The Umbrian wine region of Italy may be small, but its wines pack a powerful punch. The best wines from Umbria are racy and vibrant and many have aging potential. This region is also incredibly diverse; while it’s known for citrusy, dry white wines, Umbria also produces many bold, tannic red varieties that are gaining in popularity among Italian wine collectors. This guide will explore what collectors need to know about this marvelous “green heart of Italy,” including the area’s best-known subregions, finest producers, and most collectible blends.
The iconic Château Margaux estate is nicknamed the “Versailles of the Médoc.” From its stunning neo-Palladian architecture to its rows of carefully-planted vines, it’s a picturesque estate that’s fit for royalty. The wines themselves are equally alluring. President Thomas Jefferson famously adored these wines, saying, “There couldn’t be a better Bordeaux bottle.” The moody dark berry flavors and heady violet aroma generally present in the grand vin have earned this estate a reputation as one of the world’s greatest wine producers.
What should you do with the bottle of 1982 Salon Le Mesnil that you inherited from your Champagne-loving grandparents? Or the case of 2009 Louis Roederer Cristal that you no longer have room for in your cramped cellar? Selling Champagne online is a great way to make a profit that you can reinvest into your collection. This detailed guide will show you the easiest way to sell your Champagne from the comfort of your home.
There is no Champagne in the world quite like Salon’s blanc de blancs Le Mesnil cuvée. Made from top-quality Chardonnay grapes grown in just one grand cru village and from a single vintage, the wine is an outstanding expression of time and place. Every bottle of Salon is distinctive and potentially legendary—the house only produces a vintage when the quality is phenomenal.
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.
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.
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.
When the Vinfolio team visited Pomerol during en primeur week this past spring, we stopped at Château Lafleur to taste some of their incredible wines. During our tasting of the 2018 vintage, we had an enlightening discussion with a representative from the estate about what makes Pomerol special. Here, terroir is king. Château Lafleur and other Pomerol wine producers know just how unique the soil and climate are in this region, so they take a hands-off approach. The quality of the area’s terroir and the grapes it produces really do speak for themselves and this is a large part of what makes Pomerol so distinctive. In most other regions of Bordeaux, the winemaker’s signature style is very apparent in the wine; in Pomerol, most producers prefer not to interfere with the terroir’s natural characteristics at all.
While it’s still too early to judge the 2018 Burgundy vintage with any certainty, winemakers across the region are thrilled with how these wines developing so far. Louis Fabrice Latour, president of Maison Louis Latour, told The Drinks Business, “We are very pleased to have two big crops in a row of very good quality.” Some Burgundians, like négociant Philippe Pacalet, have even compared the 2018 vintage to 1947–one of the top Burgundy vintages in history.
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.