Invest Wines

Below are wines in my portfolio that I have purchased for the long term, and which I strongly believe have room for price appreciation.  I’ve included Robert Parker’s most recent reviews of the wines, as his opinion has huge influence on pricing.  

 

ITALY

2007  Sassicaia, Tuscany

Wine Advocate # 191
Oct 2010
Antonio Galloni 95 Drink: 2015 – 2037 $136-$438 (215)
The 2007 Sassicaia (Cabernet Sauvignon) explodes onto the palate with masses of rich, opulent fruit that caress the palate with gorgeous length and a seamless beauty that is hard to fully capture. Dark wild cherries, plums, spices, minerals and herbs develop in the glass. This is an especially bold, perhaps slightly uncharacteristic Sassicaia in its extroverted personality, but it is beautiful all the same. The inner perfume and sweetness carries through the long finish, where the sheer weight and glycerol of the fruit leaves a lasting impression. The 2007 is more than a worthy follow-up to the profound 2006. While it may lack that wine’s freshness, structure and potential longevity, the 2007 is immensely appealing today, and should drink beautifully pretty much out of the gate. That said, Sassicaia is always the most restrained of Bolgheri’s heavy hitters. This is a superb effort from Tenuta San Guido. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2037. 
Wine Advocate #196
Aug 2011
Antonio Galloni 96 Drink: 2018 – 2038 $129-$260 (220)
The 2008 Sassicaia is a rich, deep wine imbued with notable class in its black cherries, plums, grilled herbs, minerals and smoke. The 2008 is a decidedly buttoned-up, firm Sassicaia that is currently holding back much of its potential, unlike the 2006 and 2007, both of which were far more obvious wines. Readers who can afford to wait will be treated to a sublime wine once this settles down in bottle. Muscular, firm tannins frame the exquisite finish in this dark, implosive Sassicaia. The 2008 Sassicaia is 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Cabernet Franc. The wine spent 24 months in French oak barrels. Anticipated maturity: 2018-2038.Tenuta San Guido is on a roll these days. Over the last few years, the estate has released a number of hugely delicious wines. These new releases are nicely aligned with their respective vintages. The entry-level Le Difese and Guidalberto both capture the essence of a sunny year that made wines well suited to near-term drinking, while the 2008 Sassicaia captures the potential of a powerful vintage characterized by low yields and a late harvest.

2007 Tignanello, Tuscany

Wine Advocate # 191
Oct 2010
Antonio Galloni 95 Drink: 2012 – 2027 $68-$130 (99)
Antinori’s 2007 Tignanello is wonderfully ripe and seductive in its dark cherries, flowers, spices, tobacco, sage, cedar, mint and minerals. This is as opulent a Tignanello as I have ever tasted but there is just enough acidity and structure from the Sangiovese to keep things from going over the top. The wine’s richness and warmth are such that in a blind tasting I mistook the 2007 Tignanello for a wine from Maremma! The dense, muscular fruit follows through to an impeccable finish with no hard edges and impossibly fine, silky tannins. Simply put, the 2007 is a magnificent Tignanello. The 2007 Tignanello is 80% Sangiovese aged in 300-liter French oak barrels (1/3 new), 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc, both aged in 100% new 225-liter French oak barriques. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2027.I continue to be amazed at the high average quality Antinori achieves across a production that exceeds a whopping 20 million bottles per year. This is a fabulous set of new releases. Long-time Oenologist Renzo Cotarella could certainly have rested on his laurels; after all he is already one of Italy’s most celebrated winemakers. Instead, Cotarella continues to improve quality in a meaningful way. The highlights are the 2007s, which are off the charts. I first sampled Antinori’s 2007 Tignanello and Solaia two years ago, when they were still separate wines from individual parcels, but even then it was clear these were going to be special wines. Tasting Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon from the Tignanello and Solaia vineyards, both in Chianti Classico, was an unforgettable lesson in the uniqueness of each of these fabulous terroirs. The Solaia vineyard in particular is clearly one of Italy’s greatest sites. Everything I tasted was loaded with personality and sheer character. One of the recent major changes at Antinori is the separate vinification of component wines for Guado al Tasso, Tignanello and Solaia, which began with the 2004 vintage. In 2007 Cotarella took that approach even further, with small parcel-by-parcel vinifications that allowed for maximum flexibility when the final blend for each wine was ultimately assembled. The 2007 harvest brings with it a number of additional changes. Syrah has been eliminated from Guado al Tasso in favor of Cabernet Franc, a grape that is proving to be exceptionally well-suited to the Tuscan coast. If the 2007 is any indication, Guado al Tasso is taking on a much more Bordeaux-like personality. The estate is also gradually moving toward slightly larger barrels and less new oak for their Sangioveses.

