6 aged wines for $45 or less
Aged wine has a reputation for quality and expense, but time isn’t always money. You can find mature bottles at a steal if you look in less famously age-able regions or luck out with pricing flukes like winery going out-of-business sales or retailers with direct chateau connections. We asked St. Louis wine minds for help selecting bottles over 10 years old for less than $45.
1. 2002 York Creek Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Estate
“All of the acidity, all the tannins have been completely smoothed out, so you’re left with an incredibly silky, robust wine,” said Cork & Rind buying manager Matt Hickerson. “You get a lot of dark fruit flavors in it – like munching on figs and plums and dates.”
$35. Cork & Rind, 555 First Capitol Drive, St. Charles, 636.896.4404, corkandrind.com
2. 2006 R. Lopez de Heredia Viña Tondonia
This tempranillo-graciano blend from Rioja, Spain, is super balanced. “When red wines are young, they’re big, they’re fruity,” said Wine Merchant general manager Phil Peimann. “As red wine ages out, the fruit tends to fall back a little bit, you get some earthy elements coming up from the background.”
$43. The Wine Merchant, 7817 Forsyth Blvd., Clayton, 314.863.6282, winemerchantltd.com
3. 2007 Château Faugères saint-emilion grand cru
You don’t usually see 11-year-old red Bordeauxes at a price like this. Peimann said the merlot-cabernet franc-cabernet sauvignon blend from the Saint-Emilion region features notes of red and black fruit, leather and tobacco. “It’s great when you can find a great wine like this at such a good price.”
$40. The Wine Merchant
4. 2006 Quinta da Boavista Terras de Tavares
“It needed some time to mellow out, and it has done that very well,” said Parker’s Table owner John Parker. After a dozen years in the bottle, this Dão, Portugal, wine has more balanced notes of dark cherries and earth.
$35. Parker’s Table, 7118 Oakland Ave., Richmond Heights, 314.645.2050, parkerstable.com
5. 2007 Figli Luigi Oddero Barbaresco
“The wine starts out as fairly tannic and astringent,” said Parker. “Over time, the wine softens out, turns paler and has less juicy punch.” After 11 years in the bottle, Parker said this 100 percent nebbiolo wine from Piedmont, Italy, has relaxed from its forceful youth into gentler notes of stewed tomato and spice.
$38. Parker’s Table
6. 1997 Pütz-Botzet Liserer SüSSenburg Riesling Auslese
A rare find from a defunct Mosel, Germany, producer, this classic riesling’s acidity and sweetness have become more prominent with age. “The fruit goes from fresh and ripe to dried and desiccated,” said sommelier Zac Adcox, Reeds American Table general manager.
Retail: $24. Reeds American Table, 7322 Manchester Road, Maplewood, 314.899.9821, reedsamericantable.com
Heather Hughes is managing editor at Sauce Magazine.
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