Wine Talk

Snooth User: Lucha Vino

Birth Year Wines

Posted by Lucha Vino, Feb 16, 2013.

I want to put together a collection of birth year wines for my son.  He was born in 2004.  Ideally, I would like to build about a 2 case collection of new and old world wines.

Here is what I am thinking:


  • Left & Right Bank Bordeaux
  • North & South (CdP) Rhone or should Chateauneuf de Pape get its own category?
  • Burgundy


  • Rioja
  • Ribera del Duero
  • Priorat/Montsant


  • Piedmont
  • Tuscany


  • Wineries?


  • Wineries?


  • Napa
  • Alexander Valley
  • Carneros

I know there are tons of options out there.  Let me know what you think would make a nice collection of 2004 vintage wines that will be nice to enjoy in 2025 (or 2001 or ...)


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Reply by duncan 906, Feb 16, 2013.

Nice idea.Hope son is grateful.Hope you have suitable storage facilities

Reply by amour, Feb 18, 2013.

What a marvellous idea!

My favourite Dessert Wine of the Loire Valley will age 40 years to 50 years.

You must get this!

Quarts de Chaume

It actually retains its freshness! 

Reply by amour, Feb 18, 2013.

SPAIN: Definitely Spain's Ribera del Duero, Rioja 2004 wines as well as Proiorato wines, as they age so well.

 ITALY: As for Italy, 2004 was actually an EXCELLENT YEAR in Bolgheri.

Continuing with Italy, Barolo, Barbaresco, Brunello di Montalcino wines will age nicely.

Please choose a good Brunello di Montalcino as 2004 was excellent, and will keep for 25 years.

GERMANY: Beerenauslese and Trockenbeerenauslese will age well.

U.S.A.:  California Cabs will make it but some would need to be used up by 2025, so don't keep too many or get special advice.

2004 was an excellent year for Willamette Valley's Pinot Noir.

FRANCE: 2004 Champagne was an excellent year.

2004 was obviously not a great Vintage everywhere, so balance between the areas which had an excellent year and the aging potential.

And of course, store at the correct temperatures.

Good Luck!



Reply by Richard Foxall, Feb 18, 2013.

2004 was a knockout year in the Piedmont.  I'd consider even some basic bottlings of Barolo.  If K&L still has some of the Aldo Conterno stash, I'd grab some.  I had some outstanding Ghemme (also nebbiolo based) while I was in Italy last year from that vintage, and I think they would hold up well, especially some of the single vineyards, but they are hard to find in the US. (Even Italian Wine Merchants in NYC comes up empty, but Astor Place and Flatiron in NYC do have them.)

I think California PN (i.e. Carneros) are very questionable--they might be drinkable at 21, but not really enjoyable.  And if this is more than just a bottle or two, your child will not drink them all right away but save them for special occasions, so they might have to make it 23, 25, who knows.

I'd be picky about the Cabs, too--the ripe style with no long term was in full ascendancy by 2004.  Togni, Dunn, Mayacamas, maybe Montelena, Chappellet, some others will work. 

Consider some of the cooler weather Syrahs, from the N. Rhone.  Hermitage, Cote Rotie can take that long to come around.  Also some of the cooler weather Syrahs from California--maybe Purisima Mountain stuff, and things from up the coast.  I've got a Hartford Family from 2005 I am not even thinking about drinking anytime soon.  I think those Anderson Valley/Yorkville Highlands wines could do it, too.  I am told that Meyers Family (son of the original winemaker at Silver Oak, also secondhand info) makes Syrah in N. Rhone style that has serious aging power.

I'd skip the CdP unless you want to experiment with some Beaucastel or something else that plays down the grenache, because grenache just doesn't have the polyphenols to last that long.  Why not some Bandol, with lots of mourvedre? 

Finally, don't ignore those Rioja Gran Reservas that will come out in a couple years.  Great right now, but made to last.

Lucky kid.  My girls only get two bottles each of Cal Cab--although Dunn and Montelena from their years aren't too shabby.

Reply by JonDerry, Feb 18, 2013.

Think 2004 was a tough year for Burgundy, but it's worth buying a premier cru or two from the Cote de Nuits just to try out in 2025+

2004 Bordeaux, not bad. Smith Haut Lafitte?

Barolo, yes.

