Storing and Aging Wine

I have a pretty good sized cellar with room for over a 1,000 bottles and with normally 5-600 in storage at any time, mostly reds.  I really enjoy having my cellar and I like to purchase wine, read reviews and of course to drink it.

I had three good friends over last week and we opened three different bottles -- a 1994 Rioja Gran Reserva, a 1997 Brunello and a 2000 California Cab.  All of these were wines priced in the $50-70 range.  The Rioja and the Brunello were both disappointing, but the Cab was still wonderful.  As this was an impromptu get together, we just opened and poured these wines and the Brunello did improve with a little air, but the Rioja was definitely a bit tired.

Even though I buy a lot of wines that are "age worthy," I must say I'm beginning to believe more and more that it's risky and not really worth it to hold even good wines for too long.  I'm sure I'll keep doing it because it is fun to try and sometimes a bottle just ends up hanging around for awhile.  But it seems to me that a lot of these good wines are really pretty close to peak in the 5-10 year range.

cabman49 cabman49 56-60, M 6 Responses Sep 21, 2009

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Chat away, I'm enjoying the exchanges. I'm many years and dollars behind in putting together collections like these, but it is fun to collect as well as to drink.

Unfortunately, the top Bordeaux and Burgundy wines have become almost prohibitively expensive for most collectors. It will be interesting to see if the current economic problems bring prices down to more same levels.

Fortunately, there are also many, many wonderful wines in the $50-100 range which comprises most of my cellar, although I do occcassionally indulge with some higher priced wines.

I can only imagine. My Margaux is not actually Ch Margaux, Margaux 2000. It is Ch Palmer, Margaux 2000. Still a really good wine considering it's £800 a bottle less than the other.

So you are likely to be the only person I know who has possibly ever tasted Ch Ausone or Romanee Conti or Petrus vintages. Not to mention that '83 Margaux. It is like talking with royalty.

On my 45th birthday I bought a bottle of 1989 Ch Lynch Bages and I must admit that was a profound moment. Can't just quite get my head around the Margaux's

Duchess it is official I now love you. Vosne Romanee, Cheval Blanc. This is the stuff of dreams. I am storing a case of Margeaux 2000 and it is the absolute apogee of my wine cellar, but Cheval Blanc. I can hardly say it out loud.

My wines had been in non-refrigerated storage in a dark corner of my basement until about 4 years ago and then they were moved twice. I now have a refrigereated wine room -- I keep it at 57 degrees.

About the oldest wines I have now date back to the late 1990's and I have a decent amount of 2000 bordeaux.

I just picked up five bottles of nice California cabs from the early 80's at a charity wine auction. They were stored by a collector who bought them on release. It will be interesting to see how they are. I'm thinking about having some good friends over and opening all five bottles in a single evening.

It was a La Rioja Alta 904 I believe -- I'm actually in SF now on my way to Napa. I've had it several other times and it's a wonderful wine. I am a big fan of riojas. They have great subtlety and versatilty and a certain elegance that makes them special and relatively affordable.

Whic rioja was it. I have just drank a 1985 Matinas Bujanda and I thought it was at its peak. But agree with you aboutthe risk of storing wine. I bought a case of 1994 Ch Soutard St Emilion and stored it myself. Oretty disappointing and I wonder if the temperatures might have affected it.