Wine Talk

Snooth User: Jenny Love

Advice on buying vintage wine from 1964

Posted by Jenny Love, Mar 3, 2012.

Hi I don't know much about wine and am looking to purchase wine from 1964 for a special gift.  I looked at various reputable sites but it is impossible to tell what could be good for the value. How is Castrijo Gran Reserva 1964?  It sounded good and was decently priced, found while researching online, from a reputable wine store, but having not much knowledge about wine, I am cautious about buying my first vintage wine. I would appreciate advice from those who are knowledgeable about buying vintage wine, and this particular year and the kind of wine.   Thank you very much.

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Replies

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Reply by Giacomo Pevere, Mar 3, 2012.

Hi, buying a so old wine is pretty complicated. The first advice is surely to find some specialized shops, they can help you to choose the right bottle and usually (in italy in Usa i don't know) offer a sort of insurrance if the wine is dead. If u want to buy by yourself a bottle you must, first of all, choose what wine and vintage. I suppose 1964 is the vintage you need so you have just to choose what wine. Of corse not every wine age so long very well and check what wines had in 1964 a great vintage is a good point. Barolo 1964 is considered really good for example. So old bottles are very delicated, if you can, don't buy it online. Shipping easily kill your wine. Hot or too cold temperature, shakes everything can damage wine. Look the bottle with your own eyes, check the wine level, some wine evaporates year after year, better the bottle is conserved higher will be the level. A great cork can help. Check for capsule issues, molds around capsule tell u that probabily cork is gone (and wine...). About price, buy an old bottle from a professional seller surely save u from some bad surprises but price, of course, will be pretty high.  Buying from a private can be a lot cheaper but you can't have any insurrance on your  bottle (and you must check carefully all the points before and how this private have cellared wine). A really cheap price can allow you to gamble but disappointments is too easy. 

About the Castrijo gran reserva, Rioja gran reserva usually have a long good life if well cellared (a friend of mine have drink in 2011 a 1922 vintage!), this one can be a good deal if the price is not a problem.

I hope u find that helpfull.

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Reply by Jenny Love, Mar 3, 2012.

Thank you for this. Wow, it sounds indeed quite complicated. Even if I saw it in person, I wouldn't be able to tell if it would be any good, it sounds like, perhaps except for mold. . .I guess I should perhaps just go visit some wine shops known for vintage wine and good reputation and ask in person perhaps. . .is there any in NYC anyone recommends?   Thanks! 

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Reply by hynds57, Mar 3, 2012.

Does anyone know the price of a VIN DE PAYS D'OC Merlot Borie Manqous bottled in 2000?

 

Sharon H

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Reply by dmcker, Mar 3, 2012.

Jenny, Chambers Street Wines has a good reputation.

Sharon, vins de pays d'Oc covers a wide area, usually at the lower end of classification and price down in the SouthWest of France. Any wine from France that says 'merlot' or 'chardonnay' or 'pinot noir' or 'cabernet sauvignon' on the label is a lower-end export offering that is packaged for the North American market, since the grape varietal is the focus there. I don't know the 'Borie Manqous' (sp?) you mention, but don't expect there will be any secondary market for it. You should drink up soon since it's also not likely a wine that's built to last....

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Reply by gregt, Mar 3, 2012.

Jenny - 1964 was a great year in Rioja, one of the classics, so that might help. I don't know that wine tho.  If you want a newer Rioja, look at 1973, 1981, 1982, 1994,4,6, 2001, 2004,5.  There are really good wines from other years, but those are special.  And I second Chamber St. They're friends and they do a really good job of sourcing older wines and putting them on the shelf at fair prices.

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Reply by Richard Foxall, Mar 5, 2012.

Jenny, I'm guessing the year is what's important?  So we should be thinking of something that has age-ability and is a good vintage year for that wine.  Which means we direct the bat-searchlight at GdP's cave and find out how that year was for Barolo, which is long lived.  The Rioja could be a good option because the prices on Spain's best wines are comparatively reasonable and Tempranillo is a good ager.  Anyone have ideas for Bordeaux in that range?  Does your giftee like dessert wines, which often age well?  There's the Bordeaux-area sweet wines, Port from Portugal, and some good Australian dessert wines that seem to age also.  (Hey, where is StephenHarvey, for heaven's sake?) Wines from the Jura also are an option.

If you have access to Chambers, even folks in California talk about them.  If you are out here, JJ Buckley (jjbuckley.com) carries older wines and you can search the sight by vintage.  K&L carries some older bottles and has an auction business now, too.  BPWines buys cellars and can be a good place to look.  They have a pretty good handle on the provenance issue. 

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Reply by dmcker, Mar 5, 2012.

You should also look at Benchmark Wines as a potential source. They're also in Napa, but like BPWine and the others will ship to New York, if that's where you're based.

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Reply by Jenny Love, Mar 5, 2012.

Hi thanks so much.  Chamber Street Wine was in fact so nice and helpful over phone.  

They have Oddero Barolo 1964.  

I also found 1964 Castrijo Rioja DOCa Gran Reserva from a wine merchant called Tinto Fino.

