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2002 red wine recs?

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Looking to give a bottle of wine from the year a couple met as an wedding gift. Should be within the $150-$250 range. They love wine, as do I, but I have only very basic wine knowledge. Looking for something not too dry (no merlot), cabernet, pinot noir good. They met Jan 2002, but any from 2002 will do... Thanks!

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  1. This is a question best asked of a good wine shop near you, since there's no way of knowing what they'll have in stock, especially for that vintage. It would also helpful to know if the couple will be drinking the wine right away, or if they'll be cellaring it for their 25th anniversary.

    Another idea: if you're willing to spend $250, why not get 5 $50 wines? Unless you're looking for collectible or rare bottles, you can do quite well with a $50 wine, and there'll be more to go around.

    But if I were going to blow $250 on a single bottle of wine, I'd get me some burgundy. 2002 was a pretty good year.

    1. Most wines in that price range aren't ready to drink.

      Chateau d'Yquem?

      2 Replies
      1. re: Robert Lauriston

        The Phelps 2002 Insignia (Wine Spectator's 2005 Wine of the Year) comes to mind.

        1. re: anewton

          A wonderful wine, and approachable now, but should be better in another 5 years. I did pop the cork on one of my case, two months ago, and it was very good, but had not quite "come together" yet. I'll probalby hold off until 2010, for the next bottle - if I can wait.

          Not too long ago, we did a taste-off with domestic Meritage-type wines (none happened to be an official Meritage) and some heavy-hitters from Bdx (similar price-points), and the '97 J. Phelps Insignia won, hands down. Surprisingly, the top three were the Insignia, a '99 Dominus and an '89 Ridge Montebello (yea, and the wine press said that the '89s were "undrinkable!"). Very good wine was made, by great winemakes, in that troubled year. The Beringer '89 Howell Mtn. Bancroft Ranch Merlot is just now drinking wonderfully.

          Good call, especially if they can store it for a few years. Otherwise, maybe throw in some walnuts in whatever dish is served, and decant for at least an hour, or double-decant.


      2. I just did a posting on the 2002 pinot noirs from the Carneros district of California. Do some shopp;ing and find the best your local wine merchants can provide! Enjoy.

        1. U.S...

          Any of the Karl Lawrence Reserves that may be out on auction would work.

          Peter Michael Le Moulin Rouge Pinot Noir is still drinking very nicely.

          Some good Burgundies...

          Dujac Charmes Chambertin or Bonnes Mares
          Groffier Clos de Beze or Bonnes Mares or Chambolle Musigny les Amoureuses

          Actually, though I find Jadot somewhat hit or miss, the 2002 Jadot Clos de Beze is excellent, though I think it needs 6-8 more years to be at its best. Maybe even more?

          Back to U.S....

          Personally, I'm not a fan of the '02 Insignia that others have mentioned. But, hey, one huy's opinion...

          1. oolah has the best response. There is NO WAY to know what is in stock at a stre near you; you should -- as would I in a similar circumstance -- seek out a knowledgeable retailer where you live, and ask them.

            Secondly: I, again, agree with oolah -- why buy one bottle?

            Personally, I would buy them two or three bottles:

            --one to drink now -- to celebrate their wedding; this could be a n.v. Champagne, or one from 2002 (if you can find one).

            -- one to drink on their 1st anniversary; perhaps a 2002 Riesling from Alsace or White Burgundy.

            -- one to drink on their 5th anniversary; a red wine that's build to age . . .

            Just my 2¢


            9 Replies
            1. re: zin1953

              Doesn't make sense to give wine to lay down unless they have temperature-controlled storage.

              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                1) Not true at all!

                2) Assuming facts not in evidence (the OP admits he has "only basic knowledge," but that the couple "loves wine").

                1. re: zin1953

                  Temperature-controlled, OK that's going too far, but if they don't have an appropriate cool place to store a wine for five years, it makes no sense to give them a bottle that needs to age that long.

                  1. re: Robert Lauriston

                    totally agree..did I mention totally ?

