What you should know when buying an old vintage wine.

De Louvois lets you buy rare vintage wines with Bitcoin, but here is some things you should know before doing so.

Some old bottles might show signs of wear, most of which are very common, fairly innocent and have no affect on the quality of the wine itself.

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Here are a few things you should know when buying an old vintage wine for current drinking, cellaring or investment.
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  First of all, check the levels .

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When stored in a dark, cool place with the required level of humidity and moisture,  wine can easily be kept for years and even decades for some of the very best names and varieties as its quality improves over time when stored appropriately.
However no matter how perfect the storage conditions, over time the cork of a bottle eventually becomes permeable and porous, leading to an evaporation of the valuable liquid.
This phenomenon intensifies when stored in poor conditions, but no matter how good the bottle or the vintage, this process is inevitable.
Note that having a low level is not a bad thing especially for old bottles ( +20-30 years ) you should consider it as a token of its authenticity and preservation.
However a recent bottle with a low level should be discarded as it was most likely preserved in an unsuitable environment.

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Here are the most common levels :

  • In Neck /Perfect ( P / IN
    Level of recent wines, remarkable for wines older than 10 years old.
  • Base of Neck ( BN
    Perfect for all wines, remarkable for wines older than 10 years old.
  • Top Shoulder/ High Shoulder ( TS/ HS )
    Good for wines older than 20 years old.
  • Mid – Shoulder ( MS
    Probable unsuitable storage conditions, or problem with the cork. Bottle at risk.
  • Low Shoulder ( LS )
    Same as previous, not sellable except in some very cases ( Exceptional historical value etc. )

 

 

 

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Label & Capsule condition.

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Label condition can have a great impact on the price of a bottle, and even though it has no direct impact on the quality of the wine, it might give clues as to how the bottle was stored by its previous owners.
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Here are some of the most common mentions that you should be lookin for  when buying wine on De Louvois ;
–  Soiled Label  : Used to describe a bottle that has been passively soiled over time ( by mould, dirt or dust ) when stored in an underground cellar.
–  Stained Label : Indicates that the bottle has been stained by liquid. This is a very common and is due to underground cellar humidity, wine spillage and so on. fairly anodine when observed with no signs of weeping.
–  Cellar scuffed / Worn Label  : Some bottles might show some sign of wear due to repeated manipulations of the bottle from racks and cellars.
–  Cracked Wax  : Some bottles are protected using a specific sealing wax. Old bottles, especially large ones such as Jeroboam and Magnum might come with a cracked wax sealing. This is mostly due to the movement of the liquid inside the bottle when the bottle is moved.
This is very common and does not indicate any mistreatment or storage issue.

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