Wines for keeping. - Printable Version

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- Locuraman - 09-26-1999 03:49 PM

I am inexperienced in choosing wine. I once read a book which gave great advice, drink what you like and don't worry about what the experts say. I have followed it but now fined myself in a dilemma. I am now in a position where I can buy about $50.00 worth of wines a month. I know some wines get better with age and would like to buy some inexpensive ones to keep for 5,10, or 20 years. The question is, how can I find wines that will keep and hopefully taste better after time? A not so local wine store recommended a 1997 Bordeaux, Chateau Landereau. I bought some but don't really know how it will turn out. Is there any where I can go to fined out about finding good, inexpensive "keepers"?

- Thomas - 09-27-1999 06:42 AM

Inexpensive is a relative term, but based on your $50 per month number, a case of wine for the month would average $4 a bottle. At that price, you would be better off drinking whatever it is you buy; saving it won't get you far.

Why do you want to save wine? Best to enjoy it while you can.

- Jerry D Mead - 09-28-1999 12:16 AM

A good, solid, reliable "keeper" that won't send you to the poor farm is Louis Martini Cabernet Sauvignon...find the 1994 or 1995 if possible.

This winery's wines always taste good when released, but amaze even the experts by improving fo literally decades.

- Locuraman - 10-03-1999 07:59 AM

Thanks for the answers. I will certainly try to find Louis Martini Cabernet Sauvignon. I don't know the price but my plans are to buy one or two bottles a month. Here's hoping they age into something better than I can afford.

- Randy Caparoso - 10-03-1999 05:57 PM

It doesn't take an expert to figure out if a wine is good for "aging." In fact, as Curmudgeon pointed out, so-called experts are often surprised by how well wines like Louis Martini Cabernet Sauvignon age (because their wines never seem to be all that intense or earth-shattering); and are often dead-wrong about other Cabernet Sauvignons, which seem so powerful and promising in their youth, but fall apart after a few short years.

Generally, there are two things you need to train yourself to look for in determining for yourself whether you want to lay down a bottle:

1. Balance (smoothness, harmony of elements, fineness of texture, etc.)

2. Intensity (impressions of depth, layers of flavor, fruity aromas, etc.).

The best wines for aging have both qualities, not just one or the other. If anything, the trickiest wines are usually the ones that seem the most intense in youth (like big California Zinfandels and Chardonnays), because they don't always actually improve with age. And other wines -- like Louis Martini Cabernet Sauvignon, and white Burgundies from France -- often seem rather lean, even weak, in youth, but are balanced enough to get better and better at 5, 10, even over 15 years old.

Practice, practice, practice.