Smart Cellaring: Investing in Blue Chip Wines

From the mid 2000’s onwards, prices for French Blue Chip wines have jumped hugely along with big price rises for certain Australian icon wines. However, when cellar conditions are excellent and verifiable to a potential buyer, the price for mature wines increases although the amount of increase varies and can be volatile.

The choice of wines to keep can be considered in two areas of interest: –

  • Blue chip wines which will generally re-sell when mature for a return on investment
  • Wines of good typicity of flavour for their region and which have an affordable price.

Blue Chip Wines

What constitutes ‘Blue Chip?”: discreet small quantities of Bordeaux 1st and 2nd Growths, Premier Cru and Grand Cru Burgundy, Cuvee de Prestige Champagne, Barolo, Brunello, Super Tuscan, some Australian expensive icons (Grange, Vat 1, Vat 47 etc). These wines MUST be from very good vintages. Hence avoid Bordeaux 2016 and 2017, and 2018 Right Bank, wait for Bordeaux 2019 (a warm but great year). Avoid Burgundy 2016, 2017 be careful in 2018 and 2019 (very hot overripe early developing vintages).

Affordable Wines with Good Typicity of their Region

  • Bordeaux lesser Cru Classe and Cru Bourgeois, from juicy fault free respected ”modern” Chateaux, in good years – see below
  • Burgundy from the Village and Premier Cru rank; must be a good producer and good year for that village. Steer clear of generic and Cote de Nuits/Cote de Beaune. Only buy juicy more forward villages – hence forget Nuits-St-Georges, Savigny Les Beaune etc and concentrate on Aloxe, Gevrey, Musigny, Vosnee Romanee (in reds) and Chablis, Meursault, Puligny (in whites). Forget Macon and the white Burgundy satellites.
  • Germany, Alsace – discreet whites, small parcels, only blue chip
  • Port – only small quantities, 375 ml bottles only
  • Penfolds – only Grange, St Henri, 389, Yattarna; no Cabernet (707 etc)
  • Henschke – only HoG, Edelstone
  • Don’t forget Australian icons- featured below

Bordeaux

Cru Bourgeois Bordeaux with juicy taste from proven producers: –

d’Angludet, de Bel-Air, Belle-Vue, Le Boscq, La Brande, Dom de Cambes, de Camensac, Charmail, Les Cruzelles, La Fleur Peyrabon, Fourcas-Borie, Fourcas-Borie, Fourcas-Dupre, de France, Grand Village, La Graviere, Lanessan, Clos Louie, Malescasse, Picque Caillou, de Pitray, La Prade, Puygueraud, du Retout, Dom de la Solitude, Senejac, Siaurac, Sociando Mallet, Villars

Well-made wines from Bordeaux satellite areas: –

Graves – Roquetaillade Lagrange, St-Robert, Poncet Deville Haut-Médoc – Arcins, Beaumont, Charmail, Citran, Cissac, Clément-Pichon, Coufran, de Gironville, Lamothe-Bergeron, Lanessan, Larrivaux, Malescasse, Reysson, La Tour Carnet, Verdignan Listrac – Liouner Médoc – La Cardonne, La Chandellière, Chapelle de Potensac, Fontis, Goulée, Taffard de Blaignan, Le Temple, Vieux Maurac, Sociando Mallet Margaux – Deyrem Valentin Moulis – Branas Grand Poujeaux, Dutruch Grand Poujeaux, Mauvesin Barton Pauillac – Plantey Pessac Léognan – La Garde, Le Pape St-Estèphe – Le Boscq, Capbern, Clauzet, Le Crock, Meyney, Ormes de Pez, Pez, Sérilhan, Tour de Pez, Tronquoy Lalande St-Julien – Glana, Lalande Borie, Moulin Riche, Les Ormes

