In my limited experience, although it may take longer for a more traditional producer's wines to reach their peak, they stay there longer; the decline is more gradual and graceful - you never seem to have to worry as much as to whether you let it go over the hill too far.
If you have a spot that stays reasonably cool and humid, you can build a little passive cellar if you want to buy a bottle or two to lay down for awhile. That is how I started - it grew slowly over the next 20 years. Before you know it, you'll have a nice little collection.
I love wine, I have an idea of what to expect out of grapes and what grapes I generally prefer, but I'll be damned if I can keep track of names, estates, vintages, terroir, etc. I also am not in any kind of position to spend hundreds or even tens of dollars usually on a bottle that is consumed so quickly.
I'm mostly happy with what I can find in the $15-$25 range. I'm sure some of that pleasure might be spoiled if I knew what I was missing.
So hey, I'll just throw this out there to the wine snobs :grin:: Refer me to some sub-$20 bottles of anything. With red I prefer medium to light-bodied, but I like to taste the soil, and prefer a spice to oak in the heavier-bodied ones. With white, I'd love something round and refreshing with muted lemon and slightly creamy butter, but I hate oaky chardonnays.
But yeah, I'd love some affordable suggestions in any style! TIA!
The 2010 was SLOW to open up, but super tasty later in the evening and on day 2 and 3. The 2009 was a beauty as well. When we did the 2010 Lapierre the first night, it was side by side with the 2010 Foillard Morgon Cote du Py and the Foillard was our favorite all night long.
That said, the Selbach that I referenced is $19.99, and the Lapierre Morgon can be had for $25.99. Neither would break your bank.
You'll get no argument from me regarding my bourbon snobbery; doesn't mean I can't refer to people whose wine talk goes over my head as snobs! You know how nerd used to be derogatory, but now it's cool? Well, maybe we should take snob in that direction as well...
For reds, sounds like you would like Pinot Noirs and Sangiovese - both are sensitive to where they are grown (in wine geek speak, reflect their terroir), have an earthy note, and are (generally) light to medium bodied.
A good value in Pinot Noir that is usually widely available is A to Z Pinot Noir from Oregon - usually can be found for $15-$18. There are also some good affordable Pinots coming out of New Zealand and Patagonia.
For Sangiovese, a good value and widely available is Viticcio Chianti Classico or Monsanto Chianti Classico Riserva - you can usually find these for $15-$20.
For whites, sounds like you should seek out unoaked Chardonnays - these are prevalent now. The creamy, buttery note you are looking for however is usually the result of a barrel-fermented Chardonnay that is put through malolactic fermentation - so depending on how long they stay in barrel, these wines can also pick up an oak-note. The closest thing I know of that matches the profile you are looking for is Chablis from Burgundy, but entry price here usually starts above $50.
On the value side, something a bit different is Torrontes, found in Argentina - Crios de Susana Balbo is pretty widely available. Pinot Gris (Oregon) or Pinot Grigio (Italy) can all be found for less than $20 - here you'll get the lemon, but not the butter.
I love Cabernet Sauvignon. Typically I like them bold with dark fruit and oak and cedar notes. Unfortunately Cabs, especially Napa Cabs, can be pricey. Are there any specific "new world" producers of Cabernet Sauvignon along these lines? Or is the terroir too different from Napa?