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Port for sale

Posted: 12:29 Sat 05 Aug 2017
by billy4588
Hi everyone.

I have forsale 8x bottles of 1955 grahams port.
It has been stored in a house in a wine rack. 3 bottles are still full and 5 have had a minuscule leak over the years, 15-20 estimated (by my father in law). The are around 3/4 full. I would sell individual but looking to sell as a job lot. They have wax seals.
Please do feel free to call me on 07748577648. We ave some bollonger champagne also.
We are based in SK14 area.
Thanks for reading and look forward to hearing from you with advice for price I should be looking for and any offers


Re: Port for sale

Posted: 22:27 Sat 05 Aug 2017
by Glenn E.
Hi Billy,

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but only 3/4 full is quite bad. The Port remaining in those bottles is likely very oxidized and no longer appealing. It probably won't taste bad, but it will likely be very flat and have few if any redeeming qualities. So those 5 bottles likely hold no value at all.

The other 3 could potentially hold some value, but seeing as they've been stored with 5 bottles that have leaked there's a certain amount of "guilt by association" for those 3 as well. There's a reasonable chance that the storage conditions contributed to the failure of the 5 bad bottles, which means that the 3 that are still full have suffered as well but just aren't showing any outward signs at this time.

A well-stored bottle of 1955 Graham could be worth (at retail) as much as $600, though in a private sale that amount is considerably reduced. Perhaps $400? Given the circumstances of these bottles, though, I probably would not be willing to risk more than $200 on one of the full bottles, and that would only be on the condition that I be allowed to purchase the other two at that price if the first proves acceptable. I would not pay anything for the 5 leakers.

Re: Port for sale

Posted: 07:25 Sun 06 Aug 2017
by DRT

Are you sure you are describing these correctly?

You mention a "minuscule leak" and then say the bottles are 3/4 full. Those two descriptions seem incompatible.

Would you be able to post some pictures showing the fill level of the bottles?


Re: Port for sale

Posted: 12:31 Mon 07 Aug 2017
by billy4588

Thanks for your replies. I understand what you are saying but they have leaked only a quarter in over 20 years. So much so the leak has never been noticed.

Will post pictures asap

Thanks agajn

Re: Port for sale

Posted: 19:22 Mon 07 Aug 2017
by Glenn E.
The pictures will be very helpful. Hopefully it is your description that is inaccurate, as that may give you some chance of a sale.

But just to give you an idea of why we are concerned, Port often lives 50+ years in bottle with little to no leakage at all. I purchased several bottles of 1955 Graham a couple of years ago and received a decent discount because the fill was only 1/2" or so into the neck of the bottle. Any leakage is a concern because it means the cork's seal wasn't good. If the fill level is no longer into the neck of the bottle, the value goes down significantly. That's known as "base neck" fill. Just below that is what's known as "very top shoulder" and that's about as low of a fill as most people are willing to risk on any Port of value. Losing 1/4 of the bottle is basically unheard of - there's not even a term for it as any bottle with a fill that low would normally be discarded.

Re: Port for sale

Posted: 08:00 Tue 08 Aug 2017
by PhilW
billy4588 wrote:
12:31 Mon 07 Aug 2017
Thanks for your replies. I understand what you are saying but they have leaked only a quarter in over 20 years. So much so the leak has never been noticed.
Hi Billy,

First let me applaud you being open and honest on the condition of the bottles regarding fill levels and leaks. I also like your enthusiasm; however I'm afraid that "they have leaked only a quarter in over 20 years" is a very bad thing, even if it doesn't seem so to you. The short version is that as the bottle leaks, air enters the bottle replacing the fluid, and the more air that enters the more the wine will react with the air, oxidising the wine. Very small amounts of ullage will devalue the wine, significant ullage (where the level of the wine has fallen below the point where the neck and body of the bottle meet) will usually mean the wine is significantly degraded. Your description is of very heavy ullage, which is very bad news. All of that said, it is *sometimes* possible for the wine from a heavily ullaged bottle to still drink well, but it is very much the exception, and people will generally not spend much if anything on bottles ullaged that significantly.

Depending on the reasons for the ullage (poor corks used by a merchant, some of which have failed; storage conditions; critters), if some of your bottles still have good levels (base neck or above) then they might be ok. I would suggest checking the levels in all the bottles using a torch (and perhaps marking the outside of each with sticker, chalk pen, or similar), and then post a photo of the set of bottles, and hopefully we can advise further.