Wine Talk

Snooth User: Nick Zwager

Hello Snooth! I am seeking information

Posted by Nick Zwager, Mar 24, 2014.


I have come into possession of 3 bottles of 1975 Pommard (Le Vin Noble) Negociant A Nuits-Saint Georges (Cote D'Or) and 1 bottle of 1975 Chateau Bonnet and would like to know an approximate value and how to go about selling them




Reply by dvogler, Mar 25, 2014.

Hi Nick,

Whereabouts are you in Canada?  Try going to a private liquor store (or call, and ask if they have someone knowledgeable in French wine).  They should be able to give you a reasonable valuation, but this depends on many factors.  Most importantly, how was it stored and is there proof of this?

You might be able to sell it on consignment at an auction, but I'm not aware of any wine auctions in Canada.

Good luck.

Reply by Nick Zwager, Mar 25, 2014.

Thanks for your answer Dvogler,

I'm in Vancouver.  The story is as follows: Back in the early 60's I lived in England and my father became quite good in his wine choices.  For about 15 years he bought and drank some very good wines.  In the late 70's he died and my mother moved home 3 times, taking wines with her.  She passed away 2 weeks ago and I was clearing out some stuff and found the wine in the kitchen.  I carefully packed the bottles in my suitcase and now have them with me here in Vancouver.  I am very tempted to open one of the bottles but if they are worth a small fortune I would rather sell them on.  I am aware that reds have a shelf life, but I don't know how to check if they are passed it.

So I have provenance as far as it goes, but no idea of the storage over the past 39 years!  I would hate to sell them and then find that the buyer bought vinegar! 

Reply by outthere, Mar 25, 2014.

You're not going to retire on these wines. Probably wouldn't even pay to fill the gas tank of your car. Open them in her memory and perhaps one of them still has some life left in it.

Reply by dvogler, Mar 25, 2014.

Hi Nick,

My sincere condolences for the loss of your mother.

You could probably go to a BCLD store (BC Liquor) but preferably a Signature store, like the one on Robson (there's others though) because they would definitely have a knowledgeable person who could give you a fairly quick answer.  Try googling the info on your label (Chateau Bonnet turned up sweet nothing).

You said you "found it in the kitchen".  That tells me it wasn't stored properly.  It should have been kept in a temperature controlled spot (ie cool cellar or wine fridge).  My grandfather gave me a 1971 Yalumba Shiraz that he'd had in a cabinet for 25 years and it was absolute vinegar.   Now, yours may not be, but I doubt they're worth "a small fortune". 

If I were you, I would have a friend over who likes wine, and open one of the three, try it and proceed from there. 

Reply by GregT, Mar 25, 2014.

My condolences as well.

My guess is that the value is probably a bit less than what they cost new. There are a few problems, not least of which is the fact that they've been moved around and ended up sitting in a kitchen - probably the worst place for them. They're not at prime anyway and with storage that was indifferent at best but most probably poor, nobody is going to be interested on the secondary market. Plus, there are only a few bottles. It's not worth it for most auction houses and again, they'd want to know about storage and there's no way they'd take bottles that were stored in unknown conditions for many years.

If you said they'd been lying in an underground cellar all this time, that might be different, but the physical condition of the bottles would also be quite different.

Reply by Richard Foxall, Mar 28, 2014.

My condolences also.  Sadly, this wine should have been enjoyed with your parents at a much earlier time.  I think the writers above have the right idea.  Open one;  if it's good, invite friends who knew your parents over, and drink the rest with them as a nice memory.  Even if the first is good, there are no guarantees on wine this old and with this handling, so I think there's no real market.  Even with really good storage, these would be unlikely to be fantastic wines right now.  The Bonnet is pretty much a daily drinker, not a wine made for the collector or long haul.  Based on what you wrote above, can't tell exactly who made the Pommard, but it sounds like a regular village wine and, with Burgundy village wines, it's possible there are grapes from a premier cru mixed in there, but this would  have been a good wine but not likely one that was meant to sit in a collector's cellar, never mