Wine Talk

Snooth User: William Djubin

Single Varietal vs. Bordeaux Blends (Burgundy vs Bordeaux)

Posted by William Djubin, Feb 1, 2015.

USA Values?  I strongly believe that the optimal "Cellaring Worthy" USA Wines for the value lye in Sonoma County Pinot Noirs.. 2012 Gobble them up... Pisoni, Rosella's, Gary's. Keefer Ranch, Cargassaci.. possible @ 45-90 USD$$

Vineyard Specific; Vintage Specific (SLH and SRH and Sonoma Coast or Russian River)  Pinot's are Value and Worthy in my opinion for Cellaring long term.  (10-15yrs. +)


Reply by outthere, Feb 1, 2015.

"Pisoni, Rosella's, Gary's. Keefer Ranch, Cargassaci.."

Of those 4 only Keefer is in Sonoma. County. The other 3 in SLH, Santa Barbara. Oops!

 A lot of cellar worthy CA Pinot comes from Anderson Valley

Reply by William Djubin, Feb 1, 2015.

Perfect. Thanks OUTTHERE,

Reply by GregT, Feb 1, 2015.

Those are vineyards right? Used by several producers if I'm not mistaken? And they're not cheap.

If you want a value wine to cellar, try Columbia Crest. I have some from the late 1980s and it holds its own against many wines from Bordeaux. Cost about $3 a bottle. Today it's about $10. Nobody cellars it but they'd be pleasantly surprised if they did.

Those Pinot Noirs are about $50. Will they turn into something better than they are today? The only way to know is to have had some with a number of years on. After all, the purpose of cellaring is improvement. If the wines aren't better after holding, then there's no point to hold them.

Of course 10 - 15 years isn't long term by any measure. Except for Two Buck Chuck, I'd expect many wines to last that long.

Reply by William Djubin, Feb 3, 2015.

Thanks GREGT,

The list is of Vineyards and unfortunately they will be sold and consumed before maturity. Demand vs...

I would also like to suggest that the best Produced 2012 burgundy CA wines will mature and develop with Cellar Time. @ the 50$,,

I wish I could try a Pommard- Pisoni 2012 in 2028... My opinion.  worth the wait...  and fingers crossed.



Reply by Badge4, Feb 3, 2015.

GregT it's my experience that wines sold in the 10,15, 20 dollar price range are for drinking now or in the very near future. When you start getting into the 50 dollar and up price range you are more apt to find cellar worthy bottles that should appreciate with age in terms of quality. Cellaring a lesser cost bottle of wine is a waste of money and most likely a good bottle of wine as well.


Just my two cents   

Reply by dvogler, Feb 3, 2015.


It's true that the majority of wine is meant to drink nearly immediately.  Some may require more decanting than others.  For fuller bodied reds, a few years actually is a better way to go.  Sometimes inexpensive bottles can be fantastic if you let them sit for five or six years (or more).  I have also had the opposite.  A Catena Malbec from 2001 I opened last year and it was DEAD.  I live in BC and have the luxury of several good reviewers to follow.  They give expected drinking windows and then usually re-taste after three years and give a follow-up. 

Reply by William Djubin, Feb 5, 2015.

Whew.. DV, A Nicolas Catena '01 should not have died.. Was it sour, bitter, or Flat.... just curious.

During 2001 Nicolas Catena was "maker" and Catena was at a peak.. and Catena Wines blossomed. and found the USA.  I repeatedly thought of Cellaring Catena 2001. Not NC Cab or C Alta.. just Catena Malbec.

-I think you made a right decision to Cellar &quite possibly  the wine "bottle" itself  may have been faulty way, way, before you knew her.


Reply by napagirl68, Feb 6, 2015.

I, personally, would be very cautious about cellaring most CA pinot noir for 10+ years.  I have had some fantastic pinots that were in the $60-100 range that I held for many years under temp control, and I was sorely disappointed in what I ended up with.  I am not saying all pinots will suffer, but in general, I have not had good luck holding CALIFORNIA PN for extended times.  Perhaps it is my palate, but I think most CA PNs are made to drink relatively soon.

I do agree that CA cabs and other "big" reds seem to hold for ~7-10yrs just fine, depending on their caliber.  But pinot?   IMO, it loses its delicacy after too long.

Reply by dvogler, Feb 6, 2015.


It wasn't a Nicolas.  It was the basic Catena ($20).  I do have an "Angelica Zapata", which is only sold in South America.  I had done a boiler job for a wealthy guy here who had a wine cellar (most of them do, and I try to steer the chit-chat to wine, sometimes allowing a peek at their stuff).  He had mediocre stuff and was admittedly a Scotch guy and had an enormous collection.  When I saw about twenty bottles of that Catena (2001), my mouth watered, so he gave me one.  It wasn't "off", it just had very little life.

Reply by JonDerry, Feb 6, 2015.

NG, Pinot Noir is largely underrated for its aging potential. However, as you suggest there are many CA producers not making ageable wines so you have to be careful.

For CA Pinot I'm currently collecting/experimenting with a few brands. Littorai, Tyler, Cobb, Kutch, Cabot. I feel better about these wines in cooler vintages but trust Littorai even in warm years and I heard so many good things about Kutch's 2012 Falstaff that I had to get a couple. Most of what I have is going to be hard to lay off though, going back only to 2010!

