How to look after a home wine cellar

Racks of wine in a wine cellar accrued via a cellar plan

You’ve taken the plunge and bought your first few cases of wine. You might now even be thinking about a few cases from next year’s Bordeaux and Burgundy ‘En Primeur’ campaigns, which we’ll elaborate on further below.

But what should you do next – drink or store?

The right answer is a bit of both. You can’t just rely on wine to age as you will be tempted to open them too early, so you’ll need some to drink while waiting for others to age. Adding bottles, or a case to drink followed by bottles, or a case to store, in alternate purchases is a well-rehearsed strategy and will mean there’s always some wonderful bottles to count on.

Drinking

Lesser known appellations* (*areas where wine production is controlled by regulations) from top regions can offer superb value drinking. Those looking for a Burgundy that will reveal itself early on will be hard pushed to find better value than the Mercurey Clos la Perriere by Château de Chamilly, which can be enjoyed within a couple of years of the harvest and will last for a few more. Some famous appellations also offer wines that can be enjoyed in their youth such as the fresher style of Châteauneuf du Pape by Domaine du Grand Tinel or the beautifully fresh Amarone Della Valpolicella by Corte Cavedini.

Keeping

The resources in reserve are what can make your cellar really exciting – a selection to get stuck in to over the next five to 20 years plus. If you can keep a record of the wines in your cellar and their optimal drinking dates, you’ll be sure to open them at the right time. There are various websites that can help with this such as Cellar Tracker – of course, we’d love to help you and can provide all of the information you’d like to accompany your wines at the time of purchase.

We have hundreds of bottles in stock that would make an impressive addition to any cellar and these below will age effortlessly for many years to come.

2012 Louis Roederer Cristal – Benchmark ‘Grand Marques’ Champage from a stellar vintage
2009 Bolgheri Guado Al Tasso, Marquis Antinori – Located on the Tuscan coast near Bolgheri, Guado al Tasso, the flagship wine of the Antinori estate, is a wine powerful wine with elegance and balance.
2000 Fonseca Vintage Port – Located in the Douro Valley the firm was founded  in 1815 by the Fonsecas and Monteiros. Today their wines rank amongst the best.
2015 Puligny Montrachet, 1er Cru Les Folatières, Jean Louis Chavy – Similar altitude and soil composition to illustrious neighbour and Grand Cru vineyard ‘Chevalier Montrachet’. A generous wine with intense aromas of stone fruit alongside toasty and mineral notes.
2016 Gevrey Chambertin, 1er Cru Lavaux St Jacques, Domaine Tortochot – Pure aromas of black fruit alongside notes of spice and leather. Medium to full-bodied on the palate with tight tannins, good acidity and a mineral finish. Very complex.
2014 Barolo, Pio Cesare – Crushed berries, floral notes and a hint of hazelnut. A classic Barolo with savoury notes, this is a full bodied wine which has plenty of power and length and, a very long life ahead it.
2015 Côte-Rôtie Les Triotes, Domaine Garon – Made with 100% Syrah it is aged for 18-20 months in up to 25% new barrels and perfectly expresses the terroir. Very precise on the nose with blackberry fruit and notes of oak and liquorice.
2017 Rioja ‘La Loma’, Miguel Merino – Aged for 14 months in French oak barrels. Deep and elegant with complex aromas of black fruits, spices and coffee notes. Good acidity, smooth tannins and a really long finish.
2014 Château Fonplegade, St Emilion Grand Cru Classé – Château Fonplegade was founded by Jean Pierre Beyot in 1852 on south hillside of Saint-Emilion. The 2014 shows generous black fruits and mineral notes. Rich and big on the palate with velvety and sweet tannins. Great length.

Expand your cellar

For those looking to get more serious with their wine collections, we offer other services that might be of interest, including professional wine storage, advice on investment grade wines and our popular Davy’s Cellar Plan.

Many of our customers find that their wine collection quickly outgrows the space available at home and our storage offers the perfect solution, while our Cellar Plan offers an affordable way to build up your collection, while giving you access to a private cellar plan manager who will be able to keep you abreast of the latest releases, inform you of movements on prices in the market with regard to your collection and offer you exclusive parcels on a first refusal basis.

Wines under bond vs duty paid

When looking at our fine wine offers, you’ll notice many are offer ‘under bond’. These are wines offered without the duty & VAT charged on them and must be stored in a bonded warehouse. Any wines to be delivered for consumption would need to be charged duty & VAT beforehand.

For those with an eye on the possibility of ever selling a part of or all their collection, we highly recommend wines are bought and stored under bond. Firstly, you may never need to pay the duty & VAT (which is rarely recoupable), saving you money and secondly, you can be sure of pristine storage conditions for your wine, ensuring they hold their value.

Latest Fine Wine releases & En Primeur

Our Fine Wine offers are an exciting way to be the first in the know about the latest fine wine releases from across the globe, from 100-Point critically acclaimed Chilean Carmenre; decadent Bordeaux inspired blends in the USA, to the classics from Burgundy and Bordeaux. If you’d like to sign up now or find out more, please click here.