I buy a lot of mid level wines $30-$70 but I'd like to get a couple of special bottles of Bordeaux but I'm concerned how to buy old wines and ensure I get a bottle in good condition. I'm not looking at first growths but maybe a 2000 2nd or 3rd etc maybe $200-$400.
How do I ensure I get genuine wine in good condition
While no one can guarantee you a bottle of wine is not tainted, you do want to seek out a bottle from solid provenance.
When buying a bottle as common as what you are looking for, I would buy/trade from a friend that bought 2000 Bordeaux on release and has a proper cellar, or perhaps seek a bottle from someone on this forum that is near you.
What city are you in?
Two ways to obtain such wines safely.
Reputable retailer or reputable auction house.
A good retailer is likely to have such bottles available and likely to store and protect such bottles in temperature controlled environments. If the bottle is faulty, they would also be likely to replace or refund. Among big reputable retailers, I would consider JJ Buckley, Zachy's, Premier Cru, Sokolin.
A reputable auction house usually does their best to screen: check provenance and bottle condition. Price is usually adjusted accordingly. While there is rarely refund for faulty bottles, the more reputable auction houses try to pre-screen. I would also include internet auction houses like Winebid in addition to the big houses.
With all of that said, as far as getting a fake bottle, it would be unusual for counterfeiters to create fake second growth bottles. The counterfeit action is usually with aged first growth Bordeaux and Grand Cru Burgundy.
I live in Chicago so nt bad there.
I'm sure it's unusual but I bought a few bottles of Carlisle from hdh and they were very highly rated but on drinking they were very disapointing enough that they had obviously not been stored correctly at some point. I know hdh is very reputable so it was not them at fault but how do you know it was stored right before they got it ?
Not sure why they were 'disappointing' or why that disappointment led you to believe they had been improperly stored. Were they 'cooked', with a stewed, raisiny flavor?
This is a very good thread describing the impact of improper storage.
Bottom line: you pays your money and you takes your chances. Even with a reputable house like HDH or TCWC, there is still an element of risk.
They weren't corked but they did have a stewed characteristic that you mentioned. I'm not an expert but I've had a lot of Syrah from that area and it was bitter and hot, maybe that is a sign of corked
Ha! No, bitter and hot is how Syrah tastes when it's overdone (think Aussie Shiraz).
Welshstar- if you're interested in a bottle of 2000 Pichon Longueville Baron I have plenty. I came upon it at a good price. If it's that meaningful to you I'd be happy to give you a fair price. I live in Chicago, the wine has been in my cellar since delivery so I can guarantee it is all stored as well as I store all my wine. Beyond that I can give no guarantees- if it's corked that's not my responsibility.
I will also tell you that I have no intention of opening this wine with good expectations for another 5 years or so. Last I had it was summer of 2010 and I could tell it needed a lot more time.
If you're interested post in this thread with your email address. If not, that's ok too, you don't know me, my feelings won't be hurt!
Pretty sweet offer and a terrific bottle of wine. I agree 5+ yrs to go and it might be entering its drinking window at that point IMO.
Say NO to Shiraz!
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