Wine Talk

Snooth User: sanabavy

Celebratory bottle suggestions, please...

Posted by sanabavy, Nov 9, 2009.

Hi all, new around here. I'm rapidly approaching a milestone and will want to celebrate with a nice bottle. Not looking for something to cellar, but rather something to enjoy now.

I've considered Barolo and Brunello, to Bordeaux and Burgundy. I'd like something with some age on it, and some muscle, but with nice finesse. Would like to keep it under $150 or so.

So, fellow winos? Can you point a brother in the right direction?

Cheers

Replies

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Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Nov 9, 2009.

I would love to offer some suggestions.

Can I ask where you are? What are your favorite wines?

Not knowing anything else I would suggest a Chave hermitage 1993 or 1996.

World class wines under $150 with a fantastic combination of elegance, finesse and power.

Of course if you don't like Syrah that's a terrible choice.

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Reply by sanabavy, Nov 9, 2009.

Thank you! I'm in NYC, so options are not a problem, obviously :)

Lately I have really been digging French wines, particularly Burgundian pinots, Cru Beaujolais (like Morgon), and wines from Bandol (Mourvedre, I guess). I'm a sucker for a good CDP also, and just recently grabbed a tasty 2007 for the cellar.

Generally I'm open, but like earthiness, some spice, and nice mouthfeel. I haven't a ton of experience with them, but have absolutely loved the big boys I've had from Piedmont and Tuscany. To your point though, I love Syrah. Was on a huge Aussie Shiraz kick for a while.

Cheers

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Reply by sanabavy, Nov 10, 2009.

To confirm, you were talking about J.L. Chave, correct? Thanks.

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Reply by Quentin4, Nov 10, 2009.

If you want some good Barolos, you should look at Michael Skurnik Wines importer in NYC. Not sure how they work, since I am on the other side of the world, but I know they carry excellent Barolos, such as Paolo Scavino, Azelia, Marengo, etc...
With regards to vintage, you should probably aim for 1999 or 2000. They are drinking real nicely. Just drunk a few weeks ago a Paolo Scavino Barolo Bric del Fiasc 1999 and it was pretty amazing!
Brunellos... I really like Ciacci Piccolomini. And if you can find, try their Brunello Riserva 2001, it's a beauty... (but rare....)
Cheers
Quentin

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Reply by sanabavy, Nov 10, 2009.

Thanks. I'm not familiar with that importer, but will look into it. I had my finger on a 1990 Barolo for about $125 a couple days ago, but didn't pull the trigger. I understand the '89 and '90 vintages were very strong, so felt pretty safe, but you never know. I don't know who the big producers there are very well, so am trying to get up to speed on that. Constant learning curve with this stuff!

I also had a 2001 Brunello Riserva from La Colombina not long ago and it was fantastic. Seems like 2001 and 2004 are pretty safe plays for the northern Italian varietals, at least in my limited experience to date.

Cheers

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Reply by StevenBabb, Nov 10, 2009.

just to offer a suggestion from LEFT field (california) since you seem to like big reds, have you ever considered a cab from SILVER OAK? or FAR NIENTE?

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Reply by StevenBabb, Nov 10, 2009.

..... the wines are wonderful

and the bottles in my opinion are beautiful, (far niente for example is my profile picture)

witch for a celebration is a plus in my mind....

i've held onto my first bottles of far niente, a '95 cab and a '96 chard....... even though they have been empty for years.....

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Reply by sanabavy, Nov 10, 2009.

Thanks. I like Cali cabs, they are just so ubiquitous (and often overpriced, imo) that I tend to overlook. For this particular occasion, I am definitely looking for something a bit less common.

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Reply by illmakeitanywhere, Nov 11, 2009.

I'll second the Far Niente. Great wines. But yes, the price is a little high...

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Reply by dmcker, Nov 11, 2009.

How about an aged California Cab, sanabavy (or should I call you Hotei, judging by your avatar)? If you hunt you can find one in your price range, and if you choose the right one you'll be in for a very pleasant surprise. And they are definitely not 'common' these days....

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Reply by sanabavy, Nov 11, 2009.

I have never had Far Niente, Silver Oak yes. I'll do some investigating.

dmcker, did you have a particular vintage in mind? I'm assuming you're talking about a bottle from the 90's? As for the handle, Hotei, Budai, Fat Fatty...whatever you like. Cheers.

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Reply by Girl Drink Drunk, Nov 11, 2009.

I'd stay away from the Silver Oak (both Napa and Alex). They're just so gaudy with vanilla oak that it masks the fruit. The Far Niente Cave stuff is decent and less oaky, but, in my opinion, the label far outshines what's inside the bottle. If you wanted to stay in CA, I'd go Hewitt all day, although finding one with any age will most likely be tough. Older Ridge Monte Bellos have both elegance and structure, and incredible mouth feel.

I'd knock back an Amarone if you like power. I've seen the '97 Tommasi around in your budget and it's superb, with chewy raisins and a big boy attitude. Or, the Stefano Farina 1999 Riserva Barolo I drank last night would do the trick nicely. It's a happy melange of acid, mature fruit and oak. I gave it a four hour decant and it was perfect. Also, 2001 Poderi Aldo Conterno "Bussia" Barolo is simply marvelous right about now. It could keep going, but currently it's heaven in a glass.

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Reply by sanabavy, Nov 11, 2009.

Thanks for the ideas. 4 hour decant? Wow, that's aggressive. Not sure I'd be able to wait that long, haha!

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Reply by Girl Drink Drunk, Nov 11, 2009.

It only got four hours due to running around and other obligations. What a nice glass to come home to, though.

Cheers!

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Reply by kylewolf, Nov 11, 2009.

I know you didn't mention them, and normally I am not a fan of giving suggestions that are outside what you were asking for, but I thought i would throw out
"La Rioja Alta Rioja Gran Reserva 890 1989"....but I am recently on a big Spanish kick.



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Reply by dmcker, Nov 11, 2009.

Fat Fatty, I was thinking more of a BV George de Latour or Mondavi from the '70s, Montelena, Stag's Leap, Groth, Duckhorn or even La Jota Howell Mountain from the '80s, or Phelps or Diamond Creek from the early 90s, all cabs, like you can find here:
http://www.bpwine.com/category.aspx...
If you juggle things right you might even be able to get two bottles within your budget.


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Reply by Nathan P, Nov 11, 2009.

I celebrated my 30th decanting a Penfolds Grange since I had been on an Aussie Shiraz kick too. I can't remember the year though, but it was one of the less popular ones so the price was an online bargain less than $150. Still a great memory, and the most powerful wine I've tasted yet. As for Barolo, I've been wanting to try a Luciano Sandrone, just after having read a memoir (by Matthew Gavin Frank) of an American working there.

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Reply by sanabavy, Nov 11, 2009.

If anything, I think all these suggestions have just made matters more difficult! Hahaa, so many good options. Thanks all for the input.

nputens, I was over in Barossa a few years ago and was able to grab a Rockford '98 Shiraz vintage port that I've been sitting on. My guess is that it's pretty tough, nay impossible to find that outside of Oz. Went to Penfolds while I was there, too. Pretty impressive place.

Cheers


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