For Rhone, best to stick to the North (Cornas, Cote Rotie, St. Joseph, Hermitage, etc.)

Yes also to the Rioja Gran Reservas.

I've heard Oregon Pinot Noir can go a distance, but I'd shy away from CA and the States altogether.

Reply by Richard Foxall, Feb 18, 2013.

Come to think of it, I have a 2004 Hermitage in the basement.  I opened one already and it was really good.  But I don't think I'm going to wait till 2025.  Cornas, of course, with its reputation for taking forever to come around. 

Berry Bros in London thinks 2004 will turn out to be a good year for vintage Champagne--and you need something bubbly to celebrate with.

If you have any interest in white wines, the Chenins from the Loire were considered pretty good that year and have lots of aging potential.

SHL has gone up in price and was struggling just a while ago.  I don't know if the wines had turned the corner yet in 2004.  Lately they are a critical darling, for sure. 

Old school Cabs shouldn't be ruled entirely, IMO, but I gotta say I have been very impressed by 2004 in Piemonte, and also had success with Brunellos from that year--but now I cannot find them anywhere. I would lean heavily Italian if my child was born in 2004. 

Reply by Lucha Vino, Feb 18, 2013.

Great options everybody!  I am hoping that my son comes out of the teen age years wanting to share most of these bottles with me. :-)

Reply by JonDerry, Feb 19, 2013.

Good call on the champers...Leoville Poyferre is another good option for Bordeaux, albeit a bit pricier. 

Not sure how great dry whites will age that long, but sweet whites should definitely be an option.


Reply by amour, Feb 19, 2013.

It is almost as if the drinking of aged whites is an ACQUIRED TASTE, from my own experience.

I have a bit more to say on the aging of Whites....a ticklish topic indeed!

One has to be extremely careful when it comes to considering whites for aging, (besides Sauternes and its sub-regions, of course, which age so very well.)

Reply by Richard Foxall, Feb 19, 2013.

My recommendation for the Loire Chinons is based upon the ability of the demi-sec wines to age for 50-100 years.  At $30 or so for a decent Huet, that's an outstanding bet. Looks like you can get them in LA.

Reply by EMark, Feb 19, 2013.

Lucha, I am going to second Amour's recommendation on dessert wines.  In fact I would suggest Sauternes for a couple reasons

  • They are very easy to obtain
  • They are reasonably affordable (with, maybe, one notable exception)
  • They age well
  • It gives your (oops, sorry, your son's) collection a bit of variation -- away from the big reds.
  • Going for Sauternes also helps you meet your "Bordeaux quota." ;-)

Folks, can we have a sidebar on the ageability of white wines?  I don't as a rule drink white wines that are more than a few years old, with the obvious exception of dessert wines.  However, I have been told that some subset of white Burgudies do have tremendous aging potential--up to decades.  Is there truth to this?  What care has to be taken to pick an age-worthy white wine--Burgundy or anything else? 



Can we have a sidebar on the ageability of white wines? 

Reply by amour, Feb 20, 2013.

2004 for Bordeaux was, generally, simply CLASSIC and nothing more.

Reply by amour, Feb 20, 2013.

A few quick points on Whites and aging:

White Burgundy made entirely of Chardonnay will age well.

It is one of the few Chardonnays that will age well.

Most Semillons will age well.

Many German Rieslings will age well.

A few Sauvignon Blancs can take a bit of aging,

Sancerre as well.

Dry Semillon, particularly Graves, will age well.

Dry Semillon from Australia will take to some aging; resulting in aroma and strong smoky flavour.

So, check on dry white Bordeaux, if you must have some white to lay away; get advice from the wine shop expert, get a second opinion.

Good luck!

Perhaps others will comment on my remarks, share their experiences, as Good Samaritan Snoothers,  and a firmer conclusion will be returned, (if that is possible at all!!!!)


When whites age, the fruit taste fades; complexity emerges.

Reply by amour, Feb 20, 2013.

Some useful random notes:

Hermitage White  25 years

Hermitage Red     30 years


Chateauneuf du Pape  25 years

Cote Rotie                       25 years


Pessac-Logan/Graves Red 30 years

St.Julien                             35 years

St. Estephe                        35 years

Margaux                              30 years

Pauillac                                40 years

Reply by amour, Feb 20, 2013.

