Knowing how to buy wine for aging is a challenge for many beginner collectors. This is partially because it’s easy to conflate quality with aging potential. However, just because a wine is delicious and received high scores from critics does not necessarily mean it can age for decades. So, which wines do have great aging potential and why should you age wine at all?
If you ask a serious Burgundy collector which wine they’d love to have in their cellar right now, chances are they will say Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Romanée-Conti. Not only is DRC’s flagship wine one of the most delicious ever created, but it’s also a unicorn wine for Pinot Noir enthusiasts. These wines—particularly the highest-rated vintages—can be nearly impossible to find for sale. Still, these iconic wines do sometimes come on the market, and, when they do, you’ll want to be prepared.
The best vintages of Pétrus have the power to move people. A commenter on the Wine Berserkers forum claimed that after trying 488 wines from 1990, he found that Château Pétrus was his absolute favorite of that year, even over the first-growth wines he tried. In average years, these wines are still unbelievably decadent, but in great years, they are otherworldly. When it comes to investing in Pétrus wine, it’s almost impossible to make a poor decision. As always, though, there are still some vintages that wine enthusiasts consider to be a cut above the rest. This guide will help you find the most legendary Château Pétrus wines for your collection.
Many aspiring collectors aren’t sure how to build a wine collection. They see experienced collectors with lots of great wines in their cellars, and wonder how they know which wines are worth aging and drinking. What will these wines taste like when they’re aged? What if their tastes change in the ten or 20 years it takes to age a great wine? Unfortunately, collecting wine is a leap of faith most of the time. There’s no way to know for sure which wines will gain in value or appeal to your tastes in the future. However, there are a few basic guidelines to help budding collectors get their start building impressive, timeless, and enjoyable wine collections.
Wines from Hermitage are some of the most delicious and rewarding to age. They can taste a little closed off in their youth, but over time they transform into deeply complex wines packed with peppery, smoky flavors. There is also a lot of flavor variety in wines from this region. For example, a wine enthusiast posting on the Wine Berserkers forum tried two bottles of Hermitage at dinner—a 2004 M. Chapoutier Ermitage Le Pavillon and a 2007 Paul Jaboulet Aîné Hermitage La Chapelle. The 2007 wine was flavorful and juicy, but still a little green–a common quality in relatively young Hermitage. The 2004 wine was more complex, aromatic, and much more mature tasting, despite being only a few years older. Although these two estates are located only about three miles apart, the two wines couldn’t have been more different. Terroir, age, and vintage strongly influence Hermitage wine characteristics.
Willamette Valley Pinot Noir has an excellent reputation among fine wine collectors. These wines are even compared to Burgundy’s in terms of their flavor profile. Master of Wine Jancis Robinson told the Los Angeles Times that producer Bergström makes some of her favorite Oregonian Pinot Noir in part because it reminds her of fine Burgundy. “I love Bergström’s wines because they are an exciting expression of what Oregon has to offer,” she says. “Josh Bergström trained in Burgundy, so they have a purity and a lack of palate-numbing sweetness too.” The best Willamette Valley Pinot Noir vintages achieve this purity and freshness when the weather conditions in the valley are just right. Too much or too little rain and sunshine can significantly reduce the quality of the vintage as a whole.
Storing magnum wine bottles is a major challenge for many collectors. One member of the Wine Berserkers forum had a few magnums of Krug and Riesling in off-site storage that she wanted to keep in a wine rack at home. This was a problem because the bottles were not only too large for a standard-sized rack to hold, but some of them were also unusually shaped. The Krug magnums were wide and heavy at the base, causing the neck of the bottles to tip too far forward when they were laid on their sides. To deal with this issue, she had a custom rack made specifically for her magnums and provided the company building the racks with the exact measurements of an actual Krug magnum to ensure the bottles would fit properly.
Rare wine gifts have the power to impress experienced and beginner wine enthusiasts alike. Most wine collectors appreciate the history and unique qualities of a rare bottle. Whether you’re looking for a rare wine as a gift for someone who’s impossible to shop for or you want to show the wine enthusiast in your life just how much you appreciate them, this guide will help you find the most gift-worthy bottles.
Whether you’re a seasoned Bordeaux collector or you want to start a collection from scratch, the 2018 vintage makes an excellent addition to a cellar. These wines are rich, concentrated, finessed, and elegant. While it’s still a very young vintage that has a long way to go, it’s already showing great promise. In this guide, we’ll offer you tips on which 2018 wines we think are worth collecting and provide you with some useful market projections that you can use to make investment decisions.
Master of Wine Jancis Robinson says, “Not much about wine makes me sad, but the average wine consumer’s attitude to sweet wines does. Good sweet wine is probably the most difficult and expensive wine in the world to make, yet so many people turn up their noses at the idea of sweetness in wine.” This is especially true for sweet red wines. While Sauternes is often praised by wine critics and collectors alike, sweet red wines aren’t given nearly as much attention. This guide will help you find the most incredible sweet red wines on the market today.
Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Montrachet is consistently high in quality, but when you find an especially extraordinary vintage, the experience can be transformative. Moreover, these wines are as valuable as they are delicious. Like all Domaine de la Romanée-Conti labels, the Montrachet label increases in value as the wine ages, making it a great choice for collectors who want to resell their wine on the secondary market. There are many fantastic DRC Montrachet vintages to choose from; we’ll recommend the very best vintages–both recent and older–from this iconic label.
Vintage quality is an important factor to consider whenever you buy fine wine, but when you buy Barolo, it’s absolutely essential. That’s because the quality of Barolo significantly impacts its aging potential, and a fine aged Barolo is truly a special experience. A well-made wine from a top-quality vintage will taste astoundingly complex at age 20 or 30. Even some of the best wines from the 1950s and 1960s are still drinking well today. However, for Barolo to be this long-lived, it must be high in quality and perfectly balanced.