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help please

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Stephen Campbell

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help please

by Stephen Campbell » Sat Sep 02, 2006 10:49 am

I have recieved 3 bottles of wine as a gifted a number of years ago and i am trying to determine their value the first is a
1926 moulin a vent adolphe fougeres and cie
the second is a
1945 chateau de ferrand (silver label with red crest and writing)
and the thrid is
1975 chateau grand puy ducasse
if any one has any idea of how to obtian a value of these please let me know
thank you in advance
Stephen Campbell :?:
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Robin Garr

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Re: help please

by Robin Garr » Sat Sep 02, 2006 12:27 pm

Hello, Stephen, and welcome to our forum!

The short answer, unfortunately, is that these wines are probably too old to be drinkable or to have any value. This is almost certainly true of your 1926 wine, a Beaujolais that should have been consumed within five years or so of its production.

The Chateau de Ferrand is a finer wine, a St.-Emilion Bordeaux, from a fine vintage, but again, a 61-year-old St.-Emilion is rather iffy.

And finally, Grand Puy Ducasse is also a well-regarded Bordeaux, a "fifth-growth," but even so, at 31 years its chances of survival aren't great. Much would depend on its storage conditions, but as a general rule, a wine of this type would need to have been kept on its side in a wine cellar at a constant 55F to have much hope of still being good.

To answer your more basic question, an excellent resource for seeking current retail and/or auction prices for collectible wines is Wine-Searcher.com, which allows you to search its database for wine names and vintages and returns links to commercial vendors who carry those wines, with current prices.

Wine-Searcher does have one U.S. listing for 1975 Grand Puy Ducasse, at $55 from a New York City wine shop that I might not recommend for reliability or price. It shows various listings for older Chateau Ferrand, but no 1945s.
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James Roscoe

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Re: help please

by James Roscoe » Sat Sep 02, 2006 12:43 pm

Robin,
As technically correct as your answer is, and it is absolutely dead on, Life is full of surprises. Wine will surprise you more than anything else. It's one of the joys of old bottles. You NEVER know what you have until you open it. It will probably be dreck, but there could be a surprise. My advise would be to have some friends over and drink the stuff, but too have some nice reserves planned when these bottles inevitably end up in the sink. Wine is made to be drunk and enjoyed, not saved for the grandchildren.
Cheers
James

Stephen: Welcome to the forum. Stick around. It's a fun place to discuss these kind of issues. It's the BEST place to learn about ine you will find on the internet. Robin knows what he is talking about.
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Ian Sutton

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Re: help please

by Ian Sutton » Sat Sep 02, 2006 1:31 pm

Robin has given a fair assessment.
If these wines have been stored somewhere cold and dark, then your chances improve somewhat.

I will offer two rays of hope

1) Wines can have a very long period of decline (in fact the point at which decline begins varies between different peoples palates). The oft quoted figure is 1/3 of it's life improving; 1/3 at peak ; 1/3 in decline. For me, I'm still interested in wines others would call in decline. I suspect there's potential merit in drinking the 1975. The other two are very much riskier prospects but who knows until the bottle is opened.

2) There is a market for old bottles of (fully intact) wine. Indeed it seems some are destined never to be opened (or opened when they are completely oxidised). Auctions are the typical place for sale, though wine brokers / merchants might also be tempted. If you go down this route, they will want to know
a) The level of wine in the bottle when stood upright. In the neck of the bottle is excellent and reassures the buyer that the wine has a fair chance of being alive, though even the best bottles of 1945 and 1926 wine would be very lucky to be at this position. Top/mid/bottom shoulder represent the three notional 1/3's of the sloping part of the bottle. If it's down below the shoulder, it's most likely to be completely oxidised and have little other than curiosity value
b) How the wine has been stored. Single bottles such as these are generally seen as a bad risk, unless you can advise a cellaring history - ideally a wine that has been stored commercially, or that can be identified as having come from an impeccable cellar.
c) What condition the label is in. This is of almost no significance to winedrinkers, but is incredibly important to people who invest in wine, or who collect wine with no intention to drink it. A small nick or scratch on a label could put one of the more picky buyers off or reduce the value significantly. I think they're mad, but that's their hobby/interest, so I guess I shouldn't criticise!