2008 Giorgio Primo, Tuscany

Wine Advocate # 191
Oct 2010
Antonio Galloni 93+ Drink: 2013 – 2023 $90 (90)
The 2008 Giorgio Primo is all class and elegance. It shows surprising richness for the vintage with a level of detail, clarity and polish that are first-rate. Minerals, crushed flowers, cassis and sweet grilled herbs add complexity on the long, focused finish. This is a fabulous effort from proprietor Giampaolo Motta. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2023.

CALIFORNIA

2007 Dominus Propietary Red, Napa Valley

Wine Advocate # 186
Dec 2009
Robert Parker 98 Drink: N/A $115-$199 (130)
The soon-to-be-released 2007 Dominus is a 5,400-case blend of 94% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Cabernet Franc, and 3% Petit Verdot. It is ironic that Christian Moueix, the practitioner of utterly profound Merlot-based wines from St.-Emilion and Pomerol, eschews Merlot from his Napa vineyard, recognizing that it is Cabernet Sauvignon, and to a lesser extent Cabernet Franc, that hits the high notes in Napa. A prodigious example of Dominus, the 2007 represents a hypothetical blend of a Pomerol, Pauillac, and a Napa Cabernet Sauvignon. Deep ruby/purple-colored with a sweet nose of incense, cedar wood, black currants, black cherries, licorice, and a subtle hint of roasted herbs, it is an expansive, savory, opulent wine with a full-bodied mouthfeel, silky tannins, and sensational concentration. A legend in the making, it should evolve for 25-30 years, possibly longer given the fact that his vintages from the early eighties are still going strong, and the wines today are better made given Moueix-s Napa experience and the estate winery he did not have 25 years ago.Perhaps the finest vintage at Dominus since their historic 1994s and 1991s is 2007, although I am also a big fan of what they achieved in 2001, 2002, and 2006. Lastly, when I visit this winery they always open a fresh bottle and also have a bottle that has been decanted for an hour or two. The decanted bottles definitely reveal more aromatic complexity and breadth of flavor, so readers may wish to aerate the wines prior to service.

 

 

BORDEAUX

2006 Mouton Rothschild, Pauillac, Premier Cru Classe

Wine Advocate # 181
Feb 2009
Robert Parker 98+ Drink: 2020 – 2060 $575-$1208 (550)
A sensational effort, the 2006 Mouton Rothschild exhibits an opaque purple color as well as a classic Mouton perfume of creme de cassis, flowers, blueberries, and only a hint of oak. Dalhuin told me that in whisky barrel-tasting vintages such as 1989 and 1990, Mouton was aged in heavily-toasted barrels, and they have backed off to a much lighter toast for the barrels’ interior. I think this has worked fabulously well with the cassis quality fruit they get from their Cabernet Sauvignon. The full-bodied, powerful 2006 possesses extraordinary purity and clarity. A large-scaled, massive Mouton Rothschild that ranks as one of the top four or five wines of the vintage, it may turn out to be the longest-lived wine of the vintage by a landslide. The label will undoubtedly be controversial as a relative of Sigmund Freud, Lucian Freud, has painted a rather comical Zebra staring aimlessly at what appears to be a palm tree in the middle of a stark courtyard. I suppose a psychiatrist could figure out the relationship between that artwork and wine, but I couldn’t see one. This utterly profound Mouton will need to sleep for 15+ years before it will reveal any secondary nuances, but it is a packed and stacked first-growth Pauillac of enormous potential. Anticipated maturity: 2020-2060+

2008 Pontet-Canet, Pauillac, 5eme Cru Classe

Wine Advocate # 182
Apr 2009
Robert Parker (96-98+) Drink: 2019 – 2060 $75-$126
A wine for our children’s children. Nobody in Bordeaux is more attentive to detail than Alfred Tesseron is at Pontet-Canet. Fashioned from incredibly low yields, a very late harvest, and a Draconian selection, the 2008 will not be close to drinkability for at least a decade, and it should still be in superb form circa 2060. An absolutely amazing effort, it boasts an inky/black/purple color as well as an extraordinary bouquet of creme de cassis, graphite, charcoal, and incense, blockbuster depth, and full-bodied power. The tannins are high, but they are remarkably velvety as well as well-integrated. Sensational acidity gives the wine precision and vibrancy, but the impression is one of massive concentration and power. The 2008 Pontet-Canet, a candidate for the wine of the vintage, is a tour de force in viticultural precision and winemaking savoir faire.

