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Best cheap case filler for going into reserves

There are occasions when there are wines that I’d like to put into reserves but can’t afford a case of 6 or 12.

I was just wondering if anyone has any go to cheaper wines as fillers for a case that one wants to age for a decade or so?

Thanks

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Bit of a cheat answer because I’m not going to give you a wine. However, one way to look at what’s available is to filter by drinking window end date (to 10 years from now), then filter by price, stripping out anything above your budget level. You’ll be left with everything TWS sells that they recommend will last 10 years hidden in their warehouse. Like this

Having said that, if Riesling floats your boat, that’s normally a pretty good option for ageing, whatever the drink dates say.

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You now have me eyeing up an Argentine Chenin on a Friday morning! Good tip

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I would also recommend the delas entry level,


It generally benefits from a couple of years cellared and is cheap enough to bulk out a reserves case .
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The answer depends hugely on the drinking window of the wine you’re actually trying to buy. If you put in a mixed case, you can only withdraw it all at once.

Having said that, while I don’t like the Guigal Cotes du Rhone as much as @Taffy-on-Tour, it is both a decent wine for the money and one where keeping it doesn’t seem to do any harm.

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Seconded. Or the Jaume Altitude 420 (TWS ‘window’ to 2028), or Guigal CdR from most vintages.

Tahbilk Marsanne in whites.

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I’m thinking S.A Chenin. Get a few different ones to hedge your bets, will be fascinating to compare in ten years time. If ‘cheap’ extends to £34 ish then TWS Brut Champagne is ageworthy. Or Deanston Scotch 12 y/o - people say whisky does not develop in bottle, but I’m convinced otherwise - in 10 years you will look back and marvel at the low price paid!

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I don’t think there’s much doubt that the price of whisky has developed very satisfactorily in bottle at least recently. This is not investment advice and past performance is no guarantee of future returns.

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@Byrneand

These two, as being inexpensive and great for midweek drinking. :+1: :dragon:

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Not sure the latter fits into the category of being capable of ageing up to 10 years…?

yes, just make sure that you don’t touch it for 5+ years

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Cannot argue with that. :blush:

I rotate both of these halves (various vintages) to provide available fillers for deliveries.
It works for me, as I do around 3 withdrawals from reserves annually. :dragon:

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Thanks everyone for being generous with your time and providing answers.

For context, I’m abroad at the moment and I want to hedge my bets that I may be for up to 10 years. Nothing scientific or certain on that but I’m old enough to know that things change. We do however expect to be back in the UK when the drinking window of say the 2019 Bordeaux’s are in their prime. It means I take perhaps a different, long term view to my buying strategy.

So that leads into there are occasions where I want to create a mixed case of fairly “punchy” priced wines:

Penfolds Grange, Monte Bello, Select Bordeaux were (sadly) I can’t afford to be dropping 1,500-2,500 on a case of 12. So am looking for something in the region of 3-8 bottles to bang into make up the case and bring the average price down.

Historically, I’ve thrown in a small selection of Sauternes and Ports were available (kind of thinking to myself… “well that will be a little treat in 10 years when you open that up”). You can only do that so much however as you probably don’t want copious amounts of nice… but not great sweet and port rolling around your house. I’ve also used Meerlust’s Rubicon as a tool as well for example.

Ideally, I’m looking for something in the GBp 10-20 range that would serve the purpose of bring the average bottle price down in the mixed, and if I had 20-40 bottles in the house would make for a great “regular house wine” with 10 years of age on it. I’m fully aware of house extravagant this sounds!!

I appreciate, I can just use the slider and set drinking window “minimum 2030” on drinking window ends but looking to lean on the knowledge of the community here. Equally I know I could just go to another merchant and buy by the bottle.

I suppose I’m asking, does anyone else think like this and if so what wine(s) do you use to fill this role.

As I say, looking for something drinking in the 2028-2033 range.

Thanks for listening and for all your thoughts!

(p.s. this context also perhaps explains my dismay and annoyance at the Paul Sauer 2015 only being sold in a mixed case with whites that needed to be drunk up by 2023!! Especially, as I’d taken my now wife to the Kanonkop estate on a date a few years back)

In a mixed case going into reserves can you remind me, how are halves and magnums treated when making up a mixed case of 12 to go into reserves?

Thanks again!

@Taffy-on-Tour is actually doing the opposite of what you want (putting in whole cases of the halves and doing partial withdrawals). But certainly half bottles count as 1 towards making up a 12 bottle mixed case to put in reserves. In general half bottles are charged as halves for rental purposes, but I don’t know if the software is sophisticated enough to adjust for a mix of bottles and halves.

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Ok so say, buying 3x cases of Bordeaux halves EP (with a long drinking window), and then in 2 years time on delivery, using them to make up part-case withdrawals from other full (non-Mixed cases).

I like that idea

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Yes, it’s useful for when you want to take out multiple wines in ones and twos to have something you drink a lot of (say Thymiopoulos Jeunes Vignes in my case) to make up the 12 you need for the mixed withdrawal. But there’s no real need (and rental charges associated with) stoking up now for that purpose - unless of course you think the wine in question will benefit from a couple of years rest.

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Just pulled the 18 out of reserves for Autumnal nights and it’s delicious so your pointer on the 19 might need to be actioned for next year.

Does anyone have a view on the 2018 Perrin Cairrane?

Exactly, my view had always been to just buy a case of 12 of something I’m going to drink in the next 2-3 years and then use that rather than putting away for a decade at GBP 100 of cost plus the opportunity cost of the cash tied up in the lower quality/filler inventory.

That solves/discusses part case withdrawals, but I’m still wondering if anyone has any goto fillers for balancing cases of expensive wine purchases that need a decade of storage.

Except if you put the Raats chenin in, it doesn’t have the structure to age. However TWS Exhibition SA chenin does.