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05.30.2012

Starter Wine Cellars for New Facebook Millionaires

generic_cellar.jpgDear newly-minted-millionaires,

Firstly, let me say congratulations on making the investment of time, money, or blood-sweat-and-tears that landed you with a sizable piece of a $100 billion $57 Billion company. I'm sure you're already fantasizing about what you might do with all that money once it turns from paper to potential cash. I would be.

I do hope that the first thing you do is put a big chunk of it away to safely guarantee yourself and your family some income for the rest of your lives, and not end up like the Baby Boomers who seem to have spent every cent before they hit 50, and now at the age of 68 realize they can't find work anymore.

Now, what to do with the rest? Well, doubtless half of you will decide you're now venture capitalists, which is pretty cool, because this country needs more entrepreneurs and their ventures. The other half of you will have decided that you already ARE retired (at least partly), which is pretty cool too, because, well that would be a hell of a lot of fun.

But both venture capitalists and leisurely millionaires need to have the things that demonstrate that you are what you aspire to be, and one of those things is most certainly a wine cellar. Hell, even if you don't fall into either of those categories, you still need a wine cellar, because, well who doesn't?

Like many beneficiaries of IPO millions before you, you are now receiving phone calls, bouquets of roses, and offers of sexual favors from people at Goldman Sachs and other "wealth management" firms. I'm also offering to help, but instead of stalking you, which is really creepy, I'm just going to write this blog post and you can take it or leave it as you see fit. You work or worked at Facebook, so presumably you can Google your way here pretty easily.

I'm going to tell you how to buy yourself a cellar's worth of fabulous wine. I'll leave it to you whether you want to store it somewhere offsite, or pay someone to design you a super-fancy cellar in your (new?) super-fancy house. I'm just about helping you decide what bottles to buy.

There are different ways to go with your new wine cellar depending on how you think you're going to use it, and what you want it to say about you. A wine cellar, after all, is just like a sports car, a fancy watch, or the shoes on your feet in some respects. They can all be used to make a statement in addition to providing the primary enjoyment of using/drinking them.

With that in mind, here are three types of wine cellars, pre-assembled for your pleasure. For now, we're going to go with modest quantities of wine. If you want something bigger, just multiply by whatever factor you're most comfortable with.

These cellars are designed philosophically, not practically for everyday drinking. Well, then again, I'm not a millionaire, so perhaps they are more on the practical side. But if you're not so comfortable dipping into the big stash every night, you can buy a bunch of wines at Whole Foods to go with the take-out Thai food you're eating in your jammies. Mostly, these cellars are for those moments when you need to disappear somewhere and reappear with a bottle designed to make an impact, or show up to a dinner carting something that everyone will be excited to drink.

Note that I've suggested recent vintages that you could relatively easily get your hands on and am sticking with 750ml bottles. Substitute historical vintages and 3L bottles at your own pleasure.

Without further ado....

THE BIG MAC DADDY VC WINE CELLAR
So you're not that into wine, and you're not sure if you're ever going to be, but you like to drink it and you know that you're gonna be entertaining, courting, and generally schmoozing with people who know their shit, and you want to impress. This is the cellar equivalent of a Ferrari. It says to anyone who cares to pay attention, "If I can afford it, why NOT buy the best?"

Red
5x 2005 Chateau Latour Grand Vin, Bordeaux, France
5x 2005 Chateau Lafite Rothschild, Bordeaux, France
5x 2005 Chateau Margaux, Bordeaux, France
3x 2005 Petrus, Bordeaux, France
2x 2009 Chave Hermitage, Rhone Valley, France
2x 2007 Guigal Cote Rotie "La Mouline", Rhone Valley, France
2x 2009 Clos de Papes Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone Valley, France
3x 2009 Domaine de la Romanee Conti Echezeaux Grand Cru, Burgundy, France
3x 2009 Domaine Armand Rousseau Pere et Fils Chambertin Grand Cru, Burgundy, France
2x 2009 Domaine Domaine Jacques-Frédéric Mugnier Musigny Grand Cru, Burgundy, France
3x 2009 Screaming Eagle Cabernet, Napa
3x 2008 Colgin Cariad Proprietary Red Wine, Napa
2x 2008 Bryant Family Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa
5x 2008 Harlan Estate Proprietary Red Wine, Napa
2x 2008 BOND Vecina Proprietary Red Wine, Napa
4x 2008 Shafer Vineyards Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa
2x 2009 Dalla Valle Maya Proprietary Red Wine, Napa
2x 2009 Saxum James Berry Vineyard Proprietary Red, Paso Robles, CA
2x 2009 Alban Vineyards Lorraine Vineyard Syrah, Edna Valley, CA
4x 2009 J. Rochioli Riverblock Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, CA
2x 2009 Williams Selyem Hirsch Vineyard Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, CA
4x 2008 Tenuta dell'Ornellaia Masseto, Tuscany, Italy
2x 2008 Angelo Gaja Sori San Lorenzo, Piedmont, Italy
4x 2008 Tenuta San Guido Sassicaia, Tuscany, Italy

