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1985 Vintage Port

June 7, 2012
Question by: Karl, Bury St. Edmunds, England

Q:

I have a sealed wooden box of 1985 Vintage Port received as a birthday gift many years ago, and I am having difficulty with finding information about it (is it good, its value, etc).  The exterior of the box has the following markings:
1985 Vintage Port  /  TJK London  /  Das Vinhas Do Alto Douro  /  Real Companhia Velha  /  Companhia Geral Da Agricultura  /  Royal Oporto Wine Company

Is this a recognized vintage?

A:

Hi Karl, 1985 was a widely declared Vintage, known for generally rich, concentrated, classic Vintage Ports - you can read the full Vintage Report for 1985 for more details.  This particular Vintage Port which you have not made by Symington Family Estates, but by a company now known as Real Companhia Velha.  If the case has been well stored in good cellar conditions, the wine might be very pleasant. 

As far as a valuation of the wine, Symington Family Estates is not active in the secondary market, so we are unable to advise you on this.  We would suggest you consult a specialist wine merchant, such as Berry Brothers & Rudd who run the BBX Wine Exchange.  Whilst their service is designed for the trading of wines cellared with them, it may help you get a sense of which Ports are traded and pricing.  Alternatively, consult one of the auction houses that routinely handle fine wines, such as Bonham's, Christie's or Sotheby's.  Be aware that any broker or buyer will want some kind of evidence that the wine has been well cellared since purchase.



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