Wine newbie here who would appreciate some advice on starting a wine collection consisting of aged/aging wines. I have a real (burgeoning) passion for aged red burgundies, such as Pommards from Dom de Courcel; champagne, such as from Salmon Billecart; and Spanish reds, such as R. Lopez de Heredia’s bosconia and tondonia. Any advice on:
(1) Reputable online sources for purchasing aged bottles, or bottles that would benefit from aging?
(2) Any recommended bottles and/or producers for long-term aging (i.e., 20+ years)?
(3) Any regions in particular that I should focus on?
Any other general advice is appreciated.
Sorry no-one has responded yet.
Others can be more specific, but your choice will be between stores specialising in older wines, or auction houses. The latter more of a ‘buyer beware’ situation, but I’d expect it to be cheaper if you price up diligently and are disciplined in not bidding over the max price you’d committed to pay.
There will be good recommendations here, but I reckon starting a thread in the main forum for Red Burgs, one for Champagne and one for Rioja might get you some good suggestions. Always worth saying if there are price constraints, as a few people here seem to think Roumier every day is normal
Focus on what takes your fancy, and don’t be afraid to taste something young and wonder “What might that taste like when it’s mature?”
Welcome to WB! An easy site to start with is probably winebid.com. There is a lot less pressure than a formal wine auction as it’s exclusively online and many times they feature very accessible wines (price wise) with some age on them.
Wines that age well are often Burgundies, Bordeaux’s, Barolos, Brunello’s, Napa Cabs etc… (not a conclusive list). Instead of listing off random bottles you may not have heard of, take a look at the TN (tasting notes) of other users on this forum. Most WB’s prefer older wines and you can read the TN’s from other WB’s to find wines that have flavor profiles that match your palate. Then look up those wines to check price and give them a try.
Ian and J0hnEhrl1ng: Thanks for the collective advice.
I like winbid, but have to watch out for the premium and tax. With shipping, all-in cost per bottle can be 33% more than the winning bid price which often is a show stopper for me. They seem to start out their wines at retail prices and then by the time you get the bill you have surprise grossly overpaid.
I used to purchase from Brentwood and have seen some beautiful wines come out of those mid range auctions, but lately I’ve been checking out K&L. Interesting variety of stuff that rotates through many regions, often some interesting wines with age on them and the pictures tell you exactly what you are getting. You won’t see the broadest collection of high end Bordeaux, or any other type, in a given auction but if you are patient you will find what you want at good prices. Plus they are diligent about their sources. I’ve seen too many black sauternes at online auctions and thought “What happened to the reds from that crappy cellar” and the answer is that they are hiding in the other lots. So it pays to go with someone who has some scruples left.
Chamber Street in NY is an excellent source, carefully curated and believe it or not, guaranteed.
If your are a newbie, not sure I’d start out a cellar with aged wines. If you are young, start experimenting with a variety of wines. Drink them young. See what you like that you know will cellar. My favorite stores are Bassins, wine.com (only w coupons), Sokolin, Apex, JjBuckly, wine Cellarage, Pluckys, Liquid Culture, and Fass. If you are old like me, auctions are the way to go to get older bottles, I like HDH, but can be expensive. Always check wine searcher.
Wait, Roumier every day isn’t normal?
I, like you, have started off my wine collection with an affinity for aged wines. I have used WineBid (as mentioned above) and also spent a lot of time on Flickinger Fine Wines (flickingerwines.com) which is more consignment than auction. I do my research on CellarTracker to see what people are saying about some of the older bottles that are available and in my price range and so far have always had a good experience in terms of the condition of the wine being as described.
Over time, as I’ve discovered more of what I like, I’ve gotten a little more focused in what I’m looking for and the vintage(s), but I have found it to be a good variety there to just try different kinds of mature wines.
while it’s nice to buy aged wines—and I do—realize that time goes faster and faster, so buy on release, store it well, blink a few times, and it will be 10-20 years old, cheaper and with perfect provenance.