White
12x 2002 Dom Perignon Champagne, France
12x NV Krug Grand Cuvee Champagne, France
6x 2004 Louis Roederer Brut Cristal, Champagne, France
4x 2009 Kistler "Kistler Vineyard" Chardonnay , Sonoma, CA
4x 2009 Aubert "Lauren Vineyard" Chardonnay, Sonoma Coast, CA
3x 2009 Maison Henri Boillot Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru, Burgundy, France
3x 2009 Domaine William Fèvre Les Clos Chablis, Burgundy, France
2x 2009 Maison Louis Latour Montrachet Grand Cru, Burgundy, France
2x 2010 J. Rochioli Sauvignon Blanc, Russian River Valley, CA
4x 2007 Chateau d'Yquem, Sauternes, France


THE ALTERNATIVE CONNOISSUER WINE CELLAR
You like the idea of drinking wine, but why drink that same branded shit that people fawn over at auction? Instead you'll go for the insiders of the wine world that are really much cooler than the big brands, and show that you're looking out for something special. There's better value for money, not to mention street cred with sommeliers, in drinking wines that aren't just the top scored wines that everyone knows.

Red
4x 2009 Domaine Faiveley Latricieres-Chambertin Grand Cru, Burgundy, France
4x 2009 Domaine Jacques-Frédéric Mugnier Chambolle-Musigny "Les Amoureuses" Premier Cru, Burgundy, France
4x 2009 Domaine Jacques Prieur Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru, Burgundy, France
4x 2009 Domaine Leroy Corton-Renardes Grand Cru, Burgundy, France
4x 2009 Georges et Henri Jayer Echezeaux Grand Cru, Burgundy, France
3x 2009 Maison Lucien Le Moine Bonnes Mares Grand Cru, Burgundy, France
3x 2009 Maison Bouchard Père et Fils Le Corton Grand Cru, Burgundy, France
6x 2005 Cos d'Estournel Bordeaux, France
2x 2009 Domaine Bernard Baudry Chinon, Loire Valley, France
6x 2006 Siro Pacenti Brunello di Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
2x 2006 Miani Buri Merlot, Colli Orientali del Friuli, Italy
2x 2002 Quintarelli Amarone della Valpolicella, Veneto, Italy
2x 2008 Aldo Conterno Barolo Monfortino, Piedmont, Italy
2x 2008 Massolino Barolo Parussi, Piedmont, Italy
2x 2009 Futo Proprietary Red Wine, Napa
2x 2009 Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa

Pink
4x 2010 Domaine Tempier Bandol Rosé, Provence, France
12x 2002 Bollinger Brut La Grand Année Rosé, Champagne, France

White
12x 1999 Salon Cuvee 'S' Le Mesnil Blanc de Blancs, Champagne, France
12x 2002 Taittinger Comte de Champagne Blanc de Blancs, Champagne, France
4x 2005 Bellavista Gran Cuvee Franciacorta, Lombardy, Italy
3x 2007 Domaine Vougeraie Clos Vougeot Blanc 1er Cru, Burgundy, France
3x 2009 Domaine Faiveley Bienvenues-Batard-Montrachet Grand Cru, Burgundy, France
3x 2010 Raveneau Les Clos Chablis, Burgundy, France
3x 2008 Didier Dagenau "Silex" Pouilly Fume, Loire Valley, France
3x 2009 E. Guigal La Doriane, Condrieu, Rhone Valley, France
3x 2006 F E Trimbach Riesling Cuvee Frederic Emile, Alsace, France
3x 2005 Gravner "Breg Anfora" White Wine, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Italy
3x 2010 Hermann Donnhoff Riesling Spatlese Oberhauser Brucke, Nahe, Germany
3x 2010 Muller-Catoir Haardter Mandelgarten Riesling Spatlese, Pfalz, Germany
4x 2010 Chateau Climens, Sauternes, France


THE TRUE WINE GEEK CELLAR
You want some serious wine geek cred, or you aspire to be a real one, and you're not afraid of strange, interesting, and obscure? Then you need to be filling your cellar with these bottles -- bottles that will cause a certain segment of the wine drinking world to raise an eyebrow, turn to you, and ask to be your bestest friend, if only for the chance at getting to drink some of these bottles with you.

