Old, Cheap and Available
People who know me too well know that I’m a pretty impatient guy. With regard to wine that tendency translates into simply being unable to buy wine to lay down and age. I just can’t leave it alone. That new Pinot stares back at me seeming to beg to be opened. And it usually is. As a result I found myself seeking out older wines to drink, rather than putting them in the cellar and waiting a decade or so to open them.
I had to look to the auction market to find what I wanted.
During my days in marketing at Winebid.com i really got into buying aged wine. Of course it was easy to know what was available at auction because I was constantly monitoring not only our own auctions, but those of many other auction houses. The auction market remains the best source of older wines. The good news is that you can find interesting older wines for a decent price if you are willing to experiment.
I still go to Winebid.com first because I think it is still the best source of online wine auctions. Let me say though that online commercial wine auctions are not nearly as fun as going to live wine auctions. Though a fairly repetitive process, the live auction process appeals to my appreciation of competition. Still, the experience is an acquired taste.
That said, take a look at these well-aged California wines and their current bids at Winebid.com
1985 Alexander Valley Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon ($15)
1994 Anderson’s Conn Valley Estate Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon ($40)
1994 Calera Selleck Vineyard Pinot Noir ($40)
1995 Carmenet Moon Mountain Estate Reserve Meritage ($30)
1986 Chalone Vineyard Estate Reserve Chardonnay ($20)
1989 Diamond Creek Red Rock Terrace ($40)
1994 Fife Petite Sirah ($30)
1995 Franciscan Oakville Estate Cabernet Sauvignon ($15)
1994 Gary Farrell Bien Nacido Vineyard Pinot Noir ($25)
1995 Groth Cabernet Sauvignon ($40)
Pretty interesting stuff here. The ’94 Napa Anderson’s Con Valley Reserve Cab and the ’94 Fife Petite Sirah would both be in pretty good condition I’d bet. And what about that 1986 Chalone Reserve Chard. You know that would be work the $20 to see what a 20 year-old Chard from a classic producer would taste like. And what about that ’95 Groth??
There is no way to have a truly rounded wine education without delving into the world of well-aged wine. For the new or younger wine drinker, it’s difficult to afford the great old stuff and it’s likely you haven’t been buying long enough to have well-aged wine in your cellar. Wine Auctions like Winebid are the place to go.
You are unlikely to be able to purchase 1 or 2 bottles of these aged beauts at Sotheby’s, Christies, Morrell auction houses.