Need recommendations for a dry white that can age 20+ years

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Need recommendations for a dry white that can age 20+ years

Postby Brian Gilp » Fri Jul 12, 2013 11:34 am

One of the 20 something's that works for me is getting married this fall. He and his future wife want to lay down some bottles to be opened on anniversaries potentially up to 20 years. Problems are of course they are not really that financially secure as to be able to splurge on these bottles and that their wine tastes don't overlap. After talking to my employee, it seems that the only potential overlap are dry whites. Both reds and sweet wines are out as options. Based on what I was told about wines that they do and don't like, it appears that a semi-sweet wine (~2% RS) is an option.

Luckily, they are not set on having the same wine for each anniversary so the bottles for the earlier anniversaries do not have to be the same as the ones that need to age. Unfortunately, they want to have the bottles at the reception so guests can sign them so the wine for the later anniversaries will already be on the market and therefore the last bottles will need to be a able to last 25+/- years after vintage.

They were hoping to only spend about $30 per bottle which makes it even harder. I am sure that I can load up the early bottles with lower priced options so that I could allocate a higher cost for the couple that are to target years 15 and 20. It's these two bottles that are worrying me. What options exist for wines that meet the above criteria? I think I am looking at five categories but are there others? The five I am considering are:
1. Alsatian Riesling
2. German Riesling Spatlese
3. Rhone White
4. White Rioja
5. Vouvray
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Re: Need recommendations for a dry white that can age 20+ years

Postby Shaji M » Fri Jul 12, 2013 11:49 am

Brian,
I was going to say 375 ml bottles of Sauternes might work as well as some late harvest Aussie semillon, but then I noticed that they don't like sweet wines! Halbtrocken Rieslings might just be the thing. Rhone whites that age like Hermitage blanc may not be easily available and could be pricey. I am interested to see what others write!
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Re: Need recommendations for a dry white that can age 20+ years

Postby Mark Lipton » Fri Jul 12, 2013 11:56 am

The problem with aging dry whites for prolonged periods is the specter of PremOx these days. I no longer age Chablis for extended periods for just that reason. Two other whites that can go long term are Muscadet and Hunter Valley dry Semillons. Both of those should meet their price point. Personally, I'd look for the latter and find ones bottled under screw cap to reduce the risk of cork failure.

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Re: Need recommendations for a dry white that can age 20+ years

Postby Howie Hart » Fri Jul 12, 2013 11:57 am

Chateau Musar Blanc would work. However, as they are in their 20s, I'm sure their preferences would change by the time they're in their 40s.
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Re: Need recommendations for a dry white that can age 20+ years

Postby David Creighton » Fri Jul 12, 2013 1:32 pm

i hope they have a prenup saying who gets which wines in the divorce.

so, they know enough about wine that they know they both like older dry(ish) white wines? my guess is NOT. anyway, as noted the first 5 years isn't a problem. after 10 i have my doubts unless they have near perfect storage - bet they don't. please try to persuade them that this is a goofy idea.
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Re: Need recommendations for a dry white that can age 20+ years

Postby Rahsaan » Fri Jul 12, 2013 2:02 pm

Mark Lipton wrote:Two other whites that can go long term are Muscadet...


Yes, but you really need the right Muscadet, even more so than other regions, and it's a particular taste.

If you're buying Briords or the very top Muscadet, go for it. Don't forget Austrian riesling or select GV, which may be more expensive but if you get some cheaper wines like Muscadet you may be able to average it out on the per bottle cost.
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Re: Need recommendations for a dry white that can age 20+ years

Postby Carl Eppig » Fri Jul 12, 2013 2:25 pm

The problem is the 'dry" part. I agree with Mark that an Australian Semillon would be the best bet.
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Re: Need recommendations for a dry white that can age 20+ years

Postby Brian Gilp » Fri Jul 12, 2013 2:55 pm

David Creighton wrote:so, they know enough about wine that they know they both like older dry(ish) white wines? my guess is NOT. anyway, as noted the first 5 years isn't a problem. after 10 i have my doubts unless they have near perfect storage - bet they don't. please try to persuade them that this is a goofy idea.

I already explained the issues associated with this idea. Perfect storage, that's a no but there is a basement in the house that he recently bought so with some limited work they can have adequate storage that would make me comfortable if reds were an option.

