I paused early this morning, scanning the middle third of the countless daily emails from preferred wine retailers that stared at me in unread boldface headlines hawking discounts worthy of going-out-of-business sales. Bin Ends Wine shop, a shrewd on and off-line wine monger with a uniquely well defined quality and value formula, was offering the 2001 Mauro Vendimia Seleccionada for $40 in three-pack buys. I love Tempranillo and remember this wine released around $100 and a quick scan of winesearcher.com had the wine selling between $80 and $110. The first compelling proposition in weeks looked like this:
3 Bottle Pack : Mauro Castilla Y Leon Vendimia Seleccionada 2001 (Tempranillo)
Ribero del Duero, Old Castile Spain
WS 92 WA 96 IWC 91
Bin Ends Notes:
The 2001 Vendimia Seleccionada is equal to a Bordeaux first growth in quality. -The Wine Advocate”
Not long ago we created quite a buzz when we blasted through 50+ cases of the 93 point 2004 Maura Crianza at an insane savings of 65%. People clamored for it and many scrambled for more… We couldn’t secure more but we did manage to one up ourselves!
The 2001 Vendimia Seleccionada is a rockstar and it is immediately clear why this is one of Spain’s top wines. The wine has incredible structure while remaining immense in body. The 8 years of bottle age have left us with one of the finest wines we have tasted in quite some time. The bouquet swirls out of the glass and seduces you with dark fruit combining with toasty oak and leather. It fills your palate with endless layers of Tempranillo perfection, firm tannins and a finish that seems endless.
From the Wine Advocate: “The 2001 Vendimia Seleccionada is equal to a Bordeaux first growth in quality. A massive, opulent red of tremendous power as well as great elegance and nuance, it boasts an inky/purple color along with a stunning perfume of blackberries, cassis, licorice, sweet oak, smoke, and espresso. While it reveals plenty of new oak, the fruit as well as potential complexity are impressive. Anticipated maturity: 2008-2020+.” -96 Points
This incredible selection retails at $100 or more per bottle. Today’s offer brings us a savings of 50% on a single bottle purchase! Can we beat that? You bet! Purchase just three bottles and you will save an additional $10 per bottle. That’s just $40 per bottle. A savings of 60%!
Purchase six… We throw in the wood box 8^)
An average month of aggressive marketing fills my mailbox with hundreds of messages announcing new arrivals, end bin discounts, or other special offers. A sea of discounted marginal wine combines with the occasional excellent bottles to choke bits of storage out of my in-box. The sales pitches get picked over with needle-in-haystack anticipation and the confidence Cubs fans must carry to each new season for… finally….a World Series victory. Most are responsibly deleted, just as I nonchalantly ignore so many missives as a longstanding member of wineries’ closed mailing lists suggesting immediate action to secure future access and current allocations at $80-a-bottle-plus-tax-plus-blood-plus-shipping (very special shipping at very high prices through the wine penitentiary of Massachusetts’ iron gates). I control my impulse to recklessly buy/taste/cellar and repeat only by chanting my two-point mantra that envelopes my infatuation with wine in a cloak of sensibility:
1) I will never own every wine made, every year , from everywhere in the world
2) There is an ocean of good wine released every year and no matter how many I pass up, wine is like a bus and another one will come along shortly so I can amass more great wine than I am able to drink in my lifetime
Armored by this two-point flack jacket, it’s safe to consume wine sale information and offers just to keep up. Several times a year, an offer like this Tempranillo comes along and action is required. Recently, I have been impressed following the new on-line seller Wired for Wine . They offer “one unbeatable sale per day until they are sold out” and felt compelled to buy some Clarendon Hills wine from 2002 that was hanging around at a really insane price. But there are literally hundreds of good wine sellers marketing very good wine at, until now, unheard of prices. In a Dr. Vino post , where you can feel the frustrations rooted in inconsistent on-line and in-store pricing from the same merchant (a strategy employed by major commercial airlines), Tyler Colman wonders to himself:
And what of daily emails from wine retailers? I subscribe to some, but generally I find them a blunt instrument, blasting out offers on wines that I have no interest in. But I may give them a closer look since I learned that some retailers use these blasts to offer deals that are particularly attractive, indeed, too hot even to be listed on-line. Maybe I will take off some of those spam blocks I had set up…
Past vintage inventory is blocking a clear path for new releases. The opportunity for consumers to find amazing deals right now is bringing price points back to earth, if only for a moment. It makes good sense to sign up for those annoyingly frequent email newsletters from leading on-line and offline retailers and putting the hours in to find the right deals. But remember, wear your flack jacket or stay prepared to be mowed down by luring offers of good wine at mediocre prices and bad wine at very attractive prices. Happy shopping.