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Sub £20 Bottles Worth Storing

Hi all,

Some of you may have seen that I asked a question on Vintage Plans and whether these are worthwhile laying down. As part of this @Brocklehurstj suggested that there might be merit in a thread talking around bottles under the £20 mark which still might be worthwhile storing for a few years.

As I’m at the start of my journey, and noting that many members seem to have evolving tastes over their wine journey, I’m not precious on what these are. There are few wines that I dislike, although the Supermarket bargain bin sharp, cheap whites initially put me off white for a number of years before joining TWS and trying a different price bracket.

I also noticed from looking on the Berry Bros EP pages that there are Bordeaux’s for as cheap as £78 per case of 6. These seems remarkably cheap and I don’t imagine that these would be particularly viable to lay down, despite a score of 92/100.

In short I’d really appreciate suggestions for a ‘starter’ wine cellar with a handful of different bottles under the £20 mark which should get better with time in proportion (or greater) than the amount it will cost me to store. I’m open to any suggestions but would focus on TWS as I’d like to take advantage of their cellaring service.

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This is a list TWS has that match what you want, you can play around with the filters:

Some of the highlights from this list for me would be…

Pauletts Polish Hill River Riesling 2020
Madiran, Château Bouscassé 2016
Chianti Rufina Riserva, Frascole 2016
Xinomavro Naoussa, Markovitis 2015

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I’m still learning the ropes myself too, but from my experiences & experimentations to date, I’d certainly say most Xinomavros lend themselves perfectly to the affordable but good-for-ageing bracket. Also some Gruners - I’m currently putting some of these ones aside - Jurtschitsch Stein Grüner Veltliner, Kamptal 2019. An aged Gruner can be exquisite. Ditto dry / savoury Tokajis seem to age very nicely and are usually relatively affordable. Madirans are probably a good bet too, as per the WS list above. There are also a lot of Rieslings on the WS books that seem to have long shelf-lives, and aged Riesling is also a thing of beauty.

Beyond the WS, Asda have / had some young Perdriel @ £7, which I’ve got a case of stuck away to see what becomes of them. They sometimes have some Brunellos that might [or might not!] turn out alright too with some age.

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Hi Jonathon, welcome to the dark side of wine buying :laughing:

I’d say that red Bordeaux could in fact be one of your best sources of <£20 wine that ages well.

Here’s the pdf of last year’s Bordeaux offer:

It depends on how long you like to lay them down for, but in my experience, and for less than £78 per six on the above list, the following have all done very well with a bit of bottle age: Pey La Tour Réserve, Ampélia, Cissac, Madame de Pitray and Sénéjac. I haven’t tried the others in that price bracket, but I’m sure they’ll manage the same or similar.

Cissac used to go on for decades, and I imagine the more recent vintages will still hold their own.

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Definitely second the Rufina mentioned by @szaki1974!

I get a bit boring rattling off almost exactly this list but here are my favourite sub £20 Bordeaux that will take a sometimes surprising number of years:

A great year and a great wine that really will age well and it’s on the list right now.

Not on the list right now but a fairly regular appearer and will age well. Last time I got it was EP and, duty paid, it was £15.50 probably a little more on the normal list. A lovely wine.

Picard doesn’t appear on the list all that often but when I last got it the 2010 was about £16. A lovely wine that will take some cellaring.

There are some good Spanish wines that will take some age at sub £20

Not on the list at the moment and I suspect when it next appears it might have slipped over the £20 mark. But other Rioja that appear regularly on the list such as Muga and Urbina are often below £20 other than their ‘especials.’

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And just how could I forget one of my very favourites - Taurasis and Aglianicos generally often turn out superb with some good age behind them. Though unfortunately the WS don’t seem to do Taurasis / Aglianicos very often.

And Semillons of course, another of my absolute favourites. They generally age beautifully and give you a lot of vinous-bang for your buck IMO.

I get most of my tips these days from reading the weekday / weekend drinking threads and then following the wines up on Cellartracker etc - you pick up loads of ideas; far too many in fact. It’s dangerous.

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The Pdf is really useful, thanks for that. I had an image from some Googling that EP would be starting around the £200 mark so thanks for clarifying.

Totally agree about Semillon. I remember drinking a Mount Pleasant Elizabeth Semillon, a quite simple and cheap wine when young but with a decade or so of ageing, it is transported into something much more intriguing.

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Welcome to the community @Jonathon :slightly_smiling_face:

There are dozens of not hundreds of affordable TWS wines that will improve with a few years’ cellaring. I think that one of the Society’s biggest strengths is in ‘interesting’ wines in the £10-20 bracket.

