Expanding my horizons

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Chuck J o r d a n
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Expanding my horizons

#1 Post by Chuck J o r d a n » January 29th, 2019, 11:50 am

I am wanting to expand my horizons a bit. I currently drink west coast wines. An example of the wines I currently have been drinking are: beaux freres williamette Pinot, colene Clemens dopp creek, alpha omega two squared, and....(don’t shoot me) Caymus.

I know my palate isn’t very developed and I am hoping to start changing that. I have been wanting to see what is available on the other side of the pond. And I need something that is drinkable now. So, I’d like to try out 3 wines over the next week or so. These are the ones I’ve chosen so far.
-Ch fleur cardinal st emillion ‘15
-Ch cantermerle haut medoc ‘15
-??
I am stumped on what the last one should be. Preferably in the $20-50 range. I was thinking a rioja or an Amarone. but I’m open.

These good wines to try or should I try something else?

I’m not big on bright acidity, so this may end up horribly, but I thought I’d try.
Thanks!

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Re: Expanding my horizons

#2 Post by Alan Rath » January 29th, 2019, 12:12 pm

Chuck, can you maybe tell us what area you're in, or what wine shops are accessible to you? Might be able to make some suggestions.
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Re: Expanding my horizons

#3 Post by David Glasser » January 29th, 2019, 12:12 pm

I like your choice of Cantemerle but suggest you consider an older bottle, maybe a 2000 or 2005, to see how you like them with some age. One of the most desirable features of Bordeaux, to me, is aged complexity. You may or may not like it, but Cantemerle is a great way to find out and stay in your under $50 price range. Another option would be 2000 or 2005 Lanessan.

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Re: Expanding my horizons

#4 Post by Chuck J o r d a n » January 29th, 2019, 12:40 pm

Alan Rath wrote:
January 29th, 2019, 12:12 pm
Chuck, can you maybe tell us what area you're in, or what wine shops are accessible to you? Might be able to make some suggestions.
I’m in the DFW area - southlake/colleyville. Total wine and central market (kind of a foodie grocery store) are the places I frequent most. Any suggestions would be appreciated. I’m not opposed to ordering from wine dot com either. I have a chateau de beaucastel cdp coming from them today. I don’t think that one is anything to drink right now.

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Re: Expanding my horizons

#5 Post by Chuck J o r d a n » January 29th, 2019, 12:41 pm

David Glasser wrote:
January 29th, 2019, 12:12 pm
I like your choice of Cantemerle but suggest you consider an older bottle, maybe a 2000 or 2005, to see how you like them with some age. One of the most desirable features of Bordeaux, to me, is aged complexity. You may or may not like it, but Cantemerle is a great way to find out and stay in your under $50 price range. Another option would be 2000 or 2005 Lanessan.
Thank you, I will check into that. Not sure if I can get the older vintages. I’ll have to go and see.

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Re: Expanding my horizons

#6 Post by Sean Malloy » January 29th, 2019, 4:09 pm

Chuck: I'd suggest a Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco. There are single vineyards out there for $60ish, but the regular "normale" bottling is $25-$32 depending on your region. It's very different than what you've been drinking, but it is a great wine, a standard for Italy at a great price point. Nebbiolo is the grape and you simply have to try it if you want to see what the other side of the pond is about. It is also widely available at good wine shops anywhere. I'd go with 2015 or 2013 over 2014 (which wasn't as great a vintage for this bottling to my taste). You can go even lower on price point with their Langhe Nebbiolo as well, $20ish for 2015 or 2016, which are both great. Drink with food (that's frankly the best advice for most old world wines)...these drink fine by themselves but complement food even better...as opposed to more "cocktail" wines like very fruit heavy new world wines that are better on their own and can overwhelm food.

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Re: Expanding my horizons

#7 Post by David Glasser » January 29th, 2019, 6:29 pm

An enthusiastic second for the Produttori recommendation.

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Re: Expanding my horizons

#8 Post by Chuck J o r d a n » January 29th, 2019, 6:44 pm

Sean Malloy wrote:
January 29th, 2019, 4:09 pm
Chuck: I'd suggest a Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco. There are single vineyards out there for $60ish, but the regular "normale" bottling is $25-$32 depending on your region. It's very different than what you've been drinking, but it is a great wine, a standard for Italy at a great price point. Nebbiolo is the grape and you simply have to try it if you want to see what the other side of the pond is about. It is also widely available at good wine shops anywhere. I'd go with 2015 or 2013 over 2014 (which wasn't as great a vintage for this bottling to my taste). You can go even lower on price point with their Langhe Nebbiolo as well, $20ish for 2015 or 2016, which are both great. Drink with food (that's frankly the best advice for most old world wines)...these drink fine by themselves but complement food even better...as opposed to more "cocktail" wines like very fruit heavy new world wines that are better on their own and can overwhelm food.
Thank you very much! I will add it to my list. I am definitely interested in trying different things.