In these instances I genrally suggest opening the wine yourself and enjoying a rare opportunity (have a spare bottle of something else available just in case though!). By all means get a quote from an auction house or broker, but don't expect a fortune - far from it

regards

Ian
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Stephen Campbell

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Re: help please

by Stephen Campbell » Sat Sep 02, 2006 1:51 pm

I would like to thank everyone who took the time to answer my question.
the 1926 bottle is well below the neck there for is no good, as is the 1975 chat grand puy ducasse. the 1945 chat de ferrand is mid shoulder...

So would I be right in saying the 26 and 75 are undrinkable, and the 45 is a bit of a russian rolette.

By the way I am current employed in the vineyard off-lience in belfast and we have a wide range of wine but I haven't taken any of the courses yet. so i am still fairly green when it comes to wines. if I open the 45 I will have a bottle of Glaetzer Bishop Shiraz ready to go in its place.
Cheers and thanks agian :D
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Bob Ross

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Re: help please

by Bob Ross » Sat Sep 02, 2006 2:11 pm

Robin, Ian and James all have given excellent advice, Stephen.

I would certainly try the Bordeaux -- Wine Searcher Pro shows the bottle still on sale in Europe around $70 and as high as $200 or so. [I agree that you should ignore the listing in the US -- that shop often advertises wines on Wine Searcher Pro that they don't have in stock.]

But some of the European shops are quite reliable, and there is a market for older wines there. If storage was good, there's a chance the Bordeaux will provide pleasure. If the wine's were kept in Belfast, there's a chance they might have lasted in your moderate climate.

Have your back ups ready -- but try them all. What do you have to lose? [Selling them doesn't seem to be a realistic option.]

And please continue to post. I'd love to learn more about Belfast.

Regards, Bob

PS: if you would like a list of the European shops listing the Bordeaux, send me an email at robcurtross@hotmail.com, and I'll send you the details. B.
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Re: help please

by Ian Sutton » Sat Sep 02, 2006 2:14 pm

Stephen
I'd be a lot more hopeful about the 75 Grand Puy Ducasse. It's a variable vintage, but there are plenty of good wines from that vintage alive and well. It's probable it's in decline, but there's every chance it will offer something of interest.
I'm not very experienced in expected levels for older wines, but believe mid-shoulder is a little low, which would affect sale value. However if it's not worth selling, it's definitely worth opening. If you do, stand the bottle upright for a week or so to allow sediment to settle. Either pour gently into a decanter or jug to enable you to separate the wine from the sediment (typically the last 5-10% of an older wine will be cloudy with sediment, so leave this in the bottle, to ensure a wine clear of sediment in the jug/decanter). OR look up something (via the search option on this forum) referred to as the Audoize (sp?) method. This appears to be gaining favour for very old wines as a more delicate handling of slightly frail old wines.

When it's poured, if it comes out as a brown/mahogany colour, then chances are it's completely dead. If there's more of a light red colour, with browning at the edge of the glass, then it's well worth trying.

Have a smell and look for aromas such as mushroom, tobacco, savoury fruit - these are not unusual in older Bordeaux. Vinegary or stinky smells will be more worrying, but even sound wines can initially have some unpleasant smells that "blow off" with a little air. When you taste it, don't expect masses of fruit, but there should be a background of subtle fruit. Acidity should keep the wine fresh-tasting, but shouldn't overpower. There may be some mouth drying tannins and there's a risk that they may be a little prominent in this vintage (even at 30+ years old!). If you have the wine with roast meats then this aspect would appear softened. If it tastes vinegary, then it's oxidised and probably not very nice to taste, if so then bad luck :(

regards

Ian
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Re: help please

by Agostino Berti » Sat Sep 02, 2006 5:24 pm

I've had an old bottle before that had a very low fill level and it was perfect, so from my experience fill level is not totally indicative of oxidation/drinkability.
I think 1945 was a legendary year for Bordeaux so..who knows.
The Beaujolais is 99.9 percent likely completely gone. I would keep it as a cellar decoration if I were you.

