Ask The Expert

Question subject

Date Asked

Pricing of Old Vintages

April 23, 2012

Q:

How much should I pay for a bottle of 1970 vintage port?

A:

Hi Peter, Unfortunately, this is a little like asking how long is a piece of string.  Pricing depends most of all on the maker of the Port, with top producers whose wines are known for their consistent quality commanding premium prices.  Price is also affected by factors such as critics' reviews, scarcity of the particular Vintage or brand, and of course on the taxes and duties in your country and state.  Provenance of the bottles also influences price, for example, late last year the Symington family released stocks of Graham's 1970 and Warre's 1963 - two legendary Vintage Ports - from our own cellars here in Vila Nova de Gaia, where the wine has been ageing undisturbed since it was bottled in 1972 (see the article dated 30 November 2011 on our News Page).  Bottles might come into an auction or be available by private sale from a shop, restaurant or other private cellar.  If the seller has been able to demonstrate impeccable storage conditions, that bottle will command a premium over bottles of unknown provenance or uncertain storage conditions.

To get a sense of the market, you can try using tools like Winesearcher.com, which gathers prices from retail stores and auction houses around the globe, or wine exchanges such as Liv-Ex, or BBX, which is an on-line market place for the sale of customers' wines which are held in bond by Berry Bros & Rudd in London.  You might also be able to find auction results from wine sales held by Bonham's, Christie's or Sotheby's.

When you use these tools, read the fine print - most quote prices "in bond" - meaning, without local taxes and duties - which can be very high.  Also check the format - is the price quoted per bottle, per case of 6 x 75cl, or case of 12 x 75cl?  Very often prices are quoted on a case basis, but the actual lot for sale may be some other format, such as single bottles, or large formats like magnums.

If you are trying to source any of Symington's Vintage Ports - Graham's, Dow's and Warre's are the best known, but any of the brands described in our Knowledge Base - you may want to check the website of Premium Port Wines, our exclusive importer to the United States.  Their Contacts page has tools for finding distributors in your area, as well as contact details for regional sales reps who can help you source a special bottle.



Impresso em www.thevintageportsite.com

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