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I’m a little backwards in regards to my wine experience. I began drinking wine occasionally probably 15+ years ago. For various reasons, I jumped into the winemaking hobby almost 7 years ago. I make grape wines, mostly from kits, and fruit wines, often called “country wines”, from scratch. Just over a year ago, I purchased a cellar to properly store my homemade wines and to begin collecting wines to age (shooting for a 2 to 6 year aging window). I also began my wine education— not in regards to making wine as I’ve garnered that education over the last 7 years— but in regards to learning about, appreciating, and tasting wine. Though it might sound strange, one can make wine and enjoy drinking wine, but know next to nothing about the wine he is making or drinking and without any appreciation for its various nuances.

As far as my tastes, I like everything. I have yet to meet a bottle of wine I don’t like. I would rather drink 3 different bottles I know next to nothing about, than drink 3 of the same bottles I’m crazy about. That being said, my leanings are toward big, heavy reds. I favor complexity over alcohol and fruit so lean more toward Old World wines. However, I still enjoy a good California merlot fruit bomb and even appreciate the occasional sauvignon blanc. My favorite white is probably Meursault, but I also like other chardonnays, rieslings, gewürztraminers, etc. Reds, I like it all… cab/cab blends, merlot, malbec, sangiovese/sangiovese blends/super tuscans, nebbiolo, barbera, tempranillo… I also favor variety and surprise over familiarity, comfort, and consistency. I don’t drink wine for the same reasons I drink Gatorade, soft drinks, or Kool-aid. I drink wine to relax and to appreciate the various smells, tastes, mouthfeel, etc.

When I got my cellar I also started buying wines specifically to be aged for a few years. Like I said, the range I’ve been shooting for is 2 – 6 years. I always buy 3 bottles at a time so I get to drink the same wine at different ages. My price range is $25 - $40 per bottle. I don’t see myself paying much more. Maybe some day I’ll blow $1,200 on a case of wine, but not today. I buy pretty much all of my “aging wine” online. A friend of my wife’s family owns a local wine store, but unfortunately, the selection of wine in Mississippi is quite limited due to the way wine is controlled in the state. I live very close to Memphis, which has a couple of stores with better selection, but not as good as online. I also have a physical handicap, which limits my mobility making it very difficult to get myself around, much less to get around trying to carry several bottles of wine.

I’ll stop rambling. I’m really interested in some specific recommendations (not just varietals, regions, or vintages) in regards to wines that meet my cellaring and price criteria. As I said, I’m partial to reds, but my cellar currently houses no whites for aging. I would like to add two or three whites as well as more reds. Any recommendations?
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Jack, your lack of real preferences makes giving you suggestions quite hard.
Since you haven't yet encountered a bottle of wine you don't like, you could trust the review of the specialized magazines and purchase any recommended bottle of wine within your price range.
The 2-6 years range for aging suits well the large majority of the red wine (apart from the Beaujolais Nouveau and the Italian Novello, which I wouldn't recommend to my worst enemy anyway!), and pretty much any white wine with a minimum of structure, for instance Chardonnay from California and Burgundy, Sauvignon from Loire and NZ, Riesling from Alsace and Germany, Fiano and Verdicchio from Italy.
True, I could just go by reviews, but then I would be kind of married to the reviewer(s). I also believe that reviewers sometimes have particular tastes and also probably often have ulterior motives. Furthermore, there are differing opinions between reviewers. The other difficulty is finding wines that benefit from more aging. So much wine on the market is "drink now". I'm somewhat of a "poor man's collector". My goal is to find wines, which will benefit from additional aging, not wines that will just keep for some period of time before I drink them.

Currently, most wines I've selected have come from a combination of professional reviewers scores and information obtained from Cellar Tracker. If the price is right, information and tasting notes identify the wine as benefiting from additional aging, and the wine gets good scores from professional and amateur tasters, it becomes a candidate. I then make my final decisions based on building some variety, leaning more toward heavier reds. These wines are special treats for me. I'm not building an entire cellar with these, only trying to get enough in the pipeline to where I can drink maybe 1 per month on average. I have plenty of wine that I make and some that I buy to satisfy my normal wine drinking (about a bottle per week). I figure buying some wine based on personal recommendations might direct me toward experiencing some wines, I wouldn't have stumbled upon otherwise.
I was very happy with the 2005 Domaine du Vieux Lazaret Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Exceptionnelle. It should fall within your price range and is drinking well now, but will benefit from a few more years in the cellar. I really feel that this is a great example of CDP and punches far above it's price point. Be careful to get the "cuvee exceptionnelle" because there is a Vieux Lazaret without that designation.
There are a few great Cali Cabs that you can put in your cellar if you'll go slightly over $40. These include '07 Round Pond, '06 Anderson's Conn Valley, '07 Gramercy (WA), '07 Neyers Conn Valley-Neyers Ranch. I'd also seek out Seavey Family's second label called Caravina. Also two fine Syrahs that fit the bill - Gramercy Walla Walla Syrah and Cakebread's Lake County Syrah. Also, in Pinot, try to get some Emeritus, a new project from the guy who built Sonoma-Cutrer and then sold it off. His Pinot is underpriced at $30, his reserve is also a value if you can go up to $50. Some of the best value in Bordeaux: Branaire-Ducru, Monbousquet, Grand Puy lacoste. Happy Cellaring.
You would do yourself a great service to buy one bottle on recco and try it, then buy 2 or 3 more. I could imagine nothing worse than having a cellar full of stuff others have picked for me.
At this moment, 90% of my cellar has been sampled by myself, for myself, if not the same vintage, another from same winery. safer with estate bottlings. A little work into this will prove enjoyable going forward.
This theory works for $300 bottle as well as $25 bottles.
have fun.
quote:
Originally posted by mike p:
You would do yourself a great service to buy one bottle on recco and try it, then buy 2 or 3 more. I could imagine nothing worse than having a cellar full of stuff others have picked for me.


