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Question subject

Date Asked

Old Bottle of Madeira

November 8, 2012
Question by: Paul, Mobile

Q:

I have a bottle of Walsh Brothers 1880 Boal Reserve Madeira given to my parents in the 1940's. I am in a quandary whether to open it up for a very special occasion or try to sell it to an interested collector. Any thoughts? Do you know it's estimated value?  I know this is not Port but hope you can give me some insight.

A:

Hi Paul, Symington Family Estates is no longer a partner in the Madeira Wine Company, nor are we active in the secondary market for Port or Madeira, so we are not well placed to advise you on the value of this wine.  We can make some suggestions where to seek further information and advice, however.

For information about saleability and valuation, we suggest you contact a local specialist wine merchant or one of the major auction houses that handle fine wine, such as Bonham's, Christie's or Sotheby's, all of which have offices around the world. 

There are two more sites you might consult for more information:  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.

Once registered, you could open a conversation thread in the appropriate forum and ask the members if any of them have any knowledge about this wine, or could advise you about decanting and enjoying your Madeira. and if you wish to arrange a private sale, both forums accept postings offering wines for sale.

On The Port Forum, look at the Other Wines chat room.  There is a thread about Madeira already started, which mentions a Welsh Brothers Bual, so you might post in there asking if anyone knows the wine, or can recommend further sources of information. 

Similarly, on For The Love of Port, there is a forum dedicated to Madeira where you could ask your questions.  Roy Hersh, the proprietor of the site, is an American authority on Port and Madeira and the site has quite a lot of reference content - we found one article which mentions another Welsh Brothers wine and the fact the name became associated with the Madeira Wine Company.

These are the guidelines for offering bottles for sale on these Forums:

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.

On The Port Forum, post your query in the Other Wines chat room.

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 about 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.  Good luck.



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