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Suggestions for $100 bottle of wine


Sandra Levine
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For a gift, I would like to buy a bottle of red wine at about $100. The wine should be drinkable now. I need some help here, because I rarely (never) spend more than $30 a bottle and I know that from $30 to $100 is a big step.

Suggestions, please.

Edited by Sandra Levine (log)
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Dominus

Quintessa

Caymus (napa or special select)

Merryvale Profile

Phelps Insignia

Are all in that price range and are all drinkable on release (but will still improve with age). Dominus or Insignia would be my first picks.

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Be careful here - what if they have no idea what the wine is or how much it cost? They could end up not even liking the wine if they are not used to the style.

Try to find out something about their preferences before you drop a hundred on something they don't like.

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Sandra, Obviously I don't know your friends taste but some of my favourite red wines are from Australia. I just checked the web site for Premier Cru and they show two bottles that I think any serious red wine drinker would love. 1996 Jim Barry The Armagh and 1998 Noon Eclipse. The vintages are important not just for the present drinkability but for the vintage quality. I hope you will be there to share your generous gift. Please let us know your choice and the result. Good luck and enjoy. :biggrin:

" Food and Wine Fanatic"

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I'd go with Rhone, a Cote Rotie or St. Joseph. Chapoutier, Guigal and Cuilleron would be good and the 1989s are drinking magnificently now. Bordeaux 2000 tastes great now and will for ages.

Edited by lissome (log)

Drinking when we are not thirsty and making love at all seasons: That is all there is to distinguish us from the other Animals.

-Beaumarchais

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Dominus

Quintessa

Caymus (napa or special select)

Merryvale Profile

Phelps Insignia

Are all in that price range and are all drinkable on release (but will still improve with age).  Dominus or Insignia would be my first picks.

I would not buy any of these from the 2000 vintage. The Phelps is probably nice, but if the person knows wine, they will automatically be disappointed to get one from that vintage. 1999 would be appreciated.

I'd choose the Phelps Insignia in 1999.

I would look around some shops with good selections from older vintages. If you can find a 1989 Meyney around, that would be great! It's about $75 in some stores (not NY).

If you know they like Pinot Noir, that would be much more drinkable upon release.

beachfan

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Dominus

Quintessa

Caymus (napa or special select)

Merryvale Profile

Phelps Insignia

Are all in that price range and are all drinkable on release (but will still improve with age). Dominus or Insignia would be my first picks.

I would not buy any of these from the 2000 vintage. The Phelps is probably nice, but if the person knows wine, they will automatically be disappointed to get one from that vintage. 1999 would be appreciated.

I'd choose the Phelps Insignia in 1999.

I would look around some shops with good selections from older vintages. If you can find a 1989 Meyney around, that would be great! It's about $75 in some stores (not NY).

If you know they like Pinot Noir, that would be much more drinkable upon release.

Of the list, caymus is the only one to have released their 2000 cab, and for all the bad press the 2000 vintage is getting, the special select atleast is really quite good.

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do know this person's taste -- he generally likes Rhone wines, also fine Riojas. Cedar, blackberries...He's not afraid of a little tannin, either

PJ Wines up in Washington Heights has a bunch of recently released old vintage Riojas from CUNE and Contino at around that price point. I'm no expert on Rioja but I'm told by people who are in the know that these should be quite good.

On the Rhone side, see if you can find a Chave Hermitage rouge. If you see the '91 around, that is drinking extremely well right now. Otherwise, you can probably find the 96 or 97 for under $100 and they will be young but still drinkable and delicious. The 98 and 99 are better vintages but they need a lot of time and will likely be more expensive.

If you want to shop around and compare prices, try www.winesearcher.com.

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Must it be red wine? You could get for that:

- a wonderful single malt cask strength scotch,

- an amazing desert wine

- a vintage port to die for,

- set of fine glasses

Is it for drinking or laying down. If it is for drinking, then under what conditions? What will you serve with it, or is it for after dinner, or with fine cheese or a fine cigar?

I could advise in the UK, but I'm don't know what is available in the US. Enlist your local supplier for help.

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On the Rhone side, see if you can find a Chave Hermitage rouge.  If you see the '91 around, that is drinking extremely well right now.  Otherwise, you can probably find the 96 or 97 for under $100 and they will be young but still drinkable and delicious.  The 98 and 99 are better vintages but they need a lot of time and will likely be more expensive. 

If you want to shop around and compare prices, try www.winesearcher.com.

Great suggestion for Chave and wine-searcher. I think 97 was better than 98 in the northern rhone, no?

beachfan

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Chave '97 is shutting down, in my fairly recent experience.

If anyone out there is thinking of blowing the big bucks on me, please pass on 1996 Jim Barry The Armagh and 1998 Noon Eclipse. I raise that not to diss carpetbagger's taste, but to echo Craig and note that tastes vary widely. I'll diss the wines in a separate thread :wink: .

A case of Domaine de la Pepiere Muscadet, OTOH, wouldn't cost much more than $100 and my birthday is coming up.... :smile:

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A quick check on wine-searcher shows the Beaurenard Cuvee Boisrenard 1998 Chateauneuf du Pape for $75 at Park Ave. Liquours. A classy CdP and I think if you want something for early drinking, CdP will work better than Northern Rhone wines.

beachfan

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I think 97 was better than 98 in the northern rhone, no?

