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An introduction to fine wines

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

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The benchmark when it comes to Soave:


Apologies for not being particularly articulate. My thinking is being that if you’re going to drop 20-75 on a bottle, you’ll of tried out the style, have an idea of what you like and don’t like and are thinking, “where to next”?

If I paint a picture:

  • You’ve tried the TWS exhibition wines from the region, you like it.
  • You want to explore more and are willing to spend to try the benchmark “good-great example”. Effectively take the step up to the next level.
  • Different regions are priced differently - this isn’t about saying that New World XYZ is a bargain vs Burgundy.
  • You’re price conscious… but equally willing to spend. QPR is important but know that a GBp 50 bottle can be better value than a GBp 20 bottle in certain circumstances. By playing in Burgandy/Bordeaux/Barolo you know it’s going to cost you more.
  • You’re willing to search out an aged example.

Its in those CdP examples that I used at the start, you kind of feel you could say to a friend, “I obviously can’t guarantee you’ll like this, but if you are going to spend up, in my opinion this is a good place to start and whilst it might be a bit more expensive I think it’s decent value”.

Not to beat a dead horse, I suppose if the TWS were to go up the quality curve with their exhibition wines; hence my description of “Exhibition ++”

p.s. thanks for all the thoughts so far!!!


In that case, I personally think Pauillac is what I consider to be the classic expression of Bordeaux and that Grand Puy Lacoste is a very good typical example from the appellation

And its within the range!


I was thinking of GPL for Pauillac as well.

For California Zinfandel I was thinking Ridge Geyersville or Lytton Springs along with Once and Once & Future Zinfandel Forcini.

Pretty solid goto wines in that next price bracket up


Along with Beaucastel and Clos du Pape, one of the 3 CdP to try. I particularly like this, and buy every vintage en primeur.


For 69 quid this is amazing value for a GPL 2009!

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This is excellent and you can get it from Costco for £10 less ( at least the last time I was in the warehouse)

I find that TWS Exhibition wines aren’t always the best first step…they vary quite a bit in my view.

I think by the time you get to wine like Vieux Telegraphe you are getting quite near the pinnacle.


True… but for 45 it’s not a bad QPR and a step down in price from the likes of a Vieilles Vignes or a Clos des Papes.

In terms of risk (price) vs potential reward (generally enjoyed and viewed v.positively) it’s a good trade off for someone looking to try slightly higher quality wine.


My experience of CNdP is that the prestige cuvees, whether VV or some other version, are very often not any better than the main wine. Sometimes they are quite OTT in terms of concentration and alcohol too.

Always exceptions of course. Mayard Crau de ma Mere 2012 being one in my cellar…

…they seem to name them all after revered older generations of their families too…


Ok I will have a go with some suggestions…picking up on @robertd’s Alsace theme, can I suggest this?

I first bought the 1983 vintage of it, and drank the last bottle in a year beginning with 2…it was still exceptional. I have a couple of the 2013 halves at present.

I would also recommend this for Pinot Gris

https://www.thewinesociety.com/shop/ProductDetail.aspx?pd=AL14691 or failing that the Domaine Weinbach Cuvee St Catherine.

Moving on to claret, I think that this gives a pretty good overview of the key elements of good claret. Doesn’t break the bank either.

Rhone…I tread very carefully here lest @Taffy-on-Tour descends on me like a thunderbolt and burns me for heresy…


or moving nearby, this

In Burgundy, I find that the Bellene wines give typicity at not outrageous prices.

Italy, I won’t comment much on, but the Querciabella Chianti is a pretty good one, and Cavallotto Bricco Boschis 2005 is still doing it for me. It’s not the cheapest, and takes a while to come round.

Musar already been commented on but it strikes me as a pretty circular loop except for older vintages of the same…


I know! Their prices are amazing:

Agree with Chasse Spleen, it’s a wonderful left bank claret that’s not a complete rip off!

The top Thymiopoulos wines are among the best in Greece and incredible value when compared to Barolo or Burgundy!

I also love this:

For a straightforward Chianti this is hard to beat:

This is the probably best dry Muscat I’ve ever drunk, in fact anything from Müller-Catoir is a treat!


Completely with you on the Thymiopoulos…didn’t mention them as not a ‘classic’ region…yet, and thankfully not prices to match. Yes, Barolo and Burgundy in one, a BOGOF in fact! What’s not to like?


Life’s not complete till you try some old Huet:


“Ages beautifully”… is the defining characteristic of the wines of Moulin Touchais. A classic by any standard.


This is a wine with history. Lots of it. Beauty in all possible aspects. Something to try at least once in your life. The coffrete box alone, with the magnetic closure, is worth the price. And if we are ever allowed to travel again, a beautiful property to visit, in a stunning part of the world.


Condrieu reaches one of its peaks with this wine, which has its own appellation and should be drunk after plenty of ageing (10 years usually). My 2005s (bought from the Society in 2009) are long gone.



Again, going back to your point I think if you recommend a CdP Telegraph to someone you have a fairly high confidence that they will be happy with that (assuming they like CdP) and at 45 quid, its reasonable value.

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