Rancho Zabaco Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel Reserve 2004 wine review by (PB)
I saw this in a local supermarket marked down from $18 to $13. Being the Kin of Zin (king of zing doesn't really work) I grabbed it.
Pigmented black cherry hue with big ripe plum, blackberry and tar, with unsweetened dark chocolate aromas.
Palate--Sweet, rich mellow tannins with chocolate and berries and a nice rich texture. At its full price of $18, this is a decent Zin; at the sale price it's a great value!
The good folks at the Wine Spectator--whom I respect deeply as THE authorities of the wine world--gave this wine a 72 which is baffling. They just don't miss and certainly not by that broad a margin.
Possible explanations: They could have had a bad bottle but not classically "corked." It happens. But for these guys that is not likely. The other explanation which I mention because it will happen to you sooner or later, is that one may have a sub-clinical URI (upper respiratory infection; AKA a cold) which greatly impairs and skews your olfactory perceptions but because it is "sub-clinical" you would not be aware you even have anything wrong with your taster.
I have experienced this on several occasions and have delayed writing my review of the wine for a couple days and sure enough, a cold or the flu or something usually manifests invalidating what would have been a bad review. So get healthy and raise a glass!