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Question subject

Date Asked

Old Bottle of Port

November 8, 2012
Question by: Andrew, Holmfirth, GB

Q:

I have a bottle of port from Quinta Da Capela dated 1975.  Is it worth saving, is it worth drinking or selling?  Thank you for any help you can give.

A:

Hi Andrew, Symington Family Estates are not active in the secondary market for Ports, nor is this one of our brands, so we are not well placed to advise you on the value of your bottle. 

1975 was a good year for Vintage Port and very widely declared.  It is generally agreed these wines will not be as long-lived as other years, but well-made and well-cellared wines should be drinking beautifully now.

Be aware that as a general rule only Vintage Ports from top producers are sought in the secondary market, and you will have to satisfy any broker or potential buyer that the bottles have been well stored and likely to be in good condition.  You might contact any of the auction houses that routinely handle fine wines, such as Bonham's, Christie's or Sotheby's, and ask their advice.

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,

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 generally very knowledgeable.  They will offer candid advice about how the wines are drinking, price levels, and more.  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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