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Jim Grow

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What is your best wine deals ever?

by Jim Grow » Fri Jan 25, 2013 5:34 pm

Back in the late 80's I bought several cases of 1983 Lake Sonoma Gewurztraminer ( with abundant crystals) for $1.99 per bottle. They were delicious!

In 1990 I bought a case of 1986 Gruaud Larose from N. Berkley for $18/bottle and still have 1/2 a case which is just becoming enjoyable now.

In the late 90's I bought most of a case of 1993-95 Newton Unfiltered Chardonnay for $15/bottle (special private cellar seller). They were very memorable.

Just last Sept. I bought 5 bottles of 2002 Vine Cliff Napa Cabernet for $3.33/bottle in Indianapolis.

Back in the late 80's I bought a mixed case of early 80's German Rieslings (both QbA and QmP) from Ashville N.C. while on vacation for about $5-6/bottle that were well stored and fabulous. Some new producers (Becker?) to me also.

What are your stories?
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Jon Peterson

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Re: What is your best wine deals ever?

by Jon Peterson » Fri Jan 25, 2013 6:08 pm

In 1985 I bought 1983 Ch. Margaux, Ch. Rauzan Segla and Ch. Palmer for less than $45 per bottle. I believe it was so because of all the attention being paid to the 1982 Bordeaux in general even though '83 was actually better in Margaux.
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Tom Troiano

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Re: What is your best wine deals ever?

by Tom Troiano » Fri Jan 25, 2013 6:13 pm

Too many to remember but 1985 Lynch Bages for $299 for the case has to be right near the top in terms great deal plus great pleasure.
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Mark Lipton

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Re: What is your best wine deals ever?

by Mark Lipton » Fri Jan 25, 2013 6:49 pm

Jim Grow wrote:In 1990 I bought a case of 1986 Gruaud Larose from N. Berkley for $18/bottle and still have 1/2 a case which is just becoming enjoyable now.


How'd you manage that deal, Jim? I bought the '86 G-L from NBW at their store ca. 1989 and paid IIRC $35 for the bottle. Was this some sort of clearance sale?

Pursuant to your original question, I think the 2004 Ch. Meyney I bought on closeout for $11 a bottle would be high up there, though every time I open a bottle of Marc Ollivier's Clos des Briords Muscadet SeM, which to this day sells for under $15, I think that it's the deal of the century. I also suppose that the bottle of 1988 Dujac Clos de la Roche that I got as part of a mixed case of '88 GC Burgs at auction in 2005 would have to rank as a mindblowingly good deal since I paid IIRC ~$400 for the case.

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Craig Winchell

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Re: What is your best wine deals ever?

by Craig Winchell » Fri Jan 25, 2013 7:27 pm

Back in 1979, in Kentucky, a woman comes to the store (I as the wine manager) with the story of her late husband's cellar she'd like to sell (totally illegal, of course). Upon investigation, it turns out to be a bunch of old Cali Cabs circa 1961-1974 with Georgia tax stamps (adding to the illegality). I bought them for the store for a song ($2.50/bottle), and sold them to my clientele for $5/bottle just to get rid of them before the revenooers picked up on it. Of course, I took home the best, and my boss took home the second best. Still, the customers ended up with Louis Martinis, BV, Mondavi, Inglenook and a few others from throughout the '60s. And me, I picked up the Krug C Mondavi selections and Inglenooks and Martini Special selections and Private Reserves from '61-'64, regular Martini from '66, BV Gde L from '70, and a host of others, for the reimbursement to my boss of $2.50/bottle. As an aside, I have a '63 C.Mondavi selection Krug Cab label with "3.50" written on it in pencil, probably showing the original selling price back in , maybe "66 or '67. So I got it below original cost in '79. Perfect condition, by the way. There were some '65 and '67 wines that just weren't nearly as good.
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Re: What is your best wine deals ever?

by Sam Platt » Fri Jan 25, 2013 8:42 pm

Newton unfiltered Chardonnay for $5 at Meijer - they only had one bottle.
2000 Carruades de Lafite for $62 on release. It now sells for almost $400 thanks to the Chinese market demand.
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Re: What is your best wine deals ever?

by Tom Troiano » Fri Jan 25, 2013 8:54 pm

Sam Platt wrote:2000 Carruades de Lafite for $62 on release. It now sells for almost $400 thanks to the Chinese market demand.


But is the wine any good?

$400 is f***king stupid for that wine.
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Re: What is your best wine deals ever?

by Sam Platt » Sat Jan 26, 2013 12:33 am

Tom Troiano wrote:But is the wine any good?

$400 is f***king stupid for that wine.

