Price:
19.99

Reviewed by:
Rating:
4
On September 18th
Last modified:October 31st

Summary:

A beautiful wine with dense smoky Syrah and incense aromas. On the palate, the wine is lushly textured with deep soft tannins and flavors that pool into creme de cassis and ocean air. The finish is long with saturated fruit and asian spices.

A beautiful wine with dense smoke and incense aromas. It’s lushly textured with deep soft tannins and flavors that pool into creme de cassis and ocean air. The finish is long with saturated fruit and asian spices.

Lagar de Bezana Aluvion Gran Reserva 2011

Lagar de Bezana Aluvion Gran Reserva 2011

A few other thoughts:

When I teach at the Wine School, I am often asked “what are the Chairman’s Selections, and are they any good?”

No one really likes my answer of  “sometimes, yeah, but…” even though it is the honest answer. Take this wine for example. It is awesome. Worth every dollar you spend on it, but (BUT!) the reason we get a chance to buy this bottle at $20 rather than the $30 it should cost has nothing to do with the wine itself. It has everything to do with logistics, infrastructure and liquidity. You know, really boring stuff.

The wine critics love this wine. It’s been given 91+ points by most wine review magazines. Not just for this  vintage, but for every vintage since 2008. That’s an impressive record. This vintage is the first I have tried, and I agree with them this bottling, which is a Syrah-Cabernet blend, deserves it great reputation among sommeliers and critics.  That is the type of thing that turns an unknown winery into a superstar.  Instead, it hit’s the discount shelves as a “Chairman’s Selection” in the PLCB Wine & Spirits Shops here in Philly.

What doomed this great wine to the vino dustbin is twofold. The first is price. Only a miniscule amount of Chilean wine sells above the $15 line. A sad truth, but that is the wine market in 2016. To prove the point, Lagar de Bezana offers a Cabernet Sauvignon which it is quite popular across the USA; It is priced at $14, on average.

The second issue is ever growing cost of storing the wine. The 2012 and 2013 vintages also got amazing scores from the wine critics, and those vintages are already in the warehouse. The 2014 vintage is on it’s way. The importer ( California’s Vino Del Sol) was under pressure to sell off the 2011. Company president Matt Hedges made the decision to liquidate the remaining inventory, about 250 cases, and sell at a loss to the PLCB. The deal probably lost his company $5k, but the likelihood of making a profit on the wine was dwindling and the hard costs remained.

This is a common story with Chairman’s Selections wines, but not the only story. Sometimes it’s because the wine hails from a bad vintage, or sometimes it’s from a bankrupt winery. Sometimes it’s because the wine is godawful.

Bottom line: buy this wine. It’s awesome.

 

 

A beautiful wine with dense smoky Syrah and incense aromas. On the palate, the wine is lushly textured with deep soft tannins and flavors that pool into creme de cassis and ocean air. The finish is long with saturated fruit and asian spices.