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Joy Lindholm

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What's the best bottle $50 (or less) can buy?

by Joy Lindholm » Sun Apr 21, 2013 7:56 pm

This month's wine focus has me thinking a bit, as a few folks have recommended some California Pinot Noir to try that (upon visiting the winery's website) tend to fall in the $40-100 range. Normally I wouldn't think of spending that much on domestic wine very often, and when I do buy European bottles in this range, (being on a budget) they are for few-and-far-between special occasions.

This got the wheels turning...if I'm going to throw down $50 or more on a bottle of wine, I want to feel like it is money well spent, as there are so many great value wines out there. QPR comes in to play quite a bit (and is especially in mind when talking Pinot Noir).

So, if you could walk into a wine shop that had every wine known to man available, and had only $50 in your pocket to spend on ONE bottle, what wine would you pick? Obviously, there will be a margin of error on pricing in everyone's local area, but we can be flexible about this. I'm interested to see which wines others would choose.

Thanks for playing! :)
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Re: What's the best bottle $50 (or less) can buy?

by Howie Hart » Sun Apr 21, 2013 8:13 pm

Two local Pinot Noirs at around $30 come to mind. Flat Rock Cellars in Ontario (http://www.flatrockcellars.com/products/category/red-wine) and Freedom Run on the US side (http://www.freedomrunwinery.com/). The 2010 vintage was excellent here.
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Re: What's the best bottle $50 (or less) can buy?

by Jenise » Sun Apr 21, 2013 8:18 pm

My first thought is that I'd be apopleptic with indecision because there are so many good bottles in that price range. Today I've got Sicilian wine on the brain and would probably try to double down, choosing the 09 Aziendo Agricola Cos, bottle of Terre Nere and five bucks in my pocket for later if I could get away with it. If only one bottle? I just don't know. More thought required. :)
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Re: What's the best bottle $50 (or less) can buy?

by Lou Kessler » Sun Apr 21, 2013 9:00 pm

Jenise wrote:My first thought is that I'd be apopleptic with indecision because there are so many good bottles in that price range. Today I've got Sicilian wine on the brain and would probably try to double down, choosing the Aziendo Agricola Cos, a bottle of Terre Nere and five bucks in my pocket for later if I could get away with it. If only one bottle? I just don't know. More thought required. :)

That Terre Nere is really good juice, nice to see that you've discovered that wine. :D
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Re: What's the best bottle $50 (or less) can buy?

by David M. Bueker » Sun Apr 21, 2013 9:02 pm

Red: Baudry Chinon Grezeaux
White: Pepiere Muscadet Clos des Briords

Buy both and be sure to ask for your change back from the $50.

I could come up with tons of these, where you get an amazing red AND white for your $50.
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Re: What's the best bottle $50 (or less) can buy?

by Jenise » Sun Apr 21, 2013 9:45 pm

David, so true. But the question was bottle (singular), so you and I should really go back to the drawing board.

Oh I know. I'd go back to the Spanish Table in Seattle and buy the 2005 Cune Imperial for $45 that I passed up on Wednesday. May not be the wine I most desire, but I desire it plenty and at least it would rectify an error.
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Re: What's the best bottle $50 (or less) can buy?

by David M. Bueker » Sun Apr 21, 2013 9:57 pm

Well depending on what kind of wine you are in the mood for...

Tuscany: Felsina Chianti Classico Rancia
Piedmont: Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco Normale
Red Burgundy: Chandon des Briailles Ile de Vergelesses
White Burgundy: Pick your Michel Chablis
Red Loire: Baudry Chinon Croix Boissee
White Loire: Huet Vouvray Clos de Bourg Demi-Sec
German (sweet): J. J. Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spatlese
German (dry): Leitz Rudesheimer Berg Kaisersteinfels Riesling Trocken

Just for starters...
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Re: What's the best bottle $50 (or less) can buy?

by James Roscoe » Sun Apr 21, 2013 10:33 pm

David, Where is the ESJ?
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Re: What's the best bottle $50 (or less) can buy?

by Steve Kirsch » Sun Apr 21, 2013 11:06 pm

David M. Bueker wrote:Red: Baudry Chinon Grezeaux
White: Pepiere Muscadet Clos des Briords

Yes, yes!
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Re: What's the best bottle $50 (or less) can buy?

by Ryan M » Mon Apr 22, 2013 1:15 am

As others have implied, the answer to this sort of question tends to depend on your mood at the time it's asked, but for quality, enjoyment, and cellarability, I'd go for Lafaurie-Peyraguey.
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Re: What's the best bottle $50 (or less) can buy?

by Steve Slatcher » Mon Apr 22, 2013 3:25 am

Jenise wrote:09 Aziendo Agricola Cos, bottle of Terre Nere

Can you give more information? Maybe a link? I cannot find anything about this wine and I am a bit of a fan of COS (staying there for a week next month).
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Re: What's the best bottle $50 (or less) can buy?

by Jenise » Mon Apr 22, 2013 4:10 am

Steve, not the Bordeaux Cos but a Sicilian wine. Full name Azienda Agricola Cos Cerasuolo di Vittorio Classico, from the only DOCG winery in Sicily. Is it Sicility you're going to?
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Re: What's the best bottle $50 (or less) can buy?

by Brian Gilp » Mon Apr 22, 2013 7:41 am

Jenise wrote: Full name Azienda Agricola Cos Cerasuolo di Vittorio Classico, from the only DOCG winery in Sicily.

