Bodegas Luzon Seleccion 12 (2008)

“It needs only a good bottle of wine for a roast chicken to be transformed into a banquet.”
……Gerald Asher, The Pleasures of Wine

Luzon is a Spanish wine; a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Mourvedre (a.k.a. “Monastrell” and also occasionally known in California as “Mataro”) and Tempranillo (known locally as Cencibel). It’s a good wine to use along with the quote of Gerald Asher’s because the wine shined the Churrasco (Brazilian barbecue) I made recently (minus the fancy presentation). We enjoyed loin lamb chops, beef flank steak, boneless pork chops, chicken breasts and (because I wanted to) Andouille sausages.  So the axiom of “white with this & red with that” was of no value (never was much anyway) since we had red meat, white meat, pork, chicken, beef & lamb, oh my!  I had already decided to limit the wine to a single selection, and I also grilled red pepper, beets, parsnip, red onion, zucchini and carrots just to mix it up a little. Finally, along with the limit of the one wine rule, it had to be kept within the Wine Mizer price point.

Luzon shined in that area too! The nose presents dried plum and chocolatey raisin. Open the bottle and let it air before you start cooking and enjoy a wine at dinner with a syrupy mouth feel; a taste reminding you of a chocolate phosphate --- remember those? --- and a mocha finish. The wine is balanced, offering dark berry preserves, slight licorice, mineral and smoke in harmony with the other flavors. It’s soft enough to enjoy with the vegetables and masculine enough to enjoy with red meat.  The finish is slightly sweet which was a benefit given the heat of the Andouille sausage. And, oh yes. The price? Eleven dollars!

D.B.A.W.S. (Don’t be a wine snob) regulations require you keep an open mind after learning the price. Bodegas (a.k.a. Chateau) Luzon comes from Jumilla, a “D.O.” appellation in the S.E. of Spain (like an “AOC” in France or “DOGC” in Italy).  Each of the four grape varieties is aged separately in French (80%) and American Oak (20%) for twelve months. This is a newer style of Spanish wine and – by the Spanish standards – the short aging time requires it be labeled as a Crianza instead of a Reserva.

Parker awarded this inexpensive wine 87 points. Wine Spectator gave it 90. And as the Mizer, I give it my enthusiastic recommendation. Try this wine and you may enjoy the taste of grapes you haven’t yet enjoyed. Drink it now through 2016.

……………… Jim

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