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Oct 6, 2008 12:13 PM

Wine to lay down

I wrote a post yesterday requesting champagne to lay down for 18/21 years which you have kindly reported is not practical. Alternatively could anyone please advise me of wine I could purchase that I could lay down successfully for 18/21 years, price wise I was looking to spend around $80-90 if that is realistic. Any help would be appreciated.

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  1. 2003 vintage Port (Fonseca)? Auslesen and truly sweet German Rieslings.

    Old school 2001 / 2004 Barolo (Aldo Conternos, the least expensive Giacosa, etc).

    It really really sucks, but even in you price range, there just isn't a lot that will be better in 20 years than it is now.

    11 Replies
    1. re: whiner

      You don't believe there are several Medoc under $100 that will drink well after 20 years?

      I would suggest that D'Armailhac at $50 for the '05 is a perfectly adequate choice.

      1. re: FrankJBN

        "a perfectly adequate choice"

        Perfectly said.

        That is kinda how I feel about the best sub $100 Medoc from '05 (based upon current, not release, prices). "Adequate"? Perhaps. But not good choices relative to the overall market if we are talkng about laying down 20 years.

        1. re: whiner

          Was there a condition from the OP that the wine to lay down be from the 05 vintage?

          1. re: whiner

            I don't understand your reply.

            If one seeks a wine to lay down for 20 years, a "perfectly adequate" wine for this will be a wine that will drink well when the cork is pulled in 20 years. Latour no doubt would be perfectly adequate for this purpose as well. Perhaps you misread "perfectly adequate" as meaning something other than perfectly suitable.

            "not good choices relative to the overall market if we are talkng about laying down 20 years."

            What do you mean "if"? That is what the question presented is.

            Why is a wine that will age gracefully for the next 20 years, not a good choice to age for 20 years?

            Unless you dispute that a good D'Armailhac can easily live a quarter century or that the '05 D'Armailhac, available today for $50, is a good wine.

            1. re: FrankJBN

              "Adequate", in its most generous meaning, is: as much or as good as necessary for some requirement or purpose; fully sufficient, suitable, or fit.

              Therefore, if someone says: "please reccomend a movie about mobsters" and then you reply, "Corky Romano" (, technically, you have given an "adeqaute" reply because the movie meets all the criteria asked for. However, if I reply, "The Godfather" while *also* an adequate reply in that it is *also* about mobsters, I would maintain that I have given a better reply than you because I have reccomended a better movie.

              Now, to me, "adequate," also has a connotation to me of being sufficient, but barely.

              As it applies to this case,

              I meant... "adequate" -- It won't taste like crap. But it won't be great. There are some sub $100 wines out there that are SOOO much better wines, imo. They just won't last 20 years. And there are a few wines, such as great Germans, old school Baroli, and Ports, that, imo, will be much tastier in 20 years than any '05 Bordeaux in the price range of OP.

              Of course, as has been pointed out, we don't know if OP want's a 2008 wine, in which case we'll have to wait on that.

              As an aside, '05 Vieux Telegraphe *may* be able to go the distance. '05 Beaucastel will.

              1. re: whiner

                That's a BS answer whiner, if it can be called an answer at all since you avoid my direct questions.

                the definition you give for adequate ("adequate" being different from "perfectly adequate' as it is different from "barely adequate") states "as much or as good as necessary for some requirement or purpose; fully sufficient, suitable, or fit."

                "As good as necessary" seems to remove your "Corky Romano" analogy from consideration as you deem it not as good as necessary.

                Likewise "fully sufficient, suitable, or fit" apparently means something to you other than "fully sufficient, suitable, or fit." . You provide this definition, but then disagree with its plain words.

                "But it won't be great" Says you. This is based on your experience with well-aged D'Armailhac?

                The OP asked "could anyone please advise me of wine I could purchase that I could lay down successfully for 18/21 years"

                My suggestion is but one example of a Medoc that will lay down successfully for two decades.

                Your suggestion that only Porto, Barolo, and "truly sweet" Rieslings are his choices is far too limiting and simply incorrect. Many years ago, i would not have considered kabinett Rieslings as suitable for aging.. I was incorrect then; I know better now.

                1. re: FrankJBN

                  Hi FrankJBN
                  Thank you for your advice and defense, you mention a Medoc (could you elaborate on which medoc to go for) finally if I was to extend my budget what should I really purchase that would be a fabulous choice that give me a much more reliable and delicious wine. Thank you for any advice you can spare.

                  1. re: chrissutton

                    Don't mean to hijack the question from FrankJBN.

                    Medoc: Ducru Beaucaillou and LĂ©oville Las Cases come to mind. Had both in 1980s vintages.

                    After you decant them (takes patience) and enjoy, they're magical.

                  2. re: FrankJBN


                    I don't know why I'm letting myself get dragged into this. But I only posted my initial comment because I slightly missinterpreted your comment. I have no desire to have an argument over semantics with you on a wine board...

