An introduction to fine wines

Love it? hate it? it’s THE cult Rioja.

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Flag-bearer for this appellation. About £10 above the limit, unfortunately.

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I like the idea of this. Perhaps have it as a wiki or some sort of live list within the thread, if they are easy to do? Maybe one of the more experienced member know if this is possible?

It would be really helpful to know who the big hitters are in each region if you’re new to it all, especially coming from this community where I always do a quick search before buying to see what views there are on here!

Oh Lord, I wouldn’t know where to start with this. Virtually all the ‘fine’ wine I drink is in the price range (well the lower end of it maybe £20-£40 with an occasional £40-£60). I could recommend so many Bordeaux and Rhone it’s difficult to know where to start. Just to pick a couple of favourites around £30:
Bordeaux:
https://www.thewinesociety.com/shop/HistoricProductDetail.aspx?pd=ZCM22941
https://www.thewinesociety.com/shop/HistoricProductDetail.aspx?pd=CM14131
(I could list so many others!)

Rhone:
https://www.thewinesociety.com/shop/HistoricProductDetail.aspx?pd=RH26731
https://www.thewinesociety.com/shop/HistoricProductDetail.aspx?pd=RH49931

And, of course, for affordable fine wine lets not forget Musar:

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I can make the initial post a wiki if you want, that way everyone can edit and have the running list in one place.

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Personally, I think if you can’t find ‘entry level’ below 50 quid a bottle, the region concerned shouldn’t be on the list.

I also await the re-kindling of the ‘what is fine wine’ debate? :grinning: Fine wine definition

Off fishing now, will be back with some suggestions…

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I also think entry level is not descriptive of most of the wines on this thread. I guess Tondonia comes closest though I’d go for Muga reserva or Arana/Ardanza as entry level “fine” Riojas. If the Cabassaou is an entry-level “fine” Bandol, I’m curious about what the non-entry-level ones are.

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Maybe we need to take a step back and consider some rules / more defined criteria around it before it starts as I feel like it could be a free-for-all! haha

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The difficulty is that price is very relative, the entry level price of fine Bordeaux or Burgundy is going to be quite different to that of say Languedoc-Roussillon or even Rioja.

How about “cheapest (and reasonably available) example of a wine that is representative in style of the canonical examples and sufficiently good to give an indication of whether you’ll like the finest examples”? Obviouslly the last point is pretty subjective, but something has to be!

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I think the emphasis should be on good example of the region in the price bracket, rather than ‘entry level’ and ‘fine wine’.

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Good start - need to edit it down a bit maybe…

'"Wine which satisfactorily embodies the key characteristics of the pinnacle at a good QPR "(Quality Price Ratio, not the West London football club)

I agree, and perhaps limiting it to like what Mike has done have maximum of 2 wines per region per person so we won’t just have a massive list but some thought out considered wines?

Sorry @Byrneand if this has derailed where you were going with it but really like the idea of having a quick list of what really showcases that region off the most when I’m looking to explore more regions

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For bordeaux, Leoville poyferre and/or Leoville Barton are hard to beat.

If you pick them up EP they tend to be within the price range and that is hard to beat for quality and value especially when you consider the huge cost jump up to first growth and even some of the other super seconds.

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While I agree they’re fantastic wines at a price that’s hard to beat, buying a whole case EP and then waiting for it to be drinking age isn’t really an introduction to fine wine (possibly a great intro to bordeaux EP though!).

[Edit: Scrap that. You can pick up a 2006 Leoville-Poyferre within budget.]

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Agreed, that’s a very good point, but yes if you can grab a bottle of Poyferre with enough age within the price point (as you did) then it’s a no brainer for me.

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Except now I am tempted to actually buy a bottle!

Interesting sub-topic to this thread - which AOC would you use as an introduction for Bordeaux? I’m torn as part of me would say Saint Estephe (my favourite), Paulliac is possibly the most “classic”. I’d possibly use something like The Society’s Bordeaux or BBRs Good Ordinary Claret and start from there.

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There’s a case for having one left bank and one right bank.

If we stick with Leoville Poyferre for the left bank, then I’ll submit Troplong Mondot as the right bank offer.

I think St Julien and St Emilion are great benchmarks for left and right bank wines and these two both fit the budget.

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Rules are there to be broken!

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If space allows I’d also add a premium Cotes to the mix to show up their dearer neighbours!

https://www.thewinesociety.com/shop/HistoricProductDetail.aspx?pd=CB3331

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