It's a darned tasty $62 wine. It's not worth a damn at $400. The Chinese care about the year and the name. The wine itself is secondary.
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Re: What is your best wine deals ever?

by Howie Hart » Sat Jan 26, 2013 11:13 am

'67 Lafite and Haut Brion at $10 each in 1977.
Chico - Hey! This Bottle is empty!
Groucho - That's because it's dry Champagne.
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Jim Grow

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Re: What is your best wine deals ever?

by Jim Grow » Sat Jan 26, 2013 12:14 pm

Mark, the 1986 G L was a special advertisement in the back of a Wine Spec. and I remember distinctly that I ordered it in July of 1990 while recovering from back surgery. Price was $219/case with shipping and tax not included. I never include those monies in determining a wines price.
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Re: What is your best wine deals ever?

by Joe Moryl » Sat Jan 26, 2013 4:31 pm

Hmm, I remember a lot of good French bottles purchased in the late 1980's: 1981 Rousseau Chambertin, 1987 Roumier Morey St Denis Clos de la Bussierere, 198? Clos St. Denis, Domaine Castagnier and 1985 Hermitage, Bernard Faurie. All somewhere between $15 and $20 per bottle. Not all the greatest vintages, but certainly worth the price of admission, especially for wines I can no longer afford.
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Re: What is your best wine deals ever?

by Tim York » Sat Jan 26, 2013 5:30 pm

Craig Winchell wrote:Back in 1979, in Kentucky, a woman comes to the store (I as the wine manager) with the story of her late husband's cellar she'd like to sell (totally illegal, of course).


Can you explain that to a naive European,Craig? Illegal to sell a private cellar?? :shock:

Would it be illegal to sell off a collection of guns?
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Re: What is your best wine deals ever?

by Drew Hall » Sat Jan 26, 2013 5:33 pm

In the summer of 2011 I purchased a case of 2007 Ridge Geyserville for $23 a bottle and no tax as I bought it in Delaware...I thought that was a good deal!

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Re: What is your best wine deals ever?

by Joe Moryl » Sat Jan 26, 2013 8:34 pm

Tim York wrote:Can you explain that to a naive European,Craig? Illegal to sell a private cellar?? :shock:

Would it be illegal to sell off a collection of guns?


I'll let someone else explain the wine sales laws as it pertains to this story, because each state has it own set of laws. It would indeed be easier to sell a collection of guns in most states.
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Re: What is your best wine deals ever?

by Craig Winchell » Sun Jan 27, 2013 1:22 am

Can you explain that to a naive European,Craig? Illegal to sell a private cellar??

Would it be illegal to sell off a collection of guns?


Wine is a controlled substance in the USA. In fact, until recently, one could not even ship wine into most states as a private citizen. Any alcoholic beverage purchased in the state typically was supposed to have a state excise tax paid. In Kentucky at the time, the only ones alowed to sell wine to consumers were licensed retailers. The only ones authorized to sell to licensed retailers were licensed wholesalers. This was maybe 5 to 10 cases (my recollection is not all that good) of wine that was sold in another state to consumers (Georgia, where the state excise taxes were paid and each bottle actually had a tax stamp adhering to it from Georgia). We sold it in Kentucky, where because of those Georgia tax stamps, anyone could see that we were not in compliance with the law.

Yes, at the time, anyone could purchase firearms in a private sale, without registration. Now sidearms must be registered pretty much everywhere, and there is typically a waiting period, but in most states, there is still no registration for rifles and shotguns, and often no waiting period.
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Re: What is your best wine deals ever?

by Tim York » Sun Jan 27, 2013 6:54 am

Thanks, Craig, for that explanation.

My best wine deal was in 1961 and was about my first. It was 3 bottles of Château Latour Pauillac 1945 for £2.25, then about $6.30. That was the market price at the time but, by the time I downed the last bottle (sublime by then) in the 80s, the value was many times that and as for now........
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Re: What is your best wine deals ever?

by Marco Raimondi » Sun Jan 27, 2013 11:29 am

10 cases of Bartolo Mascarello Barolo 1982 (bought directly from Bartolo) for a total of $1,000.00. Shipping and customs cost me about $300.00 extra. Paid/shipped in 1986 $$.
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Re: What is your best wine deals ever?

by David Creighton » Sun Jan 27, 2013 12:41 pm

'64 latour for $4.99 in 1970; 70 BV George de latour reserve for $1.99 in '75 and helfrich riesling '07 for $2.50 just last week.
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Re: What is your best wine deals ever?

by Paul Winalski » Sun Jan 27, 2013 4:48 pm

Tim York wrote:Can you explain that to a naive European,Craig? Illegal to sell a private cellar?? :shock:

Would it be illegal to sell off a collection of guns?


Tim,

To understand this you have to understand the history of alcohol prohibition in the USA. There was an amendment to the US Constitution, and then subsequent federal legislation, prohibiting alcoholic beverages throughout the USA. I forget the exact dates, but Prohibition was in effect throughout the 1920s. As a social experiment, Prohibition was a disastrous failure. Its main legacy was to promote organized crime.