                    I *happen* to think that the suggestion of 2005 D'Armailhac is an EXCELLENT reccomendation for the question: "I want a $50 current release Bordeaux to age for 20 years, what are my best options?" In fact, I will go so far as to say I can only come up with one wine I would reccomend above it were that the question (2005 Sociando-Mallet)

                    FWIW, I've had many vintages of D'Armailhac, but none at the age of 25+

                    BUT, in light of everything on the market, it isn't what I think the best course of actions is relative to OP's initial query. If you have a preference for Bordeaux, then by all means, one gets Bordeaux, but if one is regionally or varietally neutral, and is only seeking to maximize quality at under $100, I just don't think 2005 Bordeaux is where it is at.

                    There is no reason to debate semantics, when all we are dissagreeign on is the relative merits of '05 Bordeaux on a qpr basis relative to historically long lived CdP, Barolo, Portos and Rieslings.

                    Kabinetts can, indeed, age... but I wouldn't bank on one being great at the age of 25. The great '83 Auslesen are just beginning to enter their "second peak" now, but the Kabinetts are gone, imo.



                    If you are going to get a Medoc, and go outside of your initial stated budget, I have to say would go way, WAY off budget... and find 2003 Montrose. Right now it is going for $200/bottle, which is rediculous. However... I've already had this wine 3 times. It is off the charts. I've had it next to the '70, '89, '90 on the same night and it was already BETTER than any of them. (Though that '70 was DAMN GOOD!) The fact that the '70 was my second favorite of the night alo speaks to the wine's ageability. On my most recent experience with the '03, the wine was closing down as it decanted, suggesting it will be asleep for many years... but I guess that isn't of such a concern.

                    If you want to spend less on a Medoc, but can still spend over $100, I'd go for the 2003 Leoville Poyferre. I had it a couple of weeks ago. I actually think it is better than tha Barton, and it should be excellent in 20 years. I think it is going for about $150.

                    Now, FOR ME...

                    If I was not capped at $100, but was still bound by the laws of economics and reasonability...

                    I would go after the 2003 (if I could find it) or the 2005 Marc Sorrel Hermitage "Le Greal".

                    It is actually my opinion <$150, the 2005 Jean Grivot Vosne-Romanee Le Beaux Monts is going to go the distance, but I would not 'strongly' suggest that anyone gamble on that... except to say that if I am right, wow... that will be one spectacular wine.


                    It is hard to seperate personal opinion from "objectivity" here, but I try.

                    No dry wine ages as well as a great Bordeaux. And some people just genuinely prefer the flavors associated with Bordeaux. However, taking price into account, taking what I try to observe as objective quality into account, and then throwing my own two cents in on top of that...

                    And I would not overlook '05 CdP!!! I cannot believe I forgot it initially... and agin, suggesting that people age their CdPs to 25 years is... well, I feel it is a gutsy thing to suggest. But I really think the '05s are going to go the distance. I really think '05 Beaucastel and probably VT will be at their best in about 20 years. I mean, '89 Beaucastel is currently better than it has ever been, so it isn't THAT far fetched. But it is a 'gut' reccomendation, rather than one I can back up with science.

                    1. re: whiner

                      FWIW, had the '85 Sociando-Mallet in a tasting in '06 and it was drinking very well.

                      Do not know the '05.


          2. re: whiner

            I agree, with the exception of the great Rieslings, and then, it's an acquired taste.

            I might add some 4-5th growth Bdx., but that can be a crapshoot, depending on the vintage and producer.



            Or parts of it anyway, as you haven't provided any of the requested information.

            * * * * * * * * * *
            First of all, presuming your recent godchild was born THIS year, don't you need to wait and see if 2008 is a vintage year in Champagne, and then wait for them to come to market???

            While many Champagnes DO indeed age, asking one to go 18-21 years eliminates most of them. I'm with chrisinroah -- I'd do Sauternes or Porto . . . MUCH more likely to not merely survive until your godchild reaches 21, but much more likely to IMPROVE with that aging . . .
            * * * * * * * * * *

            Chris -- WAS your godchild born in 2008? Are you thinking of providing him or her with a wine from his or her birth year? And don't you need to wait for the wine to be released???

            OK, the tradition is to lay down a case (or in your case, bottle) of wine FROM THE CHILD'S BIRTH YEAR for the grown man (or woman) to enjoy. I would look for a Vintage Porto from 2008 as being your BEST BET, but these will not be released until 2011 . . .


            10 Replies
            1. re: zin1953

              I agree with all of the above, but I also know that many people do not like sweet wines, i.e. port. I realize this is a gross generalization, and I certainly like sweet wines, but I think a safer bet may be a bottle of red table wine. (but then again, you really do not know if your godchild will like wine at all).

              Having said that, if the child was born in 2008, I agree that you'll have to wait until wines from that vintage are released (i.e. another 1-3 years; longer for vintage champagne or port).