                    1. re: Robert Lauriston

                      Thank you for the correction, Robert. I have had various passive cellars for my wines since 1976, and they have worked perfectly. (I haven't had temperature-control since I moved from LA.) Wines from every decade back through the 1960s have matured and/or are continuing to mature in my cellar exquisitely.

                      While I would never recommend storing a bottle of wine upright on top of the refrigerator in the kitchen for even 5 minutes, let alone 5 years, depending upon the specific wine one is selecting, I've even had great results storing wine in a cool, interior hall closet for as long as five years. Perfect conditions? No. But it's workable.

                      1. re: zin1953

                        So if they have a cool, interior closet and won't be moving for five years ...

                        1. re: Robert Lauriston

                          Again, not the point, but I suspect . . . .

                          1. re: zin1953

                            The point is not to give them something that won't taste good.

                        2. re: zin1953

                          >> I have had various passive cellars for my wines since 1976, and they have worked perfectly.<<

                          That is a very good news for me. I also rely on "passive" temp. control, I have a nice nook in the back of my garage - all concrete, earth around, very dark place. During peak summer temp. I measured around 68 deg, but it usually stays around 60 and even colder in winter.

                2. Please tell us. What did you decide?

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: chickstein

                    My all-time favorite wine (so far) was the '02 Turley Uebberroth zin. I was surprised to find it available through some retailers for approximately $90 I believe with shippine (I'll have to get some). It has the nice little touch of having the special earthquake sticker ('02 was the earthquake) that Turley put on their wines that year. I'd consider getting 2 bottles, one to drink now, & one to drink later.

                    1. re: LANative

                      ALong with LA Native, it might be cool to give them a 2002 Turley and then invest in some futures for the year they are going to be married in. i believe Turley sells a lot of their high end stuff out in futures.
                      Just a thought to mix it up some.

                      Siduri has a dessert wine called Oleo, that has a picture of Adam Lee's wife's grand parents on the front from their wedding. it makes a great wedding gift, as do siduri wines; and you can buy futures too! it would be the full package.

                      Another idea, what is their last name? you could find a 2002 from a vneyard that bares their name you just have to do some research and they have to have a good last name that matches a vineyard.

                      just a thought.

                      AND - just a side note, zin1953 is always dead on with his wine selections, so definitely take his advice. he and i have posted on some same boards before, and while, sometimes he is "to the point" all of his choices have been wonderful! thank you zin1953.

                      1. re: LANative


                        Thanks for the insight. Now it makes perfect sense. I've been doing quite a few Uebberroths, mostly '03 & 04 at restaurants lately and paying in the neighborhood of US$100-150. While in NOLA, I was about to snag a bottle, but it was US$310, and was the '02. Usually a year, or two, doesn't make THAT much of a difference in a Zin. I opted for the Duarte '04, instead at about half the price. I wondered WHY, and now I know.


                        1. re: Bill Hunt

                          Glad to be of help. It was also a really amazIng vintage...

                    2. Much 2002 Grand Cru Burgundy is still available.

                      1. I'd hate to be the bearer of bad news, but 2002 in truth was not the greatest year for wine. Pockmarked by a stormy growing season, 2002 was forgettable as far as this wino is concerned. I actually signed up to tell you this; good luck finding a wine, as I see the year carries some sort of sentimental value-- however, I do hope in the interest of the oenophile that you find something half decent out there.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: eunolee

                          Don't understand this comment. While '02 was certainly a lousy year for certain regions (Rhone and Italy in particular), was a very good year for Burgundy, a good year for Oregon pinot, and - though I don't drink much of them - reported to be a great year for Loire, Germany, and Napa cabs.

                          1. re: eunolee

                            I hate to burst your bubble, but you are incorrectly condemning an entire vintage without knowing the facts. Yes, many growing regions in Europe had a rough go in 2002, but it was one of the finest vintages on record in Burgundy, especially in the Cotes de Nuits. 2002 was also an extremely fine vintage for Coteaux du Layon and Quarts de Chaume.

                            1. re: eunolee

                              Frodnesor and Vinny are correct. Speaking globally, overall, every vintage is good. Some fortunate years every region gets good weather. Other years, a few of the scores of meteorologically distinct regions around the world have bad luck.