While I haven't tasted widely enough to be able to make vintage generalizations confidently, that's never stopped me or anyone else for that matter before, so what the heck...

I hear 97 and 98 were both warm and dry years, with each vintage's wines generally showing good ripeness of fruit, while the 97s show a little more funk and the 98s showing more structure (both tannins and acidity) and therefore ageworthiness potential.

Personally I think the comparisons of Ogier and Jamet Cote Rotie over those vintages bear out the above general guidance, with the additional thought that the 98s seemed to show greater concentration of fruit about a year ago but now seem to be shutting down rather dramatically (definitely more so than the 97s, which drink nicely on pouring but do even better after a little aeration).

Then again Cote Rotie is a significant drive north from Hermitage. With respect to Chave, I've only had the 97 and 98 side by side once (about a year ago) and the 97, while still a very good wine, was dramatically lighter-bodied than the 98. I'd rather have the 97 for drinking now or in the next 5 years, but I'd rather have the 98 for aging.

This all being said, I think Chave Hermitage is pretty much a sure-fire gift for a wine-lover. Its kind of like getting TIVO for a guy.

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How about a big bottle? I think they make great gifts - they are wonderful to pull out for a special occasion, and even many serious collectors won't make the effort to track them down.

If Rhone wines are of interest, a magnum of Beaucastel from a recent vintage should come in somewhere around that price point, and it would make a marvelous gift.

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Large format bottle can be hard to contend with. I have a couple of double mags in my cellar that sit in a box in the corner because i can't fit them into the racking.

How about a bottle of Champagne, Dom or Veuve Cliquot. – or maybe a Sauternes or vintage Port ( there tons or Vintage in that price range)?

If he’s a new world guy with a cellar – maybe the La Jota Howell Mtn 18th anniversary. It’s got some snob appeal.

If he’s an old world guy – maybe a Ch Ducru-Beaucaillou, Montrose or comparable. There seems to be a lot of 89s and 90s going around lately – most priced under market.

I’d love it if someone dumped a Gaja Barbaresco in my lap

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I do know this person's taste -- he generally likes Rhone wines,

1998 Ogier Cote Rotie Belle Helene (if you cant find it then the regular Cote Rotie is great also)

or

1999 J.L. Chave Hermitage Rouge (The 1997 is closed and the 1998 is extremely tannic right now, it is a much bigger wine than '97).

I would avoid producers such as Chapoutier, Jaboulet, and Guigal. They are more mass market wines and would not make as special a gift.

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I do know this person's taste -- he generally likes Rhone wines,

1998 Ogier Cote Rotie Belle Helene (if you cant find it then the regular Cote Rotie is great also)

...

I would avoid producers such as Chapoutier, Jaboulet, and Guigal. They are more mass market wines and would not make as special a gift.

I suppose when I said Guigal I was thinking of La Turque, which would be a great gift wine, but costs 3 or 4 hundred dollars.... :wacko:

Edited by lissome (log)

Drinking when we are not thirsty and making love at all seasons: That is all there is to distinguish us from the other Animals.

-Beaumarchais

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For gift giving at this level, I like to give a Sauternes or a vintage champagne. While the latter clearly appeals to more people, I actually prefer giving a very good Sauternes, due to the way it ages and changes colour over time.

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I think 97 was better than 98 in the northern rhone, no?

While I haven't tasted widely enough to be able to make vintage generalizations confidently, that's never stopped me or anyone else for that matter before, so what the heck...

I hear 97 and 98 were both warm and dry years, with each vintage's wines generally showing good ripeness of fruit, while the 97s show a little more funk and the 98s showing more structure (both tannins and acidity) and therefore ageworthiness potential.

Personally I think the comparisons of Ogier and Jamet Cote Rotie over those vintages bear out the above general guidance, with the additional thought that the 98s seemed to show greater concentration of fruit about a year ago but now seem to be shutting down rather dramatically (definitely more so than the 97s, which drink nicely on pouring but do even better after a little aeration).

Then again Cote Rotie is a significant drive north from Hermitage. With respect to Chave, I've only had the 97 and 98 side by side once (about a year ago) and the 97, while still a very good wine, was dramatically lighter-bodied than the 98. I'd rather have the 97 for drinking now or in the next 5 years, but I'd rather have the 98 for aging.

This all being said, I think Chave Hermitage is pretty much a sure-fire gift for a wine-lover. Its kind of like getting TIVO for a guy.

How long did the 97 sit ? The last 97 Chave I had the pleasure of drinking was fairly open and showed a lot of fruit. I came back an hour or more later and it was literally a different wine with loads of fat, smoky backbone and firm tannins. I've not had the pleasure of a 98.

Edited by GordonCooks (log)
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I suppose when I said Guigal I was thinking of La Turque, which would be a great gift wine, but costs 3 or 4 hundred dollars.... :wacko:

La Turque would be very special indeed. I had the 1990 La Mouline once. God it was good. I should've bought a case back then, but I was dirt poor.

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