3 Perspectives on Perhaps the Last, Best “Killer Closeout”

3 Perspectives on Perhaps the Last, Best “Killer Closeout”

Posted on Jan, 17. 2011 by

Categories: Wine

This is something that we’ve never done before, but I think that the very fact that we’re able to pull it off speaks to the power of this offer. All three of us (Will, Evan, Kevin) have tried the wine in question independently, and all loved it, but we haven’t really discussed it with each other. So we had the idea to write 3 separate reviews, then cobble them together for a “team offer”. So, without further ado, we bring you 3 guys’ perspectives on the Sao Abrivat:

Will Richey

Will Richey

This may be the best close-out deal we have ever been able to sell at the Guild. This wine originally retailed for $28.50 and it is one of the only close outs I have worked with lately that I could actually see paying regular retail for. We purchased 35 six packs back in December and sold through them off the floor without ever sending an e-mail or a note about the wine. a week or so ago the delivery driver for the distributor commented to us that he had seen more of the wine in the warehouse and we bought everything right on the spot.

This is a Spanish red from Costers Del Segre (DOC) called Sao Abrivat 2006. The producer is Mas Blanch I Jove and the wine is a blend of Tempranillo, Grenache, Cabernet and Merlot with 12 months in oak. The wine is big and youthful but beginning to show some charm from age. It is extremely well balanced and for me is kin to well made California wine done in the French style. That is to say that this wine is about fruit but is made with a finesse and an apparent harmony in mind. There is certainly something very Spanish about the wine as that certain dried earth spiciness I get from well made Spanish wines dominates the secondary flavors and the texture in the mouth feel leaves you with a sense of scarlet velvet. It evokes the sensation of flagons in fire lit caves from a Hemingway novel or the dark lit Cantina where gypsies dance in a Sargent painting. All the images of a romanticized Spain that might have once been.

Only a truly great wine can take you there and if it doesn’t show yet I think this stuff is awesome. I would not be sore to pay $30 for this wine and for sub $15 it might be one of the most obvious things you could come across in life. To sum up, Very Delicious!


Evan Williams

Evan Williams

By the time I had the chance to try the Sao Abrivat, it had already achieved quasi-mythical status within the Guild. Right away, I felt like I’d finally been let in on of some kind of inside joke. Honestly, we’ve been blessed with some very solid closeouts over the past few months, but this one might just take the cake.

What this wine is all about, for me, is presence. It makes itself known as soon as it hits your glass, with huge ripe fruit and pronounced black pepper, but it’s never so flamboyant that it overplays its hand. I suppose you could call it a quiet confidence. Personally, I’m always drawn to wines that can pull off a balanced presence like this: forceful without being sappy or brutish. And the Sao really does take charge, displaying considerable depth and even a little old-country earthiness, all of it leaping out of the glass to meet your palate. The Tempranillo is very bright and lively, while (I can only assume) the Grenache and Cab Sauv bring it back down to ‘earth’ (literally). The oak seems new, and softens it up with a bit of vanilla towards the end, but what you really take home from this wine is how deep it goes. It obviously transcends our absurd closeout pricing, but I think it even outperforms its normal retail pricing, giving you powerful ripeness and restrained classicity in the same bottle. It’s an absolute steal, by any standards (even ours!)


Kevin Sidders

Kevin Sidders

This is one of my favorite wines we’ve ever offered at the Guild. Will and I discovered the Sao a couple of months ago at one of the massive distributor “going-out-of-business” sales, and we agreed that it was one of the top 2 out of more than 100 wines tasted that day (the other being the De Pro Cava). There is just so much going on with this wine — classic Tempranillo flavors of sour cherry and dried cranberry, but with extra layers of complexity from the classic varietals of Cabernet and Merlot and a kick of spice from the Garnacha. Many of you may have seen this wine in a corner of the shop these past weeks — clearly the word has gotten out as our stock has continued to shrink despite no formal offer being made. Personally, I’m on my 2nd six-pack — it’s become my go-to everyday drinker since it works well with almost any cuisine and yet is very enjoyable on its own after the meal is complete. This merits my highest recommendation, and is something I think everyone ought to consider.

The folks at the Wine Advocate agree, giving the Sao a 90-point rating and highlighting it as one of their “Top Wine Values under $25” given its $23 retail price. Well, with the price we are able to offer this wine at, it ought to have its own category of “Screaming Wine Value” or “Absurd Wine Value” or something akin to that — check this out:

2006 Sao Abrivat, Mas Blanch I Jov
Member Price: [private_member] Grand Cru: $12.99 • Premier Cru: $13.58 [/private_member]
Retail Price: $23.00 – $30.00
Buy Now!

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