Options for starting a new cellar collection

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Vikrant Rachakonda
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Options for starting a new cellar collection

#1 Post by Vikrant Rachakonda » December 19th, 2016, 10:53 am

Hello all,
I am relatively new to wine collecting. My wife just purchased me a new air 52 bottle wine cooler, and I wish to fill it with decent, age-worthy wines. My max per bottle that I can afford is around $100 or so.

I was hoping to get some good, inexpensive Bordeaux 2009-2010s as well as some northern Rhones.

As far as what's available in our neighborhood state wine store (per bottle price):

Chateau Giscours 2009 at $95
Domaine de Chevalier 2010 at $100
Chateau Talbot 2010 at $95
Clinet Pomerol 2012 at $100

JL Chave St. Joseph 2012 at $65
Rostaing Côte Rotie 2012 Ampodium $85.

Are these reasonable collection starters for the price? Was thinking 6-8 bottles of each.

Thanks.

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Mike Sale
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Options for starting a new cellar collection

#2 Post by Mike Sale » December 19th, 2016, 11:10 am

http://www.wine-searcher.com and Cellar Tracker are your friends.

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Jason T
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#3 Post by Jason T » December 19th, 2016, 7:08 pm

Hi Vikrant, welcome to Wineberserkers!!!

Have you tried these wines previously?
J@son Tr@ughber

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#4 Post by Lee Short » December 19th, 2016, 10:41 pm

And -- what other wines have you liked? Have you tried any mature, cellared wines?

Vikrant Rachakonda
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#5 Post by Vikrant Rachakonda » December 20th, 2016, 3:32 am

Thanks for the responses. I have had the 2009 Giscours earlier this year and found it delicious and approachable. The Dom de Chevalier pick was based on multiple reviews on sites like Robert Parker/Vinous and Cellar Tracker.

I have also had some northern Rhone wines, including a bottle of Clape Cornas 2005 that I was very lucky to try at a party; I guess you could say this was an eye opener for me. I figured I could get into northern Rhone more cheaply with these picks in our wine shop.

Thanks for the feedback.

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Ian Sutton
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#6 Post by Ian Sutton » December 21st, 2016, 3:42 pm

Hi Vikrant
Welcome!
Those 52 bottle slots will fill up very quickly and if you're not careful, you'll find you quickly have 52 cellar-worthy wines and nothing to drink! Unlike many here, I'd say stick to that wine fridge for as long as you can, because very quickly you'll be dreaming of a larger model, then maybe some off-site storage and perhaps even your own cellar. Some here have many thousands of bottles. By always limiting the available space, you'll avoid the worst excesses of the buying addiction.

Thus I'd suggest just aiming for ~ 20-30 wines to start off with that are wines that really need cellaring. Other wines will appeal in time, so give yourself a little 'wiggle room' to accommodate them. Perhaps buy 4-5 bottles of each, allowing yourself to open one of each young (which can be informative when seeing how they age and trying to remember how it was when young).

Keep an eye out for mature/semi-mature bottles, perhaps just in single bottle quantities. These might spark additional diversification, but most importantly they'll stop you drinking the original wines too soon.

Giscours cellars well, so as you've tasted and enjoyed, I'd have that one inked in.

All are very respectable wines, with a long track record. As you've picked out the Giscours and the Clape Cornas, then the other wines listed are sensible 'variants on a theme'.

The key thing to aim for though is wines that you think you'll like, because Galloni or Parker (or me or anyone else here) don't have your palate. A lot of people head straight for Bordeaux because it's a very classic hunting ground for cellaring wine. However you might find you prefer Chianti, or Meritage blends, or Rioja or Douro reds. Hence the caution about filling the fridge up too quickly with what you might feel you should do. Better to fill it with what you do like. For me it was always important to have some variety, because most of our wine is drunk with food, I like having different options that may appeal more/less for a particular dish. On the flip side, it's good to get a feel for a small number of wine regions, to start to get your bearings. For me there have always been regions that are a key focus, others of peripheral interest, others I'll try to odd bottle to see if it sparks an interest, and others I'm not yet bothering with, or where I've not had much luck so don't pursue it.

regards
Ian

p.s. there is another thread going at the moment covering cheaper cellaring wines. There can be genuine joy in such wines, and the lucky bottles can punch well above their relative status - we remember very clearly a 1997 Dao that we bought from an ITB friend for £3 a bottle and was wonderful at just over a decade old. If only we'd taken more than just the half dozen. Find a few cheap cellaring gems and that might free budget up for something you really fancy that's $100-200 a bottle.
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#7 Post by Todd F r e n c h » December 21st, 2016, 3:48 pm

Great mix of Bordeaux and Northern Rhone already - add some Burgundy to your list (I'm SURE plenty of folks here can help, I cannot with Burgundy!) and maybe a Gonon St Joseph as well
Apparently I'm lazy, have a narrow agenda, and offer little in the way of content and substance (RMP) (and have a "penchant for gossip" -KBI)

Vikrant Rachakonda
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#8 Post by Vikrant Rachakonda » December 23rd, 2016, 5:09 am

Thanks for the great tips! I ended up going with the 3-4 bottle deep concept to avoiding filling up my wine fridge:
- Chateau Giscours 2009 x 4 bottles
- Chateau Talbot 2010 x 4 bottles
- Clinet 2012 x 4 bottles
- Domaine de Chevalier 2010 x 4 bottles
- JL Chave St. Joseph 2012 x 3 bottles
- Rostaing Côte Rotie 2012 Ampodium x 3 bottles.

