Where, oh where to start when selecting wines to start a cellar? The world of wine is a vast, vinous sea of options. Selections are highly dependent on budget and the collection’s goal. For instance, are you seeking out bottles that need time to age before you can enjoy them? Are you trying to stock up on wines that can be opened at any time? Or maybe you’re looking for a little bit of both. Or perhaps you’re looking for bottles that will increase in value over time. If this is the case, look to the professionals at Vinovest for wines with likely returns.
Here are my picks for bottles that give it a solid base to anyone looking for wines to start a cellar. I’ve focused on bottles that won’t break the bank and don’t need several decades of aging before opening and enjoying.
2017 Riesling Cuvée Colette, Alsace, France
You can enjoy this bottle right now, but you can also lay it down for the next five years or so. Weinbach is an exceptional producer in Alsace that consistently crafts wines of extraordinary elegance and grace. Any of their bottles will be an excellent cellar investment.
This Riesling leans dry with snappy notes of lime, green apple, ripe white peaches, and a fresh, saline minerality that runs through the palate. If you’re not a fan of petrol on your Riesling, neither is Domaine Weinbach. And, you won’t find any pool-floaty notes on this wine.
San Giusto a Rentennano
2015 Percarlo, Tuscany, Italy
This is one bottle I recommend spending a little more money and time on. Think of it as an investment because, in another 5 to 10 years, this wine will blow your socks off. I enjoyed a 2006 bottle of this wine last year, and holy moly, it was phenomenal.
It’s Sangiovese at its finest, a muscular, defined expression with notes of rich blackberry, plum, black cherry, red roses, cedar, smoke, earth, tobacco, and dark chocolate. You can open this wine and enjoy it now (with some serious decanting), but it will hit its stride with a little more time in the bottle.
2017 Maranges 1er Cru La Fussière, Burgundy, France
Burgundy is not the most approachable when it comes to the price point. But if you know where to look, you can find some real gems! Bachelet-Monnot is produced by brothers Marc and Alexandre Bachelet of the renowned Burgundian winemaking family. They certainly inherited their family’s penchant for making incredible Pinot Noir. This wine is delicious to enjoy right now but could also benefit from another five years in bottle.
The nose on this wine is intoxicating; complex layers of violets, dark cherries, ripe strawberries, forest floor, mushrooms, cedar, and baking spices unfurl in the glass. The palate is elegant and velvety, with a lightening-like backbone of acidity sewing it all together. If you see any bottlings from Bachelet-Monnot, grab them! They also produce exceptional white wines.
López de Heredia
2008 Viña Tondonia Reserva, Rioja, Spain
López de Heredia is a renowned classic Rioja producer that makes gorgeous wines across the board. On the whole, bottles are released into the market until they’re ready to drink, which is why the current release of the Viña Tondonia is often around ten years old, if not older. Though lovely to drink right now, this wine can also age another ten years.
All of the lovely tertiary notes that you expect from bottle aging of leather, tobacco, and cedar begin to shine. And the red fruit notes of cherry and plum are turning from ripe to dried. Expect other lovely notes of wild herbs, dried roses, black pepper, and vanilla.
Expression Brut Premier Cru, Champagne, France
It wouldn’t be a list from me without a Champagne! This bottle is extraordinary, crafted from a multi-vintage blend that goes back to the 1970s. It is rare for a multi-vintage bottling to utilize 50-year-old wine; it adds a unique depth and complexity. Additionally, and unusually, it’s made predominantly of Pinot Meunier.
The rich, creamy notes of brioche and marzipan balance the zesty notes of lemon peel. There’s also tart yellow apples, chalk, spice and sea spray. The bubbles dance across your palate along with that razor’s-edge acidity that makes Champagne one of – if not the – most pairable wines!