Eventually another constitutional amendment was passed repealing the prohibition amendment. But with a twist. There was no national consensus that Prohibition was a failure. In order to get the repeal amendment ratified, a compromise was made. Prohibition wasn't completely repealed. Instead, the new amendment gave the individual states control over the production, trafficking, and consumption of alcoholic beverages within their borders. This supplied an exemption to the part of the US Constitution called the "commerce clause", which prohibits states from erecting trade barriers against each other. Those states with a strong Prohibitionist movement were happy because they could now continue Prohibition, and the amendment was ratified.

So each of the States in the Union has the power to control traffic in alcoholic beverages within its borders.

Some states passed laws continuing the practice of prohibition; I don't know if there are any of those so-called "dry" states left.

In some states (I think Kentucky is one), the Prohibition decision is left up to individual counties. In New Hampshire, where I live, the State controls wholesale distribution of alcoholic beverages. Private retail establishments (such as supermarkets) are allowed to sell beer and wine, but "hard liquor" can only be sold at retail at liquor stores run by the State.

A lot of states operate on what is called a three-tier distribution system. You need a license from the state to produce alcoholic beverages. You need a different license to do wholesale distribution, including shipping booze in from outside the state. You need a third type of license to sell alcoholic beverages at retail.

Most, if not all, states prohibit the private sale of alcoholic beverages except to licensed wholesalers or auctioneers. Those state laws exist mainly so that the State collects its taxes on such transactions, but, in three-tier states, it also prevents wine commerce from cutting out the wholesale tier.

It's all very confusing, and each state has its own regulations and procedures.

And yes--it's a lot easier to sell or distribute firearms right now.

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Re: What is your best wine deals ever?

by Paul Winalski » Sun Jan 27, 2013 4:52 pm

My best wine deal was a case of 1983 Chateau Rieussec that I bought at a futures price of $10.50 per 750 ml bottle. When I took delivery of the wine in 1986, the retail price was $40 per bottle. Today, WineSearcher.com shows retail prices from $75-$113 for a 750ml bottle.

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Re: What is your best wine deals ever?

by wnissen » Mon Jan 28, 2013 2:46 pm

Sam Platt wrote:2000 Carruades de Lafite for $62 on release. It now sells for almost $400 thanks to the Chinese market demand.

That is also my highest appreciation, though Wine Market Journal (via Cellartracker) says that it's only worth $270 now, down from $380 just a couple years ago. Still, that year Costco bought a bunch of stuff at first tranche prices, so I paid $26 on release.

Grocery Outlet has had some great deals over the years. I have particularly enjoyed 2000 Ravenswood Gregory, a single-vineyard Bordeaux-style blend for $4. Also, some oddball botrytized wines from Renaissance that were some 15 years old but in perfect condition were selling for $1.50 and really delicious. Dee Vine Wines closed out 2000 Hans Lang Hattenheim Wisselbrunnen Riesling Spaetlese for $9 in 2006, and I was greatly enjoying those honeyed, golden beauties for a long time. With most riesling as underpriced as it is, that was probably my best deal in terms of the price/pleasure ratio. Because you sure won't find me drinking the Carruades! I've not sold a bottle yet in something like 15 years of collecting, but for that I'm going to make an exception.
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Re: What is your best wine deals ever?

by Jim Grow » Mon Jan 28, 2013 3:47 pm

Two more real deals I just remembered: a 1995 Foreau Vouvray Moelleux Reserve for $27.50 from that emergency private sale and a 2004 J.J. Prum Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Auslese for $30 from Jungle Jim's near Cincinnatti , 4-5 years ago. I have not opened either yet and will wait until 2015 for the Vouvray.
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Re: What is your best wine deals ever?

by Dale Williams » Mon Jan 28, 2013 4:35 pm

Not sure I can say a particular best deal.

From an appreciation standpoint, I paid $45 a couple years after release for the 1997 Lafleur, CT lists as $472, though WS Pro shows it for about $230 in UK.

There are whole categories I wish I had bought even more of on release - 2001 Germans, 1996 Medoc, 1996 Piedmont.

During economic jolt wish I had gone deeper on some of the amazing closeouts (70, 73, 76, 78 LdH GRs for $50, $99 for the 64 Bosconia)

Hey, I'm getting depressed that I didn't triple down on all these deals. Some great deals at auction too, but those were inreplicable, so less depressing.
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Re: What is your best wine deals ever?

by Sam Platt » Mon Jan 28, 2013 6:53 pm

wnissen wrote: Because you sure won't find me drinking the Carruades! I've not sold a bottle yet in something like 15 years of collecting, but for that I'm going to make an exception.

Walter,

I had six Carruades. I drank one and sold three for $225 each to a guy who was looking for them on the Internet a couple of years ago. If someone offers me a crazy price for the remaining two they are goners. Otherwise, I will drink the the other two in the next five years or so. The $26 you picked the wine up for was an outstanding value.
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