The DOCG is attached to the wine not the winery. So its the Cerasuolo di Vittorio that is DOCG regardless of producer.
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Re: What's the best bottle $50 (or less) can buy?

by Brian Gilp » Mon Apr 22, 2013 7:49 am

At the $50 price point, I would be looking for traditional Rioja (Muga Prado Enea for example), traditional Taurasi (Mastroberardino for example), or Etna (Terre Nerre Guardiola for example). Others besides the examples I cite that fit here as well. These are just the ones I know best.
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Re: What's the best bottle $50 (or less) can buy?

by David M. Bueker » Mon Apr 22, 2013 8:19 am

James-I did not get around to California.
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Re: What's the best bottle $50 (or less) can buy?

by Tom Troiano » Mon Apr 22, 2013 10:15 am

Ridge Geyserville is pretty darn good at well under $50 but the real answer is "it depends on a bunch of factors".
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Re: What's the best bottle $50 (or less) can buy?

by Brian K Miller » Mon Apr 22, 2013 11:25 am

To throw out some California wines, Corison's "second label" Helios Syrah is delicious for well under $50. As is the Cabernet Franc.

Actally, for $46, the 2006 Robert Sinskey Carneros Pinot Noire was beautiful when tasted last month.
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Re: What's the best bottle $50 (or less) can buy?

by Carl Eppig » Mon Apr 22, 2013 12:56 pm

Joy, I know we are not just talking about Pinot here, but if you want one that looks like, smells like, and tastes like a Pinot should for $14.99 plus S&H you can get it from Fox Run: http://foxrunvineyards.ewinerysolutions ... a2725e8a83
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Re: What's the best bottle $50 (or less) can buy?

by Bill Spohn » Mon Apr 22, 2013 1:10 pm

Some interesting choices out there.

No love for things like Dow's or Taylor's 20 Year Tawny?
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Re: What's the best bottle $50 (or less) can buy?

by Joy Lindholm » Mon Apr 22, 2013 1:57 pm

Great responses everyone - keep them coming!

I had a moment like this a couple years ago - walked into a shop and found a single bottle of 1998 Muga Prado Enea Gran Reserva Rioja for $50 (which normally in our market would retail for $60+.

I don't think anyone has mentioned Champagne yet - and I'd have to say I'd be more likely to go for a great grower-producer like Rene Geoffroy's Expression Brut Premier Cru, or something from Chartogne-Taillet or Pierre Gimmonet.
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Re: What's the best bottle $50 (or less) can buy?

by Tim York » Mon Apr 22, 2013 2:10 pm

$50 = roughly €40. For that price we can get such a plethora of lovely European bottles that I don't know where to begin.

All Beaujolais
Nearly all Loire CabFranc (I think Rougeard may now top €40)
Nearly all Loire dry and demi-sec Chenin and much moelleux (Coulée de Serrant, Huet and Foreau best tries, etc. top €40)
All Crozes-Hermitage and St.Joseph and some Hermitage, Cornas and Côte Rôtie
All Southern Rhône except some CndP
Nearly all Languedoc and Roussillon (exceptions Granges des Pères, Gauby Muntada, Clos Fées Petite Sibérie and one or two others)
Most good Alsace (except some of Z-H, Deiss, Weinbach and CSH/CFE)
Most good Germany (except most Egon Müller, many Auslesen, most BA and TBA and some GGs)
Most Bordeaux below 3ème GC classés Médoc, GC classés St.Émilion and equivalent Pomerol
Generic Bourgogne, many Côte d'Or Villages and some 1er crus (except top prestigious growers like Leroy, Ponsot, DRC......)
Nearly all from Côte Chalonnaise
Nearly all from Mâconnais (Guffens exception)
Chablis except GCs from Ravenneau....
Jura (maybe some vin jaune esp. Macle over €40)
Savoie
Nearly all Sud-Ouest (one or two pretentious Cahors)
Most Nebbiolo Langhe and Dolcetto
Some Barbera and a few from Barolo and Barbaresco
Much fine Chianti and Tuscan IGT, e.g. Fèlsina (though Fontalloro now tops €40 I think)

I've run out of breath before going further South in Italy and venturing into Spain, Portugal......
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Re: What's the best bottle $50 (or less) can buy?

by Steve Slatcher » Mon Apr 22, 2013 2:23 pm

Jenise wrote:Steve, not the Bordeaux Cos but a Sicilian wine. Full name Azienda Agricola Cos Cerasuolo di Vittorio Classico, from the only DOCG winery in Sicily. Is it Sicility you're going to?

It is absolutely the Sicilian one I'm going to. Much nicer than the Other One :)

I know they make a Cerasuolo di Vittorio, but could find no wine called Terre Nere. That name seems to be associated with Etna. Do they have vineyards there now?
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Re: What's the best bottle $50 (or less) can buy?

by Matt Richman » Mon Apr 22, 2013 3:10 pm

I'd look for a red Rioja or Chinon with bottle age. Something like Olga Raffault from 1990 or La Rioja Alta 1994.
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Re: What's the best bottle $50 (or less) can buy?

by David M. Bueker » Mon Apr 22, 2013 5:03 pm

If I were throwing out a Champagne, I would go for Pierre Peters NV. $49.99 and worth every penny.
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