Is it worth ageing cheap(ish) wine?

Tour St Bonnet 1999

Majestic’s first foray into the en primeur market was in 1995 and, keen to at least start a ‘proper’ wine collection, I bought two cases of Chateau La Tour St Bonnet for not much more than £50 a case. It sat relatively undisturbed in our depot after arriving in the UK, and I took the first case home to drink at Christmas.

It’s amazing! Just beginning to show some signs of maturity, but still a lovely deep red colour, fresh and well-balanced. Tour St Bonnet is a well-known and well-regarded ‘petit chateau’. On this evidence I’d be happy to buy wines from other vintages and lay them down too.

At the moment Majestic has the 1999 at a relatively modest £7.99.  For clarity, this is will only ever provide really nice ‘everyday drinking’, but it will deliver exactly that. I’d be happy to drink it at 10-15 years old.

Having spent nearly 20 years in the trade now it’s great to still be able to make little discoveries like this. Pretty much all supermarket wines is decent these days, but there’s something intriguing about wine that keeps me looking for such nuggets. Is it worth ageing cheap wine? Emphatically yes!

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