2005 Pontet-Canet, Pauillac, 5eme Cru Classe

Wine Advocate # 176
Apr 2008
Robert Parker 96+ Drink: 2017 – 2040 $110-$200 (100)
The work that Alfred Tesseron and his winemaking team have done at this estate since 1994 is remarkable. At this fabulous terroir just south of Mouton-Rothschild, Tesseron has made major investments, and instituted incredibly severe selections in both the vineyard and winery. The result is a succession of extraordinary wines. It is difficult to know whether the 2005 Pontet-Canet will ultimately eclipse the hedonism and density of the flamboyant 2003, but it is unquestionably a stunning effort. Inky/black-colored with a classic Pauillac perfume of licorice, black currant liqueur, graphite, cedar, and spice box, it is full-bodied, with magnificent concentration, formidable tannins, and an Arnold Schwartzenegger-like structure (when he was 25 years younger). This backward, formidably endowed 2005 will require patience. Anticipated maturity: 2017-2040.

2009 Lynch Bages, Pauillac, 5eme Cru Classe

Wine Advocate # 188
Apr 2010
Robert Parker (94-96+) Drink: 2010 – 2050 $103-$192
The highest levels of polyphenols ever measured at Lynch Bages (20% higher than any prior vintage) are found in the 2009, which achieved 13.4% natural alcohol, and a normal pH of 3.64. Composed of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, it is the greatest Lynch Bages since the outstanding duo of 1989 and 1990. The black/purple-tinged 2009 exhibits a glorious perfume of graphite, black currants, and subtle smoke, powerful, thick, unctuously textured flavors, huge yet sweet tannins, fabulous purity, and a finish that lasts 40-45 seconds. Five to eight years of patience will be required, but this is a 30-40-year wine from this popular estate run by the affable and highly respected Cazes family. (Tasted three times.)

2009 Gruaud Larose, St. Julien, 2eme Cru Classe

Wine Advocate # 188
Apr 2010
Robert Parker (92-94+) Drink: 2017 – 2057 $57-$100
This is the finest Gruaud Larose since the 1990. Without a hint of brett in the 2009, it exhibits an opaque purple color along with a big, sweet nose of creme de cassis, new saddle leather, spice box, and boysenberries. Made in a rich, broad, savory, juicy style with lots of succulence, but none of the masculinity and ruggedness often found in this offering, this wine is loaded with concentration and extract. The tannins are largely concealed by the remarkable intensity of fruit and density. It should be drinkable in 7-8 years, and last for 30-40. (Tasted two times.)

2009 Domaine St. Pierre, St. Julien, 4eme Cru Classe

Wine Advocate # 188
Apr 2010
Robert Parker (94-98*) Drink: 2017 – 2067 $68-$89
This has been a fabulous wine over recent vintages, but I do not think many consumers have caught on. Of course, there is far less of this classified-growth St.-Julien than of any of the Leovilles, Beychevelle, Talbot, Gruaud Larose, or Branaire Ducru. Unbelievably powerful, rich, and impressive, this may be the finest St.-Pierre ever made. An inky/purple color is followed by notes of creme de cassis, spring flowers, and forest floor, a layered, full-bodied, powerful mouthfeel, perfect balance, and extraordinary richness, purity, and unctuosity. This great St.-Julien should hit its peak in 7-10 years, and last for 30-50. Bravo! (Tasted two times.)

2009 Pavie Macquin, St. Emilion Grand Cru Classe

Wine Advocate # 188
Apr 2010
Robert Parker (94-96+) Drink: 2015 – 2055 $73-$150
Yields here were 30 hectoliters per hectare, and the final blend 85% Merlot, 11% Cabernet Franc, and the rest Cabernet Sauvignon. The dynamic duo of Stephane Derenoncourt and Nicolas Thienpont produced nearly 4,000 cases of wine from this terroir, which has been promoted to a first growth in the St.-Emilion hierarchy. The 15% natural alcohol is rather shocking, because it is not the least bit noticeable. The wine is inky purple-colored, with loads of viscosity, an unctuous texture, and an enormous nose of charcoal, graphite, blackberry liqueur, and forest floor in a full-bodied, seamlessly constructed style. At the same time, the impression is one of a very unevolved, backward wine that has even more weight to put on and more nuances to reveal. I think this is one wine where the “plus” in the numerical rating will be very revealing. Forget it for 5-7 years and drink it over the next 30-40 years. (Tasted five times.)

