Wines with similar taste to the "big guns"

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kenlavoie
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Joined: February 9th, 2018, 12:38 pm

Wines with similar taste to the "big guns"

#1 Post by kenlavoie » March 8th, 2018, 10:17 am

I would like to experience, for the first time in my 52 years, what a really "good wine" tastes like. To give you some context, my favorite wine is an organic red called Nero D'avola by Purato. (10-$12 per bottle, which is "treat level pricing" in my household). I would like to taste something that APPROACHES what a first growth bordeau like Rotschild's Lafite without spending the cost of a plane ticket for one bottle. Just something similar so I can discover whether or not I even like "age worthy" wines to begin with.

I like "red and dry" and full bodied.
Kenneth LaVoie
Winslow Maine

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Mattstolz
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Joined: June 26th, 2017, 7:46 pm
Location: South Carolina

Wines with similar taste to the "big guns"

#2 Post by Mattstolz » March 8th, 2018, 12:19 pm

expect to still probably pay a little more than your Nero price (not always, but an outstanding $12 bottle is a rare thing in wine)

my suggestion is to look at classes of wine that typically offer good value. a couple of examples:

wines labeled "Langhe Nebbiolo" often come from the same vineyards as more expensive Barolo and Barbaresco, but the vines are a little younger, or its maybe the bottom of a hill instead of the middle or top in the same vineyard... etc. I love the Langhe Nebbiolo from Produttori di Barbaresco (the "langhe" is $22, the "barbaresco" is $35, and the "riserva barbaresco" is more)

wines labeled "Rosso di Montalcino" are often similar, but they are "baby brunello di montalcinos" instead.

In other countries and regions, a "Bourgogne rogue" from a really good producer will often give you a pretty good idea of the style of iconic producers at a much more entry level price than their most famous wines from higher ranked (grand cru) vineyards. Still expect to spend $30-45 for a producer like Leroy, Meo-Camuzet, Hudellot-Noellat, etc. note: these will NOT typically have the complexity of a Grand Cru. Theres typically a quality reason why the Grand Crus ARE the Grand Crus that is hard to obtain anywhere else. But they are a fairly good alternative at a fraction of the cost.

In Bordeaux, in good vintages there are deals galore. Wines in the lower "growth" classes or in the "haut medoc" can be steals. some of my favorites are Lannessan, Gloria, Sociando-Mallet, and Cantemerle (there are a lot of value Bordeaux threads if you search the forum). Two notes for these: again, it is hard to find a comparison to the first growths. When they are in their stride, theyre hard to beat. also, you are gonna probably have to pay a little bit of a premium for the best experience even with these lower ranked wines if you wanna drink them now, because they are often at their best when they are 10+ years old.

For rhone blends, similar grape blends can be found from the Languedoc for fractions of the price. They will typically be slightly less elegant or more fruit forward than their Rhone counterparts, but gives an idea.

Other things to keep in mind: there are some values in overlooked regions of the world. some countries in south America (Chile for example) can make some pretty stellar Bordeaux blends if you know what to look for. Same for some regions of southern Australia and Washington State. Austria and Alsace make some really great (mostly dry) Riesling.

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Yao C
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Joined: February 1st, 2017, 10:53 pm
Location: San Francisco

Wines with similar taste to the "big guns"

#3 Post by Yao C » March 8th, 2018, 10:42 pm

kenlavoie wrote:I would like to taste something that APPROACHES what a first growth bordeau like Rotschild's Lafite without spending the cost of a plane ticket for one bottle. Just something similar so I can discover whether or not I even like "age worthy" wines to begin with.

I like "red and dry" and full bodied.
Left bank: 2012 Grand Puy Lacoste for $50 (http://www.klwines.com/p/i?i=1215920)
Right bank: 2012 Roc de Cambes for $50 (https://www.bottleshop.com/products/109 ... bourg-2012)

There are cheaper ones, but I find that these are squarely & reliably in the ballpark of much more expensive Bordeaux producers
C h 0 o n 6

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Josh Grossman
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Joined: August 30th, 2017, 11:26 am

Wines with similar taste to the "big guns"

#4 Post by Josh Grossman » March 9th, 2018, 12:53 am

So here is your wine:
http://www.twpwines.com/our-wine-range/ ... liane-igp/

Looks like a great representation of Nero--which I do think are bargains generally. It says it is racked (usually meaning transferred from barrel to barrel--but it doesn't give any age that it was in a barrel--which makes me believe it was probably stainless steel tanks. It's harvested in October--which seems late to me for Sicily--which I would have to believe is warmer than most of France? That indicates that it probably lost much of the tannins and is going to be more fruit forward.

If you just want to try a good Bordeaux and not break the bank-- I would say a 2014 Chateau Tour Saint Christophe. A wealthy man bought the vineyard in 11 or '12 and spared no expense in bringing up it's quality, from hiring expert famous vintners to better vineyard management. It's still a bargain and the '15 and '16 are getting even bigger scores. Here it is for $30--but you might be able to find it cheaper. Most reviews still have it as very tannic which would dissipate with time. If you open it this year, I would let it breath for many hours before trying it: https://www.saratogawine.com/Chateau-To ... 750ml.html

That's not actually my top recommendation though. There are a class of wines called Super Tuscans which is usually the native Sangiovese grape as a minority with the majority being made up of Bordeaux blends of Cab and Merlot. I'd say stick with Italy and try this: https://www.winebid.com/BuyWine/Item/65 ... 6-La-Massa

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Ian Sutton
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Location: Norwich, UK

Wines with similar taste to the "big guns"

#5 Post by Ian Sutton » March 10th, 2018, 8:25 am

In a way, be careful what you wish for. If you really enjoy that wine and aren't left feeling let down by it, then there may not be much value in seeking more expensive alternatives. It's already the 'good wine'. There is no guarantee more expensive is better for you, and what you like in that wine might be lost in a fancier wine aiming for a different style.

If you want to stay with the same grape and experiment up the scale, there are some more expensive wines you might want to try - perhaps Donnafugata's Tancredi (not massively more expensive) or their Mille e una Notte with the wonderful label - which is more expensive ~ $50 or a shade over?

Some of these pricier wines do need some age on them to show their best and greatest complexity, so bear that in mind. Indeed perhaps the better option is to seek out an already mature expensive wine, either by the bottle, or one of those rare wine bars that has mature bottles available by the glass / tasting glass via enomatic dispensers.
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