Anyway, even for these lower/moderate alcohol CA Pinot, I think 5 years in bottle/ 7 years after harvest is long enough to start making your way through half your stash. 

Reply by GregT, Feb 6, 2015.

GregT it's my experience that wines sold in the 10,15, 20 dollar price range are for drinking now or in the very near future. When you start getting into the 50 dollar and up price range you are more apt to find cellar worthy bottles that should appreciate with age in terms of quality. Cellaring a lesser cost bottle of wine is a waste of money and most likely a good bottle of wine as well.

Badge - That's kind of true. Most wine is probably better in the near term. But let's set aside the generic plonk with plastic corks. Things like Trader Joe wines or Yellow Tail or some Central Coast no place wine or something indifferent from Italy, France or Spain. That's most wine, but not what we're talking about here.
There's lots of well-made wine and price has very little to do with it. There are plenty of $20 wines that would reward cellaring. In fact, I bought a lot of Riscal Reserva. It was 9.99 a bottle. At the high end it approaches $20. I've had it going back to the 1940s and 1920s. It's one of the best bets for cellaring that I know of. It will outlive many wines costing ten times as much. I've had plenty of $60+ wine that just didn't go anywhere good at all.
Again, "cellaring" does not mean keeping it for only five or ten years. That's well within the normal drinking window of most decent wine, although even there you can get a bit of development. But I'd start looking at the benefits of aging around 20 years out.
Reply by napagirl68, Feb 8, 2015.

I respect all of your opinions.  I usually act based on my own experience.  I, personally, would never hold any CA pinot for 10+ years.  That is just based on my own experience.  Granted, I have not tasted or held ALL CA pinots.  But have held enough to realize that, at least for me, they lose something beyond 10yrs.  I tend to drink them within 5 yrs as a rule.

Reply by dmcker, Feb 8, 2015.

Next time I do an '80s vertical from Chalone I won't invite you, NG!  ;-) Ditto on the DRCs form the '90s, or does France get a pass?

Reply by napagirl68, Feb 9, 2015.

I said CA, dmcker!  Ok, so Chalone aged well, congrats.  I have had more go the other way.  I rather hedge my bets toward some level of success.  When have you last tasted those 80's from Chalone, and what was your impression?

Reply by William Djubin, Feb 9, 2015.

DRC Richeboug poured just fine. Circa 1980. - whoops sorry for the France blurp..

-- I propose that some Vinters and Vineyards of S Cal. Do produce such capability. Artesian and Burgundy's majesty can be found in California And the value outweighs a 350-500$$ USD collectable and storable Cabernet or Bordeaux wine.

Reply by dmcker, Feb 9, 2015.

The '80 thru '84 vertical, all reserve, was last year.  Still in excellent condition, though one (the '84) had peaked and another ('81) was getting there. Won't know until I have my last bottles whether those were bottle issues or definitively the vintages.

Chalone from the last decade and a half bears little resemblance to that from its earlier incarnation, so it'd help if you were familiar with the earlier version when I talk about how the tannins had mellowed and the perception of (for lack of a better term) 'terroir' evolved. The reserves (they stopped making reserves back around the turn of the millennium, just before Diageo took over) back then were austere when young, almost parched tannins, but these had sweetened and softened a fair bit and the dryly monolithic fruit and almost bitter taste of earth that had been there in youth were all gone and instead there was a gentler, refined, rounded swatch of pinot-rainbow glimmerings reaching down into Pinnacles earth while washing across my palate. Since these weren't young wines they didn't blast my tastebuds but rather tickled, hinted and enticed and made me sit up and pay attention, rather than blunderbuss me into resignation that I might just have to use the stuff as mono-dimensional mouthwash, which too many young CA pinots still do to me. They would have been capable of being used as food wines, though we didn't have much besides baquettes and butter and savory tartlets and sauteed mushrooms and a few coldcuts with them. Meant more for enjoyment amongst a few of us than a rigorous tasting. 

We're probably speaking different languages, though, since I rarely expect to get total satisfaction from a CA pinot noir, and generally am less interested in wines with fewer than 5 years bottle age than those with more than 10 or even 20. 

Assuming, of course, that the grape and winemaker serve up something ageworthy. Cabs, nebiollos, tempranillos, rieslings, sangioveses, syrahs, champagnes, and many others are far more interesting to me when they've matured. Pinot noir undoubtedly so, too, though fortunately the marketplace tends to disagree with me. In CA, Graff''s Chalones certainly were. Not so many others from that era, though I've had a couple that surprised me. Regarding those from the '90s on, I think that might be a worthy subject for (one of) the next Snooth throwdown(s). Aged CA and OR pinot vs aged Burgundy. And I don't define 10 year old bottles as 'aged.'

I will admit that a '53 Remoissenet Clos Vougeot that I had a year ago, with a friend born that year, was well past its prime (and I had to dissuade a French sommelier from having it with food in the first place). Unfortunate, because a horizontal of the same negociant's Vosne Romanee, Échezeaux and Clos Vougeot from that year that I had in 2009 was not, and surprised everyone with how hale and hearty they were. Leaving aside individual bottle questions, I was able to determine for myself that they were good for 50+ years but not 60+. Storage had been impeccable so we were reaching the wine's limits. I'm afraid that more research on pinots that old is likely only possible these days in France or Switzerland or some other nearby area where great cellars have kept great wines lying in comfort.

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