              I would look to France, Italy, possibly Spain (i.e. Rioja). Check your vintage charts. I am not sure how the 2008 vintage has turned out in various parts of Europe. Talk to your local wine merchant. You have lots of time to do your research if your godchild was just born this year.

              1. re: anewton

                "Many people" don't like any given style of wine. That said, sweet noble-rot wines are probably the most widely appreciated style there is. The only people I've ever seen turn their nose up at them, it was because they were told that good wine was supposed to be a certain way (dry, red). A godparent ought to plant the idea in the child's head that some of the greatest wines are sweet ... and there you go. Sounds much more likely than that they will appreciate their first aged bordeaux, for example.

                1. re: tmso

                  Perhaps I do not know a 'representative' sample of the population, but among average wine drinkers I know (certainly not among 'wine afficianados'), there is a certain bias against sweet wines. Dry reds seem to be the most popular among people I know (again, not talking about wine enthusiasts, but rather 'Joe Six-Pack,' as Sarah Palin would say--hee-hee).

                  But I agree that the godparent could give an education to the godchild about different styles of wine and could encourage appreciation of a vintage port, which is simply one of the most delicious wines there is and certainly has tremendous aging potential. We'll have to see what kind of a year 2008 has been for port, sauternes, etc...

                  1. re: anewton

                    "the godparent could give an education to the godchild about different styles of wine and could encourage appreciation of a vintage port"

                    Yeah, that's a plan.. When should this god parent start encouragng another's minor child to enjoy alcoholic beverages?

                    1. re: FrankJBN

                      Uh, it depends. Which you no doubt know. 14, 16, 18, 20? Yes, probably one of those.

              2. re: zin1953


                Just for my feeble brain, are you commenting on the OP's previous post, or are replies just not showing up on my browser?

                Just curious, as I am now confused. However, I am very often confused.


                1. re: Bill Hunt

                  To the OP . . .

                  I've often thought I lived in the State of Confusion. Then I found out I was in State of California, and my confusion was normal!

                  1. re: zin1953


                    Glad that you said that. I may have *thought* that (regarding the state in very general terms), but as I do not live there, could never voice such sentiments.

                    Now, back to the OP's original question, if I can recall what it was. There has been much discussion regarding "types" of wine to lay down. There has been discussion on "types," that many prefer. If you chart these different "types," you might find that there is overlap in certain areas. These would be where I would concentrate, starting with all wines that are likely to hold up well, and possibly improve over the years.

                    I'd look into doing a cellar that did incorporate many different age-worthy wines, of many different "types." Since I did not follow the original thread, and no direct quotes from it were included here, I can only guess on a few things. The cellar is for a god-child, who is quite young now. The hope is to pass on the cellar to said god-child, upon drinking age, where ever that child resides. If this is even close, we have a few possible problems down the road:
                    1.) god-child may not enjoy wine at that time in its life
                    2.) god-child may not like all of the "types" of wine laid down at that time in its life
                    3.) some of these wines might have had faults and be undrinkable
                    4.) some of these wines, regardless of "type," or track-record, might not age as well as any of us thought
                    5.) god-child might not develop a taste for aged wines of any "type," when the cellar is handed over
                    6.) things I have not thought of...

                    All of this is said to show that there are no guarantees, regardless of how well thoughtout the selections are. One could put down nothing but 1er Cru wines, with great pedigrees from excellent recent vintages and still not have the prize, that would hoped for.

                    I'd opt for a broad approach, in hopes that this breadth provides the god-child with a bit of an education.

                    The gift should be a wonderful one and I hope that it will be appreciated. It could also be a learning experience, that should be treasured.

                    Good luck,


                    1. re: Bill Hunt

                      I have more of a general question in regard to cellering wine so I figured I'd ask those out there more knowledgeable than me(that means most of you)! I have been trying various styles over wine over the last year or so in the $10-25 range (that my budget, and probably why I drink more beer) I seem to like reds more than whites and I like Cabernets and Red Zinfs and I have been keeping my purchases to USA Wines and Los Vascos Cab from Chili. Two other Cabs I really enjoyed were the Mondavi Napa Valley Cab and the Berenger Knights Valley.
                      My question is, will I benefit from cellering any of these wines? I got the Mondavi today for $16 and the Los Vascos for $8 and the last time I got the Berenger, it was $14. I have a celler that maintains its temp rather well and part of it is away from any light. Are there any other wines in this price range? I also read/heard that the red zinf is made to drink now and not really made for cellering.
                      Any thoughts/comments suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

                      1. re: imhungryletseat

                        I'd drink the Beringer Knights Valley cabernet soon. I've had it on a few occasions and it doesn't have any particular qualities that would lead me to think it had potential down the road. It's been awhile since I've had a R. Mondavi cabernet.

                        Generally, Napa Valley cabernets and zinfandels under $20 should be consumed immediately.