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Sub £20 Bottles Worth Storing

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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Difficult to put a number on it! I think this is based on lots of personal factors such as weekly consumption, affordability, age, storage space and no doubt others.

My loosely-defined aim is to have a conveyor belt of ‘nicer’ wines in the £15-25 bracket (maybe more for birthdays and Christmas) which I can enjoy once or twice a month. I’ll supplement these with everyday drinkers bought at the time from TWS or the supermarket. I definitely prefer the more savoury, complex aspects of mature wine but wouldn’t want to (or couldn’t afford to) only drink older wines.

I probably have about 80-90 in that nicer category in various nooks and crannies at home plus in reserves, so plenty to keep me going - although most still need at least 3-4 years before I’ll open them so I haven’t really started enjoying the benefits of that conveyor belt yet.

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I’ve got a bottle of this to drink sometime soon too. It is hopefully drinking now, but even at this level a Nebbiolo can age for a good five years.

Thanks that makes it flexible. I’m not so good at letting wines stay too long in my wine rack…

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So many great responses here - thanks everyone for your input.

Is there a book which details good vintages for wine ‘on a page’ as it were. It seems that a lot of members here know - from experience of buying through it - that certain years were good for certain wines. It would be useful to be able to flick through and see ‘Pinot Noit’ with a table underneath for good/less good/bad years.

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This is one of the most comprehensive ones, although not a book. Also you need to sign up to then view free.

TWS also have vintage charts (less detailed).

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I find this from JR useful for a quick guide on vintages. Wine vintages | JancisRobinson.com

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Hugh Johnson’s Pocket Wine Book is a great quick reference for things like that. By its nature it can’t drill down into detail, but for a reliable bird’s-eye view of pretty much everything, it’s very handy.

For vintages you get number charts but also, under the country chapters, a quick sentence or two with a bit more information about the character and progression of recent vintages.

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I agree. Lighter reds aside, I found even the society’s own reds benefit from at least a year of cellar time and my scoring of them improves the further they are into their drinking window. Of course by the time I finish those I have, that vintage has been replaced with a much younger one, so now I stock up more at the outset.

Like @Wansteadbirder I try to keep less expensive wines ‘cellaring’ at home and dearer ones in storage but the reality is I don’t have space to store 2\3 years worth of wines at home so they end up in reserves too, next to EPs that could be there for 10+ years.

I don’t know if it is better to cellar a cheaper red for a couple of years or just purchase a different red that costs £1.50 more? The downside of the former is the lack of spontaneity, where as inflation probably limits any actual quality improvement of the latter.

I like the sound of @UisceBeatha’s conveyor belt system, which seems a great combination of quality and flexibility, but it will take a while before I’m there.

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I think we’ve been round the houses a few times on this one, save to say I’d advise taking the WE ones with a pinch of salt - they are published primarily for American audience, which, for want of a better word, favour ‘bigger’ wines.

Of course, if you prefer those style of wines, then game on! :grinning:

I like the sound of your conveyor belt much more than old Brucie Forsyth’s one on the Generation Game.

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I could have written this myself.

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IMO this is the answer to sub-£20 whites, especially from Germany, where beautiful, complex, long-lived wines can be had at that price.

Jim

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