Old wines - Printable Version

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- Bill and Bonner - 02-20-1999 02:08 AM

I am working on a wine auction catalog. Someone has donated eleven bottles of random wines. How do I find out what they are and their value? I have wines from 1958 to 1983 to research.

- Joe Schmoe - 02-21-1999 11:52 AM

If any of these wines are European, I might be able to help. OId Californian wine aren't my forte. VERY difficult to get hold of here...


- Bill and Bonner - 02-23-1999 11:57 AM

JW - Thanks for your willingness to help the total novice! I can type, so I'm in charge - sound like a non-profit fund raiser to you? Anyhow, here are the European Wines I'm looking for: 1972 Cotes du Rhone, La Vieille Ferme; 1964 Argentine Trupeter, Cabernet; and a 1983 Chateau Haut Brion, Graves Premier Grand Cru Classi. Once again thanks for your help.

- Joe Schmoe - 02-23-1999 04:14 PM

I'm afraid that the 1972 CdR has probably had it. Good, but entry level wine in this category. This vintage was extremely patchy in the Southern Rhone, with some stunning age worthy attempts from the Chateauneuf du Pape big guns. Alas, this little .38 Special has seen better days. Suck it and see.

The Argentine wine is anybody's guess. I have heard some amazing stories about Cabs produced in South America that are still going strong due to the suprb old vines from which they are made. Good or awful, I'm afraid that this wine isn't worth much.

The Haut Brion is obviously worth some pretty serious money. I have tasted this wine two times , but the general consensus of this particular vintage of Haut Brion is that it was a real sleeper when it first came out. It is a very gamey minerally example and has a considerable life ahead of it. A little hotter (alcoholic character) and more rustic than some great vintages such as 82 and 89, this is still a great example of 1er Cru Classé Bordeaux. If stored in a cool cellar, this wine would be good for another 10 years or so, although I'd drink it now with rack of lamb. On a retail shelf over here, you would pay 150 pounds minimum. I suppose that means $250-350 to you . Obviously provenance is important if you actually want to sell/auction it.

The other two are worth $20 each curiousity value, but I'd be inclined to get my money back if either turned out to be a complete lemon through bad storage.

Hope this helps,

Joe Wadsack

- Joe Schmoe - 02-23-1999 04:17 PM


I'd set the reserve price on the Haut Brion at $100.

Maybe $15 each for the others if its for charity, or just $10 if not.


- Jason - 02-23-1999 09:41 PM

Ah, there we go Joe. That really would have been a charity auction. Decanter lists the 83 HB at about $1200/cs.Trumpeter is now a value Argentine label. I didn't even know they were around in '64.

- Joe Schmoe - 02-24-1999 02:21 AM

Note that that there is just the one bottle of Haut Brion, Jason.

One think worth noting about the European Auction market is the seasonal swing in prices. You can safely say that the wines are at an annual low and will increase in value significantly over the next 4 months with the Spring auctions influencing prices. Last chance to buy before the Millennium etc.

Joe W