You’ll get countless brilliant recommendations on here (friendly, expert and enthusiastic advice from this community is another great thing about TWS) but I’d personally put a word in for Rhône wines. There’s a good selection in the standard list - often already with some ageing - and the EP offer provides a bewildering array of options. Our Rhône buyer Marcel specifically recommends Domaine St Anne for affordable, age-worthy reds. I have a case of les Rouvieres in reserves from the 2019 offer (£55 per 6 in bond) which needs at least 5 if not 10 years to come alive.

A question worth asking yourself is how many bottles you want ageing before they’re at their best? I think I have too many which are tantalisingly a few years off what I think is their prime and would love more mature wines to get stuck into right now.

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A good question! Pulling a number out of the air I’d say 24/36 a year so that I could sample a few a month in a few years. I don’t really know though and hadn’t thought of it!

What number do you work on (or do you wish that you had)?

Tim Adams Semillon ditto, though it’s not so easy to find here these days for some reason. Used to be £10 at Sainsburys I think it was, so £7.50 with the 25% deals. Bargain Bob :~}

I have all of these ageing away to themselves all currently available and under £20 a bottle:

and although it’s a bit of a marmite wine (or has had some serious bottle variation)

Caveat: it’s the 2016 of the Muga Reserva, the the 2030 drink date on the '17 is almost certainly very conservative.

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In no particular order:

All regularly come up in EP (except recently the Perdiguier)

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A less obvious region from which two whites can age really well is Savoie.

Chignin-Bergeron (aka Roussanne) can turn honeyed, oily and complex with some age:

Chignin-Bergeron Au Pied des Tours, Domaine Jean-François Quénard 2019 - Bestsellers - Popular - Offers - The Wine Society

As does some Rousette de Savoie (aka Altesse):

Roussette du Bugey-Montagnieu, Altesse Domaine Peillot 2019 - Bestsellers - Popular - Offers - The Wine Society

(this one is given till 2023, but I reckon it can go on well beyond). Frangy is a very good appellation for Rousette as well.

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One thing to consider might be how much that storage is going to cost you. Personally I balk at paying a high percentage of the bottle price each year for storage, and really only am prepared to pay that where it is a fraction of the value. My tactic is to try, if possible, to have those types of bottles at home, or to buy them later. I am not sure where exactly I draw the line, but I expect it would be around the £20 mark, so for instance I tend to take delivery of the Leflaive white burgundies immediately. Another tactic is to withdraw before your annual reserves billing date.

EDIT would you believe it, my reserves rental invoice arrived about half an hour ago, and there are 150 bottles in there that are sub £20. So much for my planning. I have space for precisely 0 of them at home!

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I’d second the southern Rhone for a supply of cheap wines that do well for a few years in the cellar. Even basic Cote du Rhone is better 4 years or more after vintage, in many instances. I’d recommend anything from the Jaume or Courac stables - never a duff bottle, always great value for money.

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Loads of great suggestions on here like the Xino’s and Riesling’s etc!

I would add my 2p’s worth by mentioning:
Lirac Rouge La Fermade, Domaine Maby 2019
Mitravelas Ktima Agiorgitiko 2019
Jurançon Geyser, Domaine Cauhapé 2019
Aglianico del Vulture ‘Alvolo’, Alovini 2017

Plus from EP campaigns
Coudoulet Rouge
Donnhoff
Zorzal
Domaine Le Clos des Cazaux
Floridene (as mentioned by @MikeFranklin)
Vergelegen Reserve Cab Sauv
Domaine Sainte-Anne St. Gervais (both cuvees)

And from Waitrose when they do their 25% deals:
Rustenberg John X Merriman
La Bastide Blanche Bandol
Tenuta Baiocchi Sagrantino di Montefalco

And a recent fantastic buy for me pre Xmas last year and hope to see it re-appear

I filled my boots on this one at £12.50 - unbelievable value to smiles ratio with loads of pleasure to be had there.

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This one could run & run! For me TWS’ reaI sweet spot is in the £15 - £20 mark, and I actually think it is harder to find wines (esp. red) here that wouldn’t benefit from being laid down for a few years.

I may have to start a new ‘drinking now’ thread on this…

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Yep had that too though of course the supermarkets usually stick a very recent vintage. It’s nice then but very different to the age version. Bit like how good Chenin Blanc ages.

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No being that familiar with Italian wines, I bought a bottle of the 2018 Society Langhe Nebbiolo which I assumed would be for early drinking but I note you have an older, albeit likely better version down for cellaring. How long does it need and do you think my version, given it’s a few quid cheaper, would need so much ageing?

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