They are the same price.  I am, however, leaning towards the Rioja since I keep hearing that Rioja was better that year, as Greg says.  I would appreciate it if anyone has any insight. . .Thanks!   

 

 

 

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Reply by EMark, Mar 5, 2012.

Jenny

You are, obviously, a good friend, and I would like you to think of me as your friend.  It turns out that 1964 was also a pretty significant year for me.  (I graduated from the 10th grade.)  So, if you want to pick up two of whatever you decide on, and send one to me, that would truly be great.  ;-)

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Reply by Giacomo Pevere, Mar 5, 2012.

Oddero is surely one of the top producers of Barolo, have the bottle some other indications? Is it a "riserva" or a base wine? Riserva, of course, can have a longer life. There's some "cru" indication?

1964 is pretty good for Barolo (that's all the vintage ratings).

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Reply by Jenny Love, Mar 5, 2012.

Thanks. But no, absolutely no information other than just that it is Barolo from Oddero. . .but it is good to know that that was a good year for Barolo.  From what I understand, for Rioja it was absolutely the best year according to the wine merchant, Tinto Fino. . .

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Reply by gregt, Mar 5, 2012.

Jenny - the people at Tinto Fino are acquaintances as well.  The people who brought the wine you've found have an agreement with Tinto Fino whereby the store offers a retail outlet for small-production and little-known wines.  It's a venture between a close friend of mine, who knows as much, if not more, about Spanish wine than just about anyone you'll ever meet on these wine boards and who coincidentally has one of the best palates of anyone I know, and another friend, who's married to one of the most important winemakers in Rioja. It's not going to be a wine that people will be drooling over because it got high points from a critic who didn't know anything about it, but if they are backing the wine, I would feel completely confident that it's worth having. And they're buddies with the folks at Chambers St anyhow.

I have to be honest - I don't know that specific wine.  But  I know the people and I'm going to ask my friend later this week and based on his rec and the rep of the vintage, I'm going to take a chance myself. Hey - at worst, you'll end up with a good wine!  If you can, buy the Oddero and the Rioja! They're both going to be old-timey and you're not going to find those kinds of wines any more, for better or worse.

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Reply by dmcker, Mar 6, 2012.

Greg's advice is good about buying both of them, if your budget allows. It's quite possible if you don't you'll wish you had later, but the opportunity will be gone.

Both Barolo and the Rioja are very good choices, and if stored well can still be in very good condition, healthy and strong. Wasn't a great year in Bordeaux or Burgundy in comparison, nor could you expect to find too many Californians from that year.

Also, don't hesitate to ask questions about the Barolo's details from the merchant before you buy...

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Reply by Jenny Love, Mar 6, 2012.

Hi, thanks for your advice. I bought the Rioja today and brought it home!  I tried to look for signs of mold and stuff, but I must say it was impossible to detect anything.  The bottle just looked old.  Was I supposed to check any paper or anything?  I got quite excited buying my first vintage, I checked nothing. . . just trusted the lovely people at Tinto Fino, which was a beautiful little shop, btw.  

My budget would not allow me to buy two, unfortunately.  . .

I hope this is a good bottle; my friend won't open it for a few weeks since it is a present.  If you do purchase it as well, Greg, I would love to hear what you think of it, or any other information you learn about it!

 

 

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Reply by gregt, Mar 6, 2012.

Well post what your friend thinks!  I'll find out more in a few days.

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Reply by JonDerry, Mar 7, 2012.

Though, I couldn't be of any help, I loved following this thread. So many times people will ask stuff on here who don't follow up or aren't very appreciative, so good on you Jenny, looking forward to hearing how that bottle turns out...

Greg, thanks for posting those Rioja vintages, always seem to misplace that info.

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Reply by Giacomo Pevere, Mar 7, 2012.

Well done, u will surely be happy with that bottle. Extremely bad question, price?

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Reply by Jenny Love, Mar 7, 2012.

It was $160.

The same for Oddero, which I am now curious about but cannot indulge. . .

I will report back about this bottle in a few weeks, (hopefully I will get to taste it) and am looking forward to hear what Greg finds out!

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Reply by Richard Foxall, Mar 7, 2012.

I join JD in my appreciation for the really great thread (everyone even remained on topic!) and the great follow up.  Jenny, please do tell us how it was.  A friend like you is rare indeed, and your giftee should recognize that with a nice pour for you.  No point waiting for that wine to mature, although it might need to stand up for a couple days to settle--or you can use a decanting cradle. 

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Reply by dmcker, Mar 7, 2012.

Definitely have the friend stand the bottle up three days or so before drinking. And careful with the cork when opening and careful with the bottle when pouring so the sediment doesn't swirl. I'm not a huge fan of decanting and would just open the bottle, let it rest and breathe for a bit, then pour gently. Let the wine develop in the glass over time, too, and it will be a different wine by the end of the bottle than it was at the beginning.

As you can tell, we're all curious about how the bottle will drink. All these mini-adventure trips are definitely part of the fun of wine!

And Fox, any thread is guaranteed to develop tangents when it gets long enough....

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