I picked this up today - Ch fleur cardinal st emillion ‘15 - It was $59 a little over my budget - But I figured what the heck. The 2014 was $44. But the tasting notes didn't seem quite as good. Maybe a mistake? Only one way to find out! lol! I'll try this out this weekend. Looking forward to it. I guess a long decant is in order?
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Re: Expanding my horizons

#9 Post by Mattstolz » January 29th, 2019, 7:22 pm

the best way to expand horizons is to try a bunch of things. based on what you mentioned of what you already like, I would lead you to Chateaueuf du pape to Gigondas. Rioja is a good thought as well.

what makes you say you aren't a fan of bright acidity? Sonoma Coast and Willamette wines can have pretty good amounts of acidity. do you think you just like richer, riper wines more?

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Rich K0rz€nk0
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Re: Expanding my horizons

#10 Post by Rich K0rz€nk0 » January 29th, 2019, 7:23 pm

Chuck J o r d a n wrote:
January 29th, 2019, 6:44 pm
Sean Malloy wrote:
January 29th, 2019, 4:09 pm

...a little over my budget...

...But the tasting notes didn't seem quite as good. Maybe a mistake?...

...I guess a long decant is in order?...
First item, get used to justifying that to yourself lol. That's more being facetious. Eventually though, you'll really try to stay in a budget that you feel is worth the value for what you are buying. Its subjective.

Second item, you are experimenting so there are no real mistakes. You're finding what jives with your palate in a different domain of wine. Notes are cues, and even then you have to see if what you think jives with what you read. Eventually that turns to developing a sense of what you like out of a region/producer/varietal and how much you align with a given reviewers palate.

Last, some will benefit from a decant, some may not. Age plays in to that, structure, varietal, among other things. You can open, taste, then leave it for a few hours, or aday, come back. See what happens. There's no race. There are some rules of thumb that apply, not going to recite them as it invites some (light) reading and finding what you think.

Start with reading the Wine 101 at the top of this forum (if you have not), great start. Lots of knowledgeable people here that all sat in the same place.
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Re: Expanding my horizons

#11 Post by David Glasser » January 30th, 2019, 4:39 am

The more you try the faster you’ll learn. A tasting group is one of the most efficient ways to do that. For the cost of one bottle, in one day you can taste multiple different wines. Plus the social aspects and opportunities to make new friends.

Maybe there’s a group in your area that is open to a new member, or see if you can start one yourself. This board or a local retailer with an interest in wine might be a resource to find or start a tasting group.

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Re: Expanding my horizons

#12 Post by GregT » January 30th, 2019, 8:44 am

It's pretty impossible to answer the original question. You'll get a bunch of random suggestions without rhyme or reason, based on wines this or that person happens to like.

David's idea is best. Just taste widely. You'll figure it out. What you can do is go to a store and mention the wines you listed and ask if there are any similar examples they have. Try those. Keep a record of what you liked or didn't like about them. Maybe get a few friends and try them side by side. Tasted a day or more apart, it may be hard to note the differences but side by side that's not the case. Don't write dumbass tasting notes where you're straining to come up with some poetic nonsense, just note what you noticed. In other words, between wine A and B, A was more astringent and bitter and stuck your tongue to the top of your mouth and wine B tasted like sawdust. Or whatever works for you. Then when you have a bit of time to reflect, try to remember other wines you've tried and where you think they might fit in. After a few months, you'll be developing some context and you'll kind of know that "this wine is in category X and that is in category Y".

Finally, don't worry about what people on this board say, even me. Maybe especially me. Just find out wines you like. People will confidently tell you that your tastes will shift and you'll end up liking this or that type of wine - that's complete BS. Like what you like. If you like Caymus, you're in the majority because they sell a lot of that wine. What is just as likely to happen, and to me a better development, is that you'll simply broaden your appreciation and find more wines to love.

Based on what you stated, try some wines from the south of France or Spain. You can get pretty good values there. Go to your wine store and ask for some recommendations. Cheap Cab from France is unlikely to be delicious, but you don't have to lock yourself into that. And pick up something random once in a while - look a Greece and Portugal and Slovenia. It's not like you have to drink Bordeaux or Barolo or Burgundy.
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Re: Expanding my horizons

#13 Post by Doug Schulman » January 31st, 2019, 1:57 pm

GregT wrote:
January 30th, 2019, 8:44 am
It's pretty impossible to answer the original question. You'll get a bunch of random suggestions without rhyme or reason, based on wines this or that person happens to like.

David's idea is best. Just taste widely. You'll figure it out.
Exactly. A good local wine shop (or better yet, 2 or 3 if you have enough in your area) is the best place to go. I partially agree with Greg's advice of telling them what you're drinking and asking for things that are similar, but there's so much that you're apparently unfamiliar with that it's also important to try wines that are very different from what you drink now. It's a fun journey. A good retailer would be happy to put together a mixed 6 pack or case in the price range you want so you can begin to explore.
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