Will try to use my remain slots for more accessible, ready to drink wines.

Thanks all for the input!

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Ian Sutton
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#9 Post by Ian Sutton » December 23rd, 2016, 6:02 am

Cool!

Thanks for coming back with the update, and good luck on the journey.
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Bryan Carr
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#10 Post by Bryan Carr » December 29th, 2016, 3:39 pm

As someone who is a few years into seriously pursuing wine as a hobby, I'd echo the sentiments to keep drinking and tasting, as your palate will definitely change as you taste more and more wine. There's some through lines in my taste that have stayed relatively the same but even within categories what I enjoy has shifted considerably from 1, 2, 3 years ago. I think you have a bunch of relatively classic stuff picked out which is really smart and might make your cellar a little more resilient to palate change but I think you'll be amazed at how you feel about things in 3 or 4 years even. Keep an open mind, and seek out new experiences and you'll do fine. Don't just stick to the classics because you might be surprised!
CT: the_lovenest

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#11 Post by RichardFlack » January 19th, 2017, 12:19 am

Agree with the comment about some 'lesser' wines that will be ready sooner. Nothing worse than a cellar full of wines none of which will be ready for a decade. If you are able to pick up a few mature vintages e.g. at auction that would help.

Top Cru Beaujolais can be great for mid term aging too.

As has been said it all comes down to what you like. Looks like you're off to a god start.

And, don't forget whites!!! Depending on your taste, Riesling (for the longer haul) or 1er Cru Chablis, say, will repay 5 years or so and give you some mid term drinking.

The key is restraint and flexibility.
And budget for a second cabinet!
Oregon Pinot likely cheaper intro to Pinot than Burgundy.

[edited for typos]

Vikrant Rachakonda
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Options for starting a new cellar collection

#12 Post by Vikrant Rachakonda » January 29th, 2017, 10:07 am

Thanks for all of the feedback!
I ended up filling out the rest of the wine fridge with more accessible wines that I enjoyed over the last year. I tried to focus on less pricy selections:
- Olga Raffault Chinon Les Picasses 2012 x 4 bottles
- Penfold Bin 28 Kalimna Shiraz 2012 x 3 bottles
- JJ Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Kabinett 2015 x 4 bottles
- Les Hauts de Smith Blanc 2011 x 4 bottles
- La Gerla Rosso di Montalcino 2013 x 4 bottles
- Marcel Lapierre Morgon N 2014 x 4 bottles
- Domaine de Roally Vire Clesse Tradition 2012 x 4 bottles.
- Ridge Lytton Springs 2013 x 3 bottles.

I went kind of crazy over the last few months. I definitely need to stop buying. My wife is already getting annoyed!

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Ian Sutton
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#13 Post by Ian Sutton » January 29th, 2017, 5:15 pm

Vikrant Rachakonda wrote: Thanks for all of the feedback!
I ended up filling out the rest of the wine fridge with more accessible wines that I enjoyed over the last year. I tried to focus on less pricy selections:
- Olga Raffault Chinon Les Picasses 2012 x 4 bottles
- Penfold Bin 28 Kalimna Shiraz 2012 x 3 bottles
- JJ Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Kabinett 2015 x 4 bottles
- Les Hauts de Smith Blanc 2011 x 4 bottles
- La Gerla Rosso di Montalcino 2013 x 4 bottles
- Marcel Lapierre Morgon N 2014 x 4 bottles
- Domaine de Roally Vire Clesse Tradition 2012 x 4 bottles.
- Ridge Lytton Springs 2013 x 3 bottles.
Cool - many thanks for reporting back. I think a very sound move in starting slightly cheaper. Cheaper wines = cheaper mistakes, but if you have a great success, it's also cheaper to restock. Often the best value in wine is to be had at what would be ~ $20-40 level. I love the breadth of the selection, which will reward you when considering a bottle for the dining table e.g. Something spicy? Maybe the Bin 28 or the Kabinett, something rich and meaty? Maybe the Ridge or Bin 28 or the Rosso. and so on.

I wouldn't hold the Vire Clesse too long, but maybe a bottle every year going forwards is a good place to start... however with that or any of the other wines, if you absolutely love a bottle you've opened, then it's no crime to open another bottle a week or two later.
Vikrant Rachakonda wrote:
I went kind of crazy over the last few months. I definitely need to stop buying. My wife is already getting annoyed!
Welcome to the club dear chap, you've established your credentials very quickly. We all understand this grouphug
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