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Value of a Vintage Port

October 21, 2012
Question by: Rodrigo (Mobile)


I would like to know the value of a Warre's Port wine from 1953 in a wood box in perfect conditions?


Hi Rodrigo, No Vintage Ports was declared in 1953 for Warre's or most major brands, only a few single quinta vintages were made and a Martinez.  We wonder if your message might be a typo for 1963 - in which case you have a very special bottle!

1963 was a legendary year for Vintage Port, producing wines with a beautiful balance of fruit, tannin and elegance.  Warre's 1963 is a particularly lovely example.  If your wine has been well-cellared it should be drinking beautifully now, but further storage in good conditions won't hurt it in the least if you want to hold it for a special occasion in the next few years.  You mention a wooden box - is this a single bottle in a presentation box, possibly one of the bottles released from Symington's own cellars here in Vila Nova de Gaia last winter?  This will have been aged in perfect conditions since it was bottled, and we hope you are cellaring it carefully yourself - do read our article about Storing Vintage Port for some guidance on this.

If you are looking for a valuation with intention to sell, Symington Family Estates are not active in the secondary market for Ports so we are not well placed to advise you on the value of your bottle.  Your best bet is to consult a specialist wine merchant in your area, or an auction house that routinely handles fine wines, such as Bonham's, Christie's or Sotheby's.  

Be aware that 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.

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 the bottle, including exact wording on the label, describe the fill level of the bottle, the condition of the capsule and bottle generally (e.g. signs of leakage or staining)  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, and the members are very knowledgeable and will offer candid advice. Good luck.

Impresso em

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