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May 22, 2009 03:05 PM

High-end Wine Discussions

This is my first post. It seems like many of the discussions here focus on wines at the very low end of the price spectrum. I'm wondering if that's a sign of the economy, or is there little interest among this community for higher-end wines? Full disclosure: I run a very small new winery in Napa Valley.

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  1. don't know how many threads you've read, but discussions here run the gamut...from 2-Buck Chuck and Franzia in a box to Chateau D'Yquem and Screaming Eagle, and everything in between. it really depends on the nature of the original post.

    1. What the other poster said. I've posted on DRC and a horizontal of '59 First Growth Bordeaux... and answered questions about the best sub $15 wines around. It all depends.

      1. Need a great Amarone- Try Bussola TB Amarone....almost Port like. Let our 98 breathe for six hours before drinking last night....amazing!

        1 Reply
        1. re: sockster


          sockser, for a post that is a bit off topic.... the '98 Bussola TB is one of the greatest modern Amarones. Better than Dal Fornos I've had... better than some Quintarellis I've had. One of my friends has nicknamed me Mr. Bussola after I turned him on to the winery using that wine. So funny you mention it. It is, indeed, a beyond special wine.

        2. I think there may be some confusion between the terms "high-end" and "high-price". Often, the point being made is that there are many “high-end” wines available at reasonable prices. Many feel that the prices of Napa wines are approaching the level of absurdity. There are few discussions here that focus only on “high-price”, although it is true that some judge their wine only by this measure.

          3 Replies
          1. re: BN1

            If someone doesn't care for California wines that may be the case. For me personally who generally favor California wines I find them priced fairly reasonably (and this Girard's Petite Sirah I was raving about is an excellent example), again, it all depends what is your point of reference, price-point expectations. And I very rarely buy wines in the $50 range.

            1. re: olasek

              I’m not sure what constitutes a “California wine” as there is such variance between AVAs. I have enjoyed wines from maybe over two dozen in California. I am a big fan of CA Zinfandel and enjoy many the Rhone offerings that are becoming more popular. Living in Northern CA, I am lucky to be able to visit various wine growing areas often. It is my opinion that many Napa Valley wines tend to be overpriced. I have enjoyed Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon costing over $500, but I did not enjoy it more than some aged Nebbiolos from Italy costing $ 80, $50 or less. It’s just my opinion, but I enjoy more Sonoma than Napa wines and find them to have a better QPR (quality/price ratio). I do have personal favorites from Napa, because I am able to shop for value.

            2. re: BN1

              I see two charts. One is the wine, and it goes thusly:

              Good wine
              Fine wine
              Great wine

              Next is the price chart. It nees to be dynamic, as it must slide up and down the scale first mentioned. Great price does not mean "great wine." It must be highly dynamic. It will also reflect personal tastes and personal means. I can afford most wines. That said, I do not purchase "most wines." Many of these, I already have in the cellar. Some of the rest, I will not live long enough to properly enjoy, and have no children to leave the cellar to.

              Though I could afford a vertical of DRC's at a fine-dining restaurant, I'd usually opt for something that paired perfectly with the food, and spend some of the $'s saved on my next meal, or the next after that.


            3. define "high-end".

              Without a frame of reference, we cannot participate in the discussion; my definition is probably in synch with most people's definiton of high-end.

              There are tons of good to high quality wines at reasonable prices (which is also subjective to each of us), probably most of them are not considered "high-end".

              2 Replies
              1. re: Maximilien


                Of course, you are correct. The problem is that wine can cost from $2 to $20,000 / bottle and vary so widely in quality. FWIW: When a very large and disperate group of people I know get together for their annual "high end" tasting -- and people are told to bring whatever it means to them, the tendancy is to bring wines that are expected to be excellent and cost between about $65 and $180. I think that roughly makes sense because there, in my mind, is a level above high end. I guess you'd call it "super premium" and then there is a level above THAT... I guess you'd call it "Burgundy" ;-)

                1. re: whiner

                  Good general guidelines. Yes, there is a level, or two, above that. Think "cult," 1er Cru Bdx, and some of "Burgundy." Are the better? Only the taster can make that determination.