Not really sure how goofy an idea this is really. In the big picture its not that much money. It's a nice reminder of their wedding which will probably be more important than the actual wine. I have a number of friends who are artist and I was even thinking of having custom labels made for these bottles that make them look consistent, highlight the event, and provide additional room for guests to sign them than a standard label.
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Re: Need recommendations for a dry white that can age 20+ years

Postby Brian Gilp » Fri Jul 12, 2013 2:56 pm

Carl Eppig wrote:The problem is the 'dry" part. I agree with Mark that an Australian Semillon would be the best bet.

Unfortunately, probably the hardest to find in my area. Anyone know where in DC I could source some. Shipping to MD from out of state retailers is still illegal.
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Re: Need recommendations for a dry white that can age 20+ years

Postby Brian Gilp » Fri Jul 12, 2013 2:57 pm

Rahsaan wrote:. Don't forget Austrian riesling or select GV, which may be more expensive but if you get some cheaper wines like Muscadet you may be able to average it out on the per bottle cost.

Thanks. Forgot about GV and based on the wines they drink now that's probably a good fit.
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Re: Need recommendations for a dry white that can age 20+ years

Postby Dale Williams » Fri Jul 12, 2013 3:41 pm

Brian Gilp wrote:Based on what I was told about wines that they do and don't like, it appears that a semi-sweet wine (~2% RS) is an option.

Personally I think just off dry Riesling or Vouvray is best bet. Even a bit of RS helps a lot with aging. Plenty of Kabs go 20 years.
The Oz Semillon is a proven ager, but not so easy to find.
Muscadet- Briords, Clisson, L d'Or are good agers for my tastes, but as Rahsaan says not a profile all love.
The storage is key.
Obviously can't do a 2013, but they could choose wines from year they met or became engaged (if pre-2013)
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Re: Need recommendations for a dry white that can age 20+ years

Postby Otto » Fri Jul 12, 2013 4:01 pm

Lopez de Heredia Reserva from Rioja and Musar can be had in Europe within your price range and both will easily age 20 years+. But how are the prices in the US?
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Re: Need recommendations for a dry white that can age 20+ years

Postby Brian Gilp » Fri Jul 12, 2013 9:09 pm

Otto wrote:Lopez de Heredia Reserva from Rioja and Musar can be had in Europe within your price range and both will easily age 20 years+. But how are the prices in the US?

I can get the 1998 LdH Tondonia Reserva for $40 USD. Musar Blanc is harder to find for me (not sure where to find the blanc) and as I have complained before prices on Musar have really climbed over the past decade.
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Re: Need recommendations for a dry white that can age 20+ years

Postby Dale Williams » Fri Jul 12, 2013 9:25 pm

I love LdH, and it can clearly age way longer than needed, but Tondonia bianco would not be a wine I'd suggest to someone I didn't think of as geeky. My experience is people don't react well to it who are used to more easily accessible wines - wines for contemplation.

Thinking about this more, my inclination would be to say to them "you seem to have differing palates, but there's a very good chance that your tastes will shift over the years. Sturdy reds and sweet wines are the most dependable agers. Why don't you buy (hopefully from a meaningful year):
1st year- a very good bottle of dry white you both already know you like
2nd- a very good bottle of dry white you both already know you like
3rd- a very good bottle of dry white you both already know you like (not something that falls apart quickly)
4th a very good bottle of dry white you both already know you like (not something that falls apart quickly)
5th a very good bottle of dry white you both already know you like (not something that falls apart quickly)
10th - a very good bottle of offdry Riesling, Kabinett level (Willi S, Zilliken, etc level)
15th- a very good bottle of red wine
20th a very good bottle of red wine or sweet wine
25th - a good bottle of sweet wine (note- for the 20th and especially 25th, many people have parties, might consider mag. Or, Port or other sweet wines go way further at parties than dry wines)"
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Re: Need recommendations for a dry white that can age 20+ years

Postby Brian Gilp » Fri Jul 12, 2013 9:55 pm

Thanks Dale and I agree with your approach. That being said its probably a tough sell. I already discussed with the future groom the advantage of red or sweet and especially port for longer aging but seems either he or his future wife don't like them now and can't take the leap of faith that taste will change with time.
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Yup.....

Postby TomHill » Sat Jul 13, 2013 11:11 am

Mark's rec for HunterVlly Semillon is a good one. But Oz Riesling ClareVlly is pretty much a no-brainer.
Most all are in the $20 price range.
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