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Question subject

Date Asked

Selling Old Bottles

July 7, 2011
Question by: Bryan, Boston, MA USA

Q:

Greetings:  Via my late uncle's estate, I recently came into possession of two bottles of Vintage Port (1 LBV). One I have found to be rarer than the other... I am not a huge fan of port, but I have a background in wine. I'd like to find both bottles good homes where they will be truly appreciated (my uncle would have wanted this) -- and I wouldn't mind fetching a fair price in the process.  Can you please offer me any advice (appraisal / auction?) or reputable contacts who can help me accomplish my goals? It would be very much appreciated.  Here are the two bottles (both in excellent condition):

1) Adriano Ramos-Pinto Vintage 1927 'Late Bottled' (the “oldest” LBV to be registered with the IVP -- as confirmed in the linked article below) http://www.fortheloveofport.com/port/lbv-the-other-vintage-port

2) PORTO FEIST 1963 'VIELLI EN FUT'

Thanks very much in advance for your time and for any advice or direction you can offer.

A:

Hello Bryan,  We are not ourselves active in the secondary market for old Ports, so cannot advise you re saleability or value of your wines.  We suggest you contact either a specialist wine merchant or an auction house that deals in old wines to get an appraisal of your wines and advice on how or if to proceed.  Sotheby's has a Boston office, as does Christie's and both have periodic sales of fine wines.

Bear in mind any potential buyer will want to know more about the provenance of the wine, so any records you have about when and where it was purchased, and most importantly, some record of how it has been stored, will be critical.  To learn more about this from a buyer's perspective, you may want to read our article about Purchasing Vintage Port.

Update:  Another alternative to the auction house route is a private sale to a keen port lover. There are two internet chat forums devoted to Port: The Port Forum, which is UK based, and For The Love of Port, which is based in the USA. Both have a thoroughly international following, however. Registration is free on both sites

On the Port Forum, post your query in the Port Conversations chat room. If you take a look, there are a number of threads like this already posted, with members offering advice re how the wines are drinking, price levels, etc. Interest in buying is usually expressed via the private mail function on each site, rather than publicly in the thread.

On For The Love of Port, go to the chat thread Port & Madeira Marketplace to post your message – and do read the Marketplace Disclaimer notice.

Post a full description of each wine, including exact wording on label, describe the fill level of the bottle, and all the information you can about when and where the wine was acquired, and very importantly, how and where it has been stored. If you have photos, you can post them, or send an email to the moderator asking for assistance, and they will add the photo into the thread.

Both of these forums are very friendly and helpful places. Good luck.



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