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Is it worth storing for all types of wine

Continuing the discussion from The spreadsheet thread:

I’d love to see an analysis of cost of storage vs value gain for different types of bottles. For Riojas I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s probably easiest to buy when I need than to age then in society cellars.

Not sure that theory works whwn the 2010 Ardanza and LdH Cubillo have gone from the society shelves

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To address Rioja,l it depends.
Rioja producers traditionally say they release when ready to drink. However more modern wines aren’t and often fall outside the normal category. Artadi are one of the leaders here, but all sorts of producers have modern ranges, without the long aging so need to be aged further.
Also I would say many traditional Riojas, Reserva and especially Gran Reserva are better when older than released. Its producer and vintage led.
So on the wider issue it depends as well.

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Don’t buy and store Sauternes or Barsac is my first conclusion after having done this analysis on my own Reserves. With few exceptions those wines have consistently been able to be bought later for less money.

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Is that always the equation you need to consider? Bit fluffy (and impossible to quantify), but sometimes it might be cost of storage vs enjoyment at the end of the storage period.

Some wine you can’t just buy with 5/10/15 years of ageing, so if you like mature wine you just have to bite the bullet and do it yourself. If that is worth 85p per bottle per year then fantastic If not, then hope you have plenty of cellar space at home😬

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Hello Brighton-Ben,
Yes I reached a similar conclusion when you do the maths.
However, in some research I did on EP it’s clear that people are buying often to secure stock and not to “save” money.
While Rioja can obviously age beautifully it’s also drinkable when released as it’s spent a few years in barrels before bottling so has often aged 5 years before being sold for the top stuff.

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To paraphrase: does the cost of buying a bottle rise more or less quickly than the cost of buying it now and storing it commercially.

Probably the answer is that it depends very much on the wine involved, and to some extent on the length of time. But I’m not sure that is the only “value” involved. Many take pleasure simply in owning a wine; then there’s knowing it will be available for drinking whenever wanted. Or it may be extra satisfying to drink a wine that can no longer be bought. These are very hard to quantify.
I don’t think many people, at least on a non-professional level, buy and keep wine based purely or mainly on a financial value judgement. Would they if more data were available? Hard to say; this would be in “past performance is no guide to future performance” territory I think.

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Yes. Maybe I am relying too much on TWS having the 2010 Ardanza at such a reasonable price. It was a beast that needed two hours to open up but what a wine! It would be a nightmare in a restaurant as it wouldn’t be ready by the time the main course arrived.

Taking the 2004 890 LRA Gran Reserva of a classic example of fantastically ageworthy Rioja, I’d say it’s exactly the type of wine I’d buy EP and store. Mine cost me £65/bottle all in, 5 years later the cheapest I can find (if you can find it) is L&W at £93/bottle (without delivery, which adds £15 every time).

It’s this for me and not just EP. There are so many wines that I love that disappear off the shelves long before they are at their best (IMHO). Sometimes TWS is good at tucking stuff away for a while and then releasing well matured and still and a reasonable price, and when they do I try to jump if I can afford it at the time. Sadly they don’t often hang around for very long. Elsewhere I’ve found you can pay a lot more for well matured wine.

So ultimately I buy young to secure and then try to drink more mature. I’ve not been in this game for too long so the full benefits are only just beginning to show!

One other point is that I store exclusively at home (wine cabinet). Not sure I could afford this approach if I was paying for commercial storage.

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Strange i found it a soft duvet of a wine

You are right of course that it’s nice to own wine that is no longer available. Esp if it a wine you really enjoyed. And to be fair it’s less than £1 per bottle a year.

But it does tie up capital and accessing it needs planning so I often end up going to our local wine merchant (Seven Cellars in BTN) for something to match the food.

I have a tiny electric wine cellar in our flat that I basically need to restock a few times a year from society reserves. That’s probably a good thing as if I had direct access to the reserves it would be depleting at a fast rate.

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I’m with @Brighton_Ben and some others here seemed to feel the same. Mine was a bit of a brute immediately after opening - rather too much oak - and only settled after a couple of hours and was at its best (IMO) over the next two days. I have another 5 which I probably won’t touch for another year or two (I think the TWS window ending in 2025 is here rather pessimistic, CT have it as 2033, I’ll probably figure on something between the two).

I buy EP to secure the wine that I want to drink. I always have it delivered to me as soon as it becomes available. Apart from electric for wine cabinets there are no other costs. If the bottles can be bought matured then so be it, but will no doubt cost more than the EP price.

Yes i was expecting an oak bomb but it was silky smooth after an hour or so decanted

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Hi, the only other thing I would add about TWS storage is that it also includes insurance as well.

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Simple answer: YES - but Benefits are a complex combination:

  1. With a variety of wines in storage, you can pick and choose what to drink / when.
  2. All wines seem to improve to a lesser extent with some time to ‘settle’ - even if its just a week or so (in my opinion in anyway)
  3. Some wines improve considerably - given years or perhaps decades.
  4. It is more a efficient use of your time to buy in cases (mixed or complete) instead of numerous shopping trips (real or virtual) - also a better use of delivery resources.
  5. Wine vintages available NOW might not be available in the future.
  6. immediately available wines (typically supermarket) are not that good (in my opinion) because they are designed for fast turnaround / high volume, to meet a generic ‘style’ - try anything from majestic to see what I mean.

The financial argument generally is NO: Interest rates are low currently (unless you are buying investment grade wines for that purpose only - bah humbug) so your average AC wine wont save you any money unless you are buying ‘on offer’.

Example: TWS Brut Champagne. Greatly improves with 2 or 3 years in cellar, costs 31% less if bought in a 6 case at certain times of year, great to have on hand for unplanned occasions.

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6 is very true… And our tesco is very poor

Tesco used to be very good for Italian - I cant comment now because there isn’t one nearby.

The mere fact that TWS is often ‘out of stock’ of a particular wine is in my mind a very good sign. And a good reason to get your order in soon-ish. Especially Chablis for some reason (perhaps small producers, excellent quality, small volume?)

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My views broadly

Yes it’s worth storing:
Northern Rhône
Red Burgundy
South African reds
Good Etna
Left bank Bordeaux
Dry Riesling
From anywhere else, anything that is an absolute standout relative to price/vintage/comparable wines at release
Anything else where you have a good reason to really really want to drink that specific wine

No it’s not worth storing (based on personal experience and what’s on brokerage lists and TWS list in copious quantities)
Southern Rhône (I am increasingly realising, except where the last criteria above applies)
Right bank Bordeaux
Aussie Shiraz
Although I don’t go for them - supercharged Tuscan reds
Sauternes - as others have said, it’s cheaper to buy mature on brokerage - very much enjoying 07 Suduiraut at £13/half

No idea about Barolo/Barbaresco

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