rose petals and fresh lilacs against a backdrop of dewy thyme and oregano. That herbal component carries strongly to the palate, giving nuance to tangy plum fruits. The savory touch would pair with everything from pasta to Asian-spiced beef. *Editors' Choice* (MK)  (6/2017)

Connoisseurs Guide

 Rich and well-ripened with a good sense of range and a full complement of berry-like fruit that is infused with nicely integrated elements of briary spice, Zaca Mesa's latest Z Cuvée is a carefully constructed, fairly big-bodied working that is at once slightly supple in feel and firmed by relatively gentle tannins. It is a bit deeper and more complex than its modest price predicts, and, while sufficiently open and inviting to enjoy now, it has the structural integrity to age gracefully and improve for four or five years. *Good Value*  (3/2017)

Wine Spectator

 Zesty and easygoing, with appealing notes of raspberry and blueberry, plus roasted herb and pepper. Grenache, Mourvèdre and Cinsault. Drink now through 2023. (TF)  (2/2017)

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Price: $11.99
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By: Stephanie Vidales | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/25/2017 | Send Email
Lovers of California Rhone blends: meet your new go-to cuvee from Zaca Mesa! This Southern Rhone-inspired blend from Santa Ynez Valley is absolutely delicious and you won't have to break the bank with our price. Zaca Mesa was the first Santa Barbara County winery to plant Syrah so they have plenty of experience with Rhone varieties in the area. The nose is expressive and complex with dark berries and rose petal while savory elements and spice are shown on the palate.

By: Christina Stanley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/25/2017 | Send Email
Planted on soil made up of diatomaceous shale and clay, the Grenache, Cinsault and Mourvèdre grapes of Z Cuvée reflect their Pacific terroir, imparting richness and minerality to the blend. The name Zaca Mesa comes from the terraced coastal vineyards in the Santa Ynez Valley that create this wine, which are elevated high above sea level between 1,300 and 1,500 feet. Dry, with peppery white and black pepper aromas, the Z Cuvée has a bright thread of acidity and fairly firm tannins. This wine is a wonderful value at $12.99, coming from appellation and vineyard specific sites.

By: Mari Keilman | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/14/2017 | Send Email
Wow is this wine surprising! Not only it is shockingly delicious for the price but it's also not what one would expect from a Southern California Rhone-style blend! It has lift, structure, acidity and purity of fruit which is normally not synonymous with an inexpensive SoCal red blend. Typical warm climate red blends are often an afterthought or a way to get rid of all the leftover grapes that didn't make it into the single varietal, but the Z Cuvee is really a star of its own. The Cuvee shows amazing depth of fruit on the mid-palate with notes of black cherry, black raspberry and blueberry but the finish is bright and lifted with subtle hints of purple flowers and savory herbs. Tack on a polished silky texture and well integrated tannins and you're left with an outstanding Rhone-style blend that can stand up to its Old World predecessors!

By: Blake Conklin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/13/2017 | Send Email
Glass Full Glass Full Glass Full Glass Full Glass Half
Zaca Mesa has always been one of my favorite wineries in the Santa Ynez valley, and this Z Cuvee blend of Grenache, Mourvedre and Cinsault is beyond exceptional. It makes a great entry-level wine to start, and it makes a fantastic every day dinner wine, if that's what you're looking for. For $12.99 I don't think it gets better than this.
Top Value!

By: Anthony Russo | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/12/2017 | Send Email
Finally a domestic Rhone blend (55% Grenache, Cinsault, Mourvedre) to rival all those French values in both quality and price! Very fragrant, like blueberry pie, accompanied with fantastic lift and brightness in the palate. Just the right amount of tannin to be approachable, yet they remind you you're drinking a serious wine.

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Additional Information:


Rhone Blends


United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year.
Specific Appellation:

Santa Maria/Santa Barbara

- Santa Maria and Santa Ynez make up the two AVAs of Santa Barbara County, an area known for its natural beauty and temperate climate. The best grape-growing areas, however, are located on the very coastal reaches of these two appellations, and are cooled by ever-present fog and ocean breezes (it is even cooler and foggier here than Carneros!). As expected, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir thrive while the more inland zones lay claim to Bordeaux varietals and some Rhône blends.
Alcohol Content (%): 14.5