Buying Wine

2011 “Birth Year” Case Wine Recommendations

home wine cellar

This is my 3rd annual “Birth Year” case blog post. This post can serve as a guide for readers who had children born in the year of 2011. My 2009 list and 2010 list were published around this time in the preceding years. 2011 was a challenging year in many regions known for the longevity of their wines including both Napa Valley and Bordeaux. Don’t be deterred though. Stick with the tried adage that great producers can make great wines in even average vintages. You owe this to your 2 or 3 year old.

Per previous year lists I attempted to find bottles from a diverse number of regions that have the capacity to age under appropriate cellar conditions for upwards of 20 years. I have kept the bottle price ceiling at $150. These wines should all be available at retail right now. Happy hunting!

1. Dominus – Region: Napa Valley, Score: 94 points from Antonio Galloni, Price: $140.

2. Cos d’Estournel – Region: Bordeaux, Score: 95 points from James Suckling, Price: $150.

3. Paul Jaboulet “La Chapelle” Hermitage – Region: Northern Rhone, Score: 94 points from the Wine Advocate, Price: $150.

4. Climens – Region: Barsac, Score: 97 points from the Wine Spectator, Price: $110.

5. Montrose – Region: Bordeaux, Score: 93 points from the Wine Spectator, Price: $110.

6. August Clape Cornas – Region: Northern Rhone, Score: 95 points from the Wine Advocate, Price: $100.

7. Fonseca – Region: Porto, Score: 98 points from the Wine Spectator, Price: $100.

8. Ridge Monte Bello – Region: Santa Cruz Mountains, Score: Not yet rated, Price: $120.

9. Croft – Region: Porto, Score: 97 points from the Wine Spectator, Price: $70.

10. Joh. Jos. Prüm Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Spatlese – Region: Mosel, Score: 93 points from the Wine Spectator, Price: $45.

11. Antinori Tignanello – Region: Tuscany, Score: 96 points from James Suckling, Price: $80.

12. Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon – Region: Washingon, Score: Not yet rated, Price: $150.

Before I put this list together I was a little worried our 2-3 year old toddlers would get a case of wine that might not age as well as those of their older siblings. In retrospect I am pretty excited about these wines. 2011 Port is simply amazing. I’m pretty certain prices like those above for Cos d’Estournel, Montose and Clape may never get this low again. Unquestionably, the case above represents 12 of the world’s best producers.

I’d appreciate hearing what other ’11’s you have purchased to include in your child’s birth year case.

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2 thoughts on “2011 “Birth Year” Case Wine Recommendations

  1. Great post, Tom. I’m doing the same thing for my son. So far I have the following 2011s:

    Betz Pere de Famile
    Betz Cote Patriarche
    Leonetti Walla Walla Cab
    Reynvaan In the Rocks
    Reynvaan Stonessence
    Mark Ryan Lonely Heart
    Cayuse En Chamberlin
    DeLille Four Flags
    Horsepower Syrah

    Anything else Washington-specific you would recommend (besides Quilceda)?

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