That was the spirit of my answer, too.
For instance, it sounds like my taste is totally opposite to the one of Jack in MS. I could probably pass him my wine inventory so he'd know what NOT to buy!
quote:
Originally posted by MadCat:
quote:
Originally posted by mike p:
You would do yourself a great service to buy one bottle on recco and try it, then buy 2 or 3 more. I could imagine nothing worse than having a cellar full of stuff others have picked for me.


That was the spirit of my answer, too.
For instance, it sounds like my taste is totally opposite to the one of Jack in MS. I could probably pass him my wine inventory so he'd know what NOT to buy!


In a sense, I understand what you are saying, but I do think there is a benefit to having people share treasures that they have come across. I happen to be a CdP nut and have many different vintages from numerous Chateaus, but I provided direction to a good bottle that fell within the range that was being sought. I wish I had people give me some direction when I was first building my cellar. If I had, maybe I could have avoided some of my mistakes...
I could be wrong but----Marvin, is that you?

Are we being played? Doesn't anyone have the impression that this a protagonist, and far too advanced to ask such basic questions?

Jack in Mississippi, you seem to be very wine knowledgeable to me, so if you are real, welcome to the WS Forums, please forgive my questioning, and accept my apology. Cool

Where in MS are you located, Jackson?
quote:
Originally posted by geppetto:
quote:
Originally posted by MadCat:
quote:
Originally posted by mike p:
You would do yourself a great service to buy one bottle on recco and try it, then buy 2 or 3 more. I could imagine nothing worse than having a cellar full of stuff others have picked for me.


That was the spirit of my answer, too.
For instance, it sounds like my taste is totally opposite to the one of Jack in MS. I could probably pass him my wine inventory so he'd know what NOT to buy!


In a sense, I understand what you are saying, but I do think there is a benefit to having people share treasures that they have come across. I happen to be a CdP nut and have many different vintages from numerous Chateaus, but I provided direction to a good bottle that fell within the range that was being sought. I wish I had people give me some direction when I was first building my cellar. If I had, maybe I could have avoided some of my mistakes...


yes, I'd agree if Jack in MS told us "I'm looking for some CdP, what would you recommend?" or "I'm looking for a great value in big cabs" (as others asked in other threads). But I - my limitation, I'm sure - have troubles recommending any wine to someone who has never tasted a wine he didn't like.
I even have troubles thinking of a wine which can't withstand a 3-6 years in the bottle, if well conserved!
We then find, in a second message, that Jack is anything but the beginner he describes in the first message...
Hi Jack,


My recomendation (As a huge reisling drinker) would be and Joh. Jos. Prum Spat, or Auslese from either 05 or 07. Others vintages are good, but these stand out. Check out Sec. Wine in OR. They had some killer deals on the 05 auslese. They are very sweet, but make perfect bottles to age for 5-30 years depending on how you like your reisling. Also, the 05 zilliken's are a nice buy, and can be a little cheaper.

AJ

Let us know what you go with.
Sorry if I came across as something I'm not. I live in a suburb of Memphis, Horn Lake to be specific. I have 1 year of wine appreciation/education under my belt and about 7 years of home wine making. Prior to the last year, I simply drank wine at restaurants, drank Yellow Tail and inexpensive bottles recommended by the family friend who owns a local wine store. I liked drinking wine, but had no idea why and new nothing about complexity, tastes, aromas, etc. I had never compared one varietal next to another, much less two different bottles of the same varietal. I'm not exactly sure what I would accomplish by being some sort of troll on a wine forum, but I guess there might be some advantage for somebody out there, but not me.

As far as the recommendations, I've looked at Round Pond. I almost purchased, but couldn't find a whole lot of info. on the 2007 vintage. I purchased 2007 Honig instead for $10 cheaper. As far as cost is concerned, I can go over $40 because I always purchase a case at a time; and I really just make sure my per bottle average doesn't exceed $35. Obviously, there have to be some wines in the case to offset those greater than $35. Because of that, I do have some bottles, which cost more than $40. My last order included a 2006 Chateau Batailley, which cost $49 ($2 or $3 more than some other online stores, but everything else was a good bit less and $0 shipping on the case). I'll also check out the other suggestions. I appreciate the responses as I realize most would meticulously sample every bottle they commit to buying three of. That's just not me for this portion of my wine hobby. My wine hobby encompasses: 1) Making wine and drinking the wine I make. 2) Drinking various bottles of "drink now" wine, most of which are fairly inexpensive. 3) Participating in various wine/food pairings and online courses/tastings with friends. 4) Collecting bottles of moderately priced wine, which benefit from additional aging (collecting to drink). 5) Reading books, researching, etc. to learn more about wine.

Also, I just placed an order on Friday so am using the suggestions to build my Christmas wishlist and/or to place another order late winter/early spring... keep 'em coming.

Finally, I know my posting is a little sporadic, but when you first join the forum, every post is screened. I periodically check back to see if my post has gone through. By the time my post actually gets posted and I check back and see it, a few days have passed by.

Unrelated question-- is there a setting to view previous posts while keying a reply?
Last edited by jackinms

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