Ask The Expert

Question subject

Date Asked

Australian Fortified Wine

October 6, 2012
Question by: Sam, Kuala Lampur, Malaysia

Q:

I have a bottle of BANARA, 1979 Vintage Port. 750ml., Product Of Australia, Vintaged and bottled by C.H.KNEZOVIC & CO, Banara Wines, Benara Road. Caversham. Western Australia.  I bought it from Perth in year 2000, still kept in shelf.  Is it safe to drink it? (after so many years!)  Does it carry any market value nowadays?

A:

Hi Sam, First of all, if the wine has not been opened or show signs of excessive leakage, it will be safe to drink, as far as health concerns go.  You say it was stored on a shelf - if the shelf was in a cool dark place (see our article about Storing Your Vintage Port for more information on this) then chances are it will still be in enjoyable condition.  If it has been exposed to temperature swings, particularly high heat, or excessive bright light (natural or artificial), then the quality may have suffered.

Just as sparkling wine made outside of Champagne, France, is not strictly "Champagne" so fortified wines made outside of the Douro region of Portugal are not strictly "Ports."   As makers of true Port here in Portugal, and not active in the secondary market for Port or any other wines, Symington Family Estates are not well placed to advise you about the value of your wine.  We would suggest you contact a specialist wine merchant in your area who could advise you on the secondary market for this wine, or one of the auction houses which routinely handle wine.  Christie's has a contact in Malaysia, as does Sotheby's.

Be aware that as a general rule only top vintages from top producers are sought in the secondary market, and it will have to be clear to any broker or potential buyer that the wine has been well stored and likely to be in good condition.



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