Red
3x 2009 Domaine D'Eugénie Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru, Burgundy, France
3x 2009 Domaine Grivot Richebourg Grand Cru, Burgundy, France
2x 2009 Vignes du Maynes Bourgogne Rouge, Burgundy, France
2x 2009 Philippe Bonard "Le Ginglet" Trousseau, Jura, France
2x 2004 Yarra Yering "Dry Red #1", Yarra Valley, Australia
2x NV Frank Cornellisen "Magma #6" Red Wine, Etna, Sicily
2x 2008 Corison Kronos Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa
2x 2007 Matthiasson Red Wine, Napa
2x 2008 Arnot Roberts Clary Ranch Syrah, Sonoma Coast, CA
2x 2010 Cobb Coastlands Vineyard Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast, CA
2x 2008 Rhys Skyline Vineyard Pinot Noir, Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
2x 2004 Chateau Musar Red Wine, Bekaa Valley, Lebanon
2x 2004 Soldera "Case Basse" Riserva Brunello di Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
2x 2007 Bruno Giacosa Barbaresco Santo Stefano, Piemonte, Italy
2x 2008 Giacomo Conterno Barolo Riserva Monfortino, Piemonte Italy
2x 2007 Vietti Barolo Rocche, Piemonte Italy
2x 2005 Paolo Bea Pipparello Riserva Montefalco Rosso, Umbria, Italy
2x 2006 Sadie Family Vineyards "Columella" Red Blend, Swartland, South Africa
2x 2008 Thierry Allemand "Cuvee Reynard" Cornas, Rhone Valley, France
2x 2008 Terra de Verema "Triumvirat" Priorat, Spain
2x 2009 Quinta do Crasto Reserva Old Vines Red Blend, Douro, Portugal

Pink
2x 2010 Valentini "Cerasuolo" Rosato, Montepulciano d'Abruzzo, Italy
2x 2011 Ameztoi Txakolina "Rubintis" Rosé, Spain
12x NV Charles Dufour Oiel de Perdrix Rosé, Champagne, France

White
12x NV Jacques Selosse Brut Blanc de Blancs Initiale, Champagne, France
12x 2008 Cedric Bouchard Infloresence Vielles Vignes Blanc de Noirs, Champagne, France
3x 2009 Jean-Philippe Fichet Meursault "Les Chevalieres" Premier Cru, Burgundy, France
3x 2009 Vignes du Maynes "Aragonite" Macon Cruzille Blanc, Burgundy, France
2x 2010 Domaine Huet "Le Mont" Sec Vouvray, Loire Valley, France
2x 2010 Zind Humbrecht Riesling Clos Windsbuhl, Alsace, France
2x 2010 Domaine Weinbach Furstentum Grand Cru Gewurztraminer, Alsace, France
2x 2005 Chateau-Grillet Vin Blanc, Rhone Valley, France
2x 1993 R. López de Heredia Reserva Viña Tondonia Blanco, Rioja, Spain
2x 2008 Giaconda Chardonnay, Beechworth, Australia
2x 2010 Matthiasson White Wine, Napa
2x 2010 Sandhi "Rita's Crown" Chardonnay, Santa Rita Hills, CA
2x 2011 Scholium Project "rhododactylos - phillips farms" White Wine, Lodi, CA
2x 1999 Kalin Cellars Semillion, Livermore Valley, CA
2x 2009 Hermann J. Wiemer Late Harvest Riesling, Finger Lakes, New York
2x 2008 Müller-Catoir Mandelring Scheurebe Spätlese, Pfalz, Germany
3x 2010 Joh. Jos. Prüm Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Kabinett, Mosel, Germany
3x 2010 Bründlmayer Riesling Zöbinger Heiligenstein, Kamptal, Austria
2x 1993 Weingut Nikolaihof Vinotek Gruner Veltliner, Wachau, Austria
1x 1988 Fiorano Number 47 Semillon, Lazio, Italy


Of course, if you think you need something a bit more bespoke (a word that you can now afford) I'm available to help you choose wines to match your underwear, or your own particular tastes and plans. Just drop me a line.

Comments (9)

Danijela wrote:
05.31.12 at 5:48 AM

I am not so much a vine expert, but I have to say that is one amazing article. I really enjoyed. Great work!

05.31.12 at 10:50 AM

Miani Sauvignon, DuMOL any, Vodopivec (or Gravner) and Clos Rougeard Bourg missing from WineGeek.

elizabeth vianna wrote:
06.01.12 at 2:04 PM

Alder - would love to see at least one Stags Leap District red recommended for a starter high end cellar.....:)

elizabeth vianna wrote:
06.01.12 at 2:05 PM

I spoke to soon - glad to see Shafer on the list. Cheers

06.03.12 at 9:12 AM

Ixnay on the Alinkay. Are you *trying* to make the prices quintuple? ;-)

Scott Elisha wrote:
06.04.12 at 6:54 PM

First of all, well done! Great writing! I'd like to see a few more California Pinots listed, Kosta Browne, perhaps!

Pat Nash wrote:
06.04.12 at 7:51 PM

You should do another list of US First, Second, & Third Growths plus some of your 'personal' new finds that have not yet been rated! Been to Fisher???

06.17.12 at 5:14 AM

Great lists and very interesting post. I'm not so good in taking decisions, if I ever become a millionaire I'll probably choose all the three lists for my cellar. Adding some Krug 1998 and Dom Perignon Rosè just in case...

Kirstie wrote:
08.03.12 at 1:07 PM

Brilliant, I will try them all!

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