Five Wines to Buy Now and Cellar

2004 Barolo

Age for 15-plus years


Barolo producers have been talking about the quality of their 2004 wines for nearly two years. The first of these will be released in the next few months; prices may be a bit higher than the 2003s.

Bottles to Buy

Look for wines from superstar producers such as Scavino, Sandrone and Giacosa; prices have not yet been established.

2004 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Age for five to 15 years


The 2004 vintage was challenging in parts of California, but in Napa it produced some terrific Cabernets, with big flavors but strong tannins that will need time to soften.

Bottles to Buy

Beringer’s top Cabernet bottling, the 2004 Private Reserve ($115), is luscious and full of concentrated flavor.

2004 Ribera Del Duero

Age for three to ten years


Some of Spain’s most exciting wines these days are being made in the Ribera del Duero region from Tempranillo (known locally as Tinto del Pais); the 2004 vintage is particularly outstanding.

Bottles to Buy

The 2004 Tinto Pesquera Crianza ($31), one of the benchmark wines of this region, is rich and has dense, earthy flavor.

2005 Châteauneuf-du-Pape

Age for 10 to 15 years


In 2005, temperatures in Châteauneuf-du-Pape were colder than in the previous two years, resulting in superb, beautifully structured wines that will require years to fully develop.

Bottles to Buy

André Brunel is legendary in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, and his 2005 Les Cailloux ($53) is a deep, elegant and intense red.

2005 Grand Cru Chablis

Age for seven to 10 years


Much has been written about the great 2005 Burgundies, including Chablis from the northern part of the region, but while prices are high overall, grands crus Chablis are a (relative) steal.

Bottles to Buy

The 2005 Christian Moreau Les Clos Grand Cru Chablis is an extraordinary wine, and at $80, a truly excellent deal.

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