2005 Montrose, Estephe, 2eme Cru Classe

Wine Advocate # 176
Apr 2008
Robert Parker 95 Drink: 2020 – 2040 $100-$250 (120)
The 2005 Montrose is an exceptionally tannic, broodingly backward offering displaying a dense ruby/purple color along with a provocative perfume of crushed rocks, flowers, cassis, black raspberries, and blueberries. It continues to add weight and richness, good traits considering the substantial, forbiddingly high tannin levels and zesty acidity. If you are over the age of fifty, this backward, powerful wine will probably be more enjoyable to your descendants. Anticipated maturity: 2020-2040+

2009 Calon Segur, St. Estephe, 3eme Cru Classe

Wine Advocate # 188
Apr 2010
Robert Parker (92-94+) Drink: 2020 – 2070 $75-$114
Made in a very different style for this estate, the 2009 is composed of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon (the highest I have ever seen here), 7% Merlot, and 3% Petit Verdot, and achieved 13.8% natural alcohol. It is a big, rich, tannic, structured, dense ruby/purple-tinged wine offering a sweet kiss of creme de cassis, loamy soil, and spice box. Remarkably, despite the use of 100% new oak because of the 2009’s power and intensity, there is not a hint of wood in either the aromatic or flavor profile. Never that showy from cask, this traditionally made St.-Estephe should be forgotten for 10-15 years, and drunk over the following 40-50 years. My rating is very conservative, and I expect it to rise considerably as this wine comes out of its infancy. (Tasted two times.)

2005 Calon Segur, St. Estephe, 3eme Cru Classe

Wine Advocate # 176
Apr 2008
Robert Parker 92+ Drink: 2020 – 2050 $35-$155 (95)
A blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot, the totally closed 2005 Calon Segur is one of those traditionally made, backstrapping, uncompromising Bordeaux that will last 30-40 or more years. Its dense ruby color with purple nuances is followed by a nose that reluctantly offers up scents of damp earth, wood smoke, black cherries, cassis, and an exotic Asian spice character. The wine is formidably endowed and broodingly tannic, with noticeable acidity and a structured, nearly impenetrable mouthfeel. Nevertheless, it is easy to sense the weight, extract, and richness in this pure, deep wine. Anticipated maturity: 2020-2050.

2009 Duhart-Milon-Rothschild, Pauillac, 4eme Cru Classe

Wine Advocate # 188
Apr 2010
Robert Parker (94-96*) Drink: 2013 – 2043 $59-$166
2009 may turn out to be among the greatest vintages ever in the Medoc. The 2009 appears to be the finest Duhart Milon yet made. The Rothschild family has invested heavily in this estate over the last 20 years in order to upgrade the quality, and their investments have certainly paid off handsomely. A blend of 63% Cabernet Sauvignon and 37% Merlot, the 2009’s opaque purple color is followed by an extraordinary perfume of creme de cassis, violets, graphite, and subtle wood. This full-bodied, intense, voluptuously textured, pure, seductive wine seems more open-knit and opulent than the more structured Carruades de Lafite. Nevertheless, the Duhart requires 3-5 years of cellaring, and should drink well for 30+ years. Bravo! (Tasted once.)

2008 Pichon-Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, 2eme Cru Classe

Wine Advocate # 182
Apr 2009
Robert Parker (94-96) Drink: 2009 – 2039 $74-$85
The 2008 Pichon Lalande’s final blend was 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, and the rest Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. Only 38% of the crop made it into the grand vin, and the result is a wine that blows away the 2005. Terrific texture and opulence, forward fruit, sweet tannin, and a lush personality are found in this dense purple-colored 2008 along with copious quantities of sweet berries, roasted coffee, underbrush, black currant, and black cherry fruit. Sensationally pure, textured, and full-bodied, this will be a flamboyant, showy offering in its youth, but it is capable of lasting 20-30 years.This is another top estate with very low yields (42 hectoliters per hectare) that achieved an atypically high alcohol level of 13%.

2007 Pape Clement, Pessac Leognan, Cru Classe

Wine Advocate # 188
Apr 2010
Robert Parker 92 Drink: N/A $98-$136 (100)
One of the stars of the vintage, this blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot reveals sweet burning ember, charcoal, barbecue smoke, black currant, plum, and graphite notes. This opulent, impressively endowed, medium to full-bodied 2007 possesses sweet tannin and a long finish. It can be drunk now or cellared for 12-15 years

2006 Grand Puy Lacoste, Pauillac, 5eme Cru Classe

Wine Advocate # 181
Feb 2009
Robert Parker 92 Drink: 2014 – 2027 $37-$78 (60)
While not at the level of the phenomenal 2005, Grand-Puy-Lacoste has produced another classic wine with the creme de cassis fruit that I often find in both Mouton Rothschild and Pontet-Canet, yet both of those vineyards are closer to the Gironde River. This wine has a pure personality, with the aforementioned classic creme de cassis notes, medium to full body, beautiful density, purity, texture, and length. If anything, this recalls a hypothetical blend of their brilliant 1995 and 1996. Tannins are elevated, so patience will be required. This was Xavier Borie’s first vintage in his new state-of-the-art winemaking facility. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2027.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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