Burgundy

Red producers: –

Simon Beze, Jean-Louis Chavy, Follin Arbelet, Genot-Boulanger, Henri Gouges, Robert Groffier, Huguenot, Paul et Marie Jacqueson, Hubert Lamy, Ch de Marsannay, Ch de Meursault, Jean-Marc Millot, Bernard Moreau, Marc Morey, Jean-Baptiste Ponsot, Prudhon, Chantal Remy, Marc Roy, Aurelien Verdet, Denis Bachelet, de Bellene, Olivier Bernstein, Dugat-Py, Fourrier, Comte de Liger-Belair, Lafarge, Mugnier, Pavelot, Perrot-Minot, DRC, Roumier, Rousseau, de Vogue

White producers: –

JC Bachelet, Samuel Billaud, Billaud-Simon, Bret Brothers, Jacques Carillon, Bruno Colin, MarcColin, Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey, Droin, Arnaud Ente, Antoine Jobard, Comtes Lafon, Hubert Lamy, Bernard Moreau, Pinson, Guy Roulot,  Arnaud Tessier

Up and Coming Younger Producers: –

Ch de Pommard, Alain Michelot, Arnaud Tessier, Aureelien Verdet, Berthaut-Gerbet, Charles Audoin, Charlopin Tissier, Chartron, Confuron-Gindre, de la Choupette, de la Douaix, des Clos, Garnier et Fils, Geantet-Pansiot, Gerard Julien, Guiton, Henri Jouan, Huguenot, Jacques Cacheux, Lebreul, Pernot-Belicard,Ravaut, Seguin-Manuel, Vincent et Francois Jouard, Dufouleur Freres

Rhone Producers

Hermitage/Northern Rhone

Dom de Bonserine, Chapoutier, Yann Chave, Louis Clerc, Delas, Ferraton, Guigal, Jean-Francois Jacouton, Jamet, Dom Michelas, Tardieu Laurent, Verzier, Crozes producers Dom Aleofane, Julien Cecillon, Dom de Chasselvin, Yann Chave, Dom les Chenets, Dom du Columbier, Dom Combier, Fayolle, Alain Graillot, , Paul Jaboulet, Dom Melody, Dom du Murinais, Cave de Tain

Chateauneuf du Pape/Southern Rhone

CNdP producers – Domaine des 3 Cellier, Charvin, Clos des Papes, Dom.de la Cote de l’Ange, Dom de la Croze-Granier, Ch Fargueirol, Font de Michelle, Olivier Hillaire, Roger Sabon, Serguier, Dom de Saint-Siffrein

Gigondas producers – Bergerie de la Plane, Dom de Bosquets, La Boussiere, Montirius, Notre Dame des Pallieres, Ogier, Dom d’Ourea, Ch Redortier, Ch de Saint-Cosme

 

Australian Classics

Barossa Shiraz – Penfold, Henschke, Elderton Command, Rockford, Torbreck, Yalumba, Peter Lehmann

Clare Valley Shiraz – O’Leary Walker Claire, Jim Barry, Wendouree

Clare/Eden Valley Rieslings – Jim Barry, OLW, Leo Buring, Grosset, Pewsey Vale

Coonawarra Cabernets – Balnaves, Petaluma,

Margaret River Cabernet – Leeuwin, Vasse Felix, Moss Wood, Voyager, Xanadu

Vic Cool Climate Bigger Reds – Mount Mary Quintet, Bests GW Shiraz, Jasper Hill, Richardson Heathcote,

Pinot Noir – Bass Philip, selection of proven Tasmanian, some MP and YV – generally buy Pinot Noir a few months before required

Chardonnay – Pierro, Leeuwin, Shaw+Smith, Petaluma, Penfold Ad Hills, Tyrrells Vat 47

Semillon – Tyrrells Stevens, Vat 1, HV; Mount Pleasant Lovedale; Brokenwood, Andrew Thomas

Fortified – a few Portuguese VP – all non vintage wines can be purchased as needed (ie tawny, muscat, topaque etc)

Want more customised cellaring advice? Contact me at andrewc@ewineconsult.com

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