Foxall has a 2004 Cote Rotie...perhaps he could give an informed opinion on its present state.....just an idea....

Meanwhile I had notes on my tasting of the 2004 Ducru-Beaucaillou in 2010 and I was told then that it is not going to age well, by others with tremendous experience.

So, the message in the bottle is: DO NOT KEEP A 2004 DUCRU-BEAUCAILLOU

2009 and 2010 were fantastic Ducru!

Reply by Richard Foxall, Feb 20, 2013.

Good years of Chenin from the Loire:  25, 50 or more years.  Try Demi-sec.  I'd bet on the effervescent ones, too.  What I really like about Chenin is the acidity is so dang high that it can deal with sweetness, and the sweetness can lead to pleasant aging.  Plus I like them youngish because they have tons of fruit, even when dry,  and tons of acid--my preference in whites is pretty high on acidity. I should probably be drinking more Riesling, too, but it's hard to wade through the sweeter ones to get what I want.

As for that Cote Rotie, I'll be holding that one back, but here's what others said about it.  I also have some 2007 Cote Rotie and 2004 Hermitage--my thinking is the 2004 Hermitage that I have is not going to age for 21 years, since the first one was quite approachable a couple years ago.  But better bottles from the N. Rhone in 2004 could be quite good.

Reply by amour, Feb 20, 2013.

Thanks FOXALL.

I honestly do appreciate how well you are able to describe all that you drink/taste, and drink/taste you certainly do!

I am sure that many benefit from your sharing and that is what it is all about, after all!

Reply by JonDerry, Feb 20, 2013.

Recently had a 1996 White Burgundy, a Premier Cru Montrachet that was holding up pretty well, but clearly toward the end of its useful life. For 20+ year dry whites, I'd probably put Grand Cru Montrachet, maybe GC Chablis up there near the top. Don't have as much confidence in Bordeaux Blanc getting there these days, better luck decades ago.

The Huet's Fox mentions should be great also, just not sure how their dry whites would age 20+ (Sec, Sec Le Mont). And of course, the sweeter and classier (Sauternes, Barsac, Loire) the better for aging longer than 20 years.

For CA Chards, they should usually be drunk 2-5 years after the vintage date, even sooner if there's neutral oak, why not? It's rare there are producers here in the states that are serious about having their Chards peak at longer than 5 years after vintage. Some will go 10 years, maybe more, but it's a poor bet. Mayacamus may be one of the most likely, then there's "IPOB" (In Pursuit of Balance) producers like Peay, Ceritas, and Rhys, though these are all tough wines to find. Definitely looking forward to getting around to trying Ceritas Porter Bass Chard in 2011. I'm bullish on CA Chard in 2011, figuring the cold cold (for CA) weather will give producers the best opportunity in years to mimic what they do in France. Only 1st hand experience has been with Sta Rita Hills 2011 Chard (Liquid Farm White Hill) and I was very impressed.

Reply by amour, Feb 20, 2013.

While on aging...remember CHIANTI CLASSICO.......speaking generally, any, (and at around $25.U.S. per bottle), ............we all ought to keep some hidden ages well!

Reply by EMark, Feb 20, 2013.

This conversation on the aging potential of white wines is very interesting.  Thank you, folks.

As I mentioned above I rarely drink a white that is more than a few years old, and I pretty much agree with JD's comment that California Chardonnays are meat to be consumed in 2-5 years.  I did, unintentionally, violate this rule of thumb while celebrating my wife's birthday at a restaurant in December.  I picked a Flowers Chardonnay (it's her birthday celebration, so we are going to go have white wine with dinner).  Either I did not look too closely at the wine list, or the vintage year it was not printed.  I did not even look that closely at the bottle when the waiter presented it, but went right to the tasting and it was fine.  Well, Peggy just loved it and wanted to look at the label.  This was the first Flowers that either of us had tried.  We were both very surprised to see that the vintage year was 2005.  Probably the oldest California Cardonnay I'd ever tasted.  It was outstanding--definitely not over-oaked, slight acid, excellent food wine.  I'm not sure, Lucha, that I would recommend any California Chardonnay for your 2004 collection, but this 2005 Flowers was an eye-opener for me.

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