Cheers,
Agostino
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Re: help please

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Sat Sep 02, 2006 7:41 pm

Welcome Stephen and hope to see you around here!! Try the claret and report back.
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Re: help please

by Ian Sutton » Sat Sep 02, 2006 8:38 pm

Agostino Berti wrote:I've had an old bottle before that had a very low fill level and it was perfect, so from my experience fill level is not totally indicative of oxidation/drinkability.
Cheers,
Agostino

Agreed - level is a guide, but not a guarantee (either way).
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Re: help please

by Stephen Campbell » Sun Sep 03, 2006 6:29 am

So then i think i will set up a day to open the to bottles (75 , 45). these are by far the oldest wines i have drunk, so set them up right for at least a week or can it be shorter. and then decant. how long should i let it sit for before pouring? well when i drink it i will give a report back on how it was.
thanks agian
stephen
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Re: help please

by Ian Sutton » Sun Sep 03, 2006 9:22 am

Stephen
A week is fine, but I'm sure 1-2 days would suffice, especially if it hasn't been moved much in recent weeks.
decant time? There's plenty of views here and I suspect it depends on the wines. Others here have been experimenting with decant times / audoize method recently, so hopefully they'll give you a better steer on this than I could.

FWIW I tend to decant to remove sediment and let the wine breathe in the glass rather than extended decant time. I'm not saying this is the best method, just one I'm happy with.

It would be great to hear how you get on

regards

Ian
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Re: help please

by Bob Ross » Sun Sep 03, 2006 11:27 am

Oh, Stephen, don't decant those old wines. They may have only a few minutes of life. Store them for a few hours with the cork end elevated a couple of inches to bring the sediment down, uncork, pour carefully, and see what you find in the glass.

The wine may last for a long time -- but it may be glorious for only a few minutes -- and you want to be ready during that period to taste and enjoy.

As Ian asks, please let us know how it goes.

Regards, Bob
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Re: help please

by Sam Platt » Sun Sep 03, 2006 11:35 am

Stephen,

I did find a price for the Ducasse. The listing is:
1x 1975 Chateau Grand Puy Ducasse 5eme GCC Pauillac Bordeaux 0,75 l EUR 155,00

The website listing it can be found at: http://www.terraesole.de/wein_bordeaux_ ... _1975.html

Still, unless you really need the cash the excitement of tasting the wine is worth more than the EUR 155 in my opinion.
Sam

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matter compared to what lies within us" -Emerson
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Re: help please

by Covert » Sun Sep 03, 2006 4:52 pm

Stephen Campbell wrote: 1975 chateau grand puy ducasse


Stephen, I'm with James Roscoe. And I wouldn't personally write off the 1975 Grand Puy Ducasse. I've recently drunk much lesser Bordeaux wines from the '60s that were at least interesting. 1975 is a keeper year. Even the famous wine Critic Robert Parker, who often sounds the death knell way too early, in my opinion, recently called that wine mature, not past maturity.

And, like James implies, almost any wine is worth tasting just to see what it has to say. Just to know can be interesting, even if it says it is nothing but old tannins which taste like tea. A whole world of pleasure opens up if you can forego pleasure. (I'm taking Zen 101.)

Covert
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Stephen Campbell

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Re: help please

by Stephen Campbell » Thu Sep 07, 2006 7:38 pm

Well it is done. I have opened both bottles of wine.
First the 75
Dead dead dead... this wine was undrinkable, the wine had traveled right through the cork. this bottle went down the sink.

Now the 45 Chateau de Ferrand
What a surprise that it was still drinkable, first on the nose there was prunes,plums, stewed fruits,estery and slightly like toffee and maybe slightly like polish . It reminded one of us of a Barolo nose.

It had soft tannins and a good length after drinking it you keep tasting it for hours...great. The spirts and the acidity were quite high and tended to over power the fruits. in the mouth I was getting prunes, stewed fruits and cherry.

I was really surpired to see this wine to be still drinkable after 61 years. I would like to thank everyone who encourage me to drink it. it was an expereince that will stay with me.
_________________
Cheers
Stephen
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Ian Sutton

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Re: help please

by Ian Sutton » Thu Sep 07, 2006 8:13 pm

err?
have we lost a few posts on this thread?
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Re: help please

by Stephen Campbell » Fri Sep 08, 2006 5:01 am

no i decided to post the tasting notes here as well, the other posts are under 45 chateau de ferrand and 75 chateau grand puy ducasse. :oops:
Cheers
Stephen
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Re: help please

by Ian Sutton » Fri Sep 08, 2006 12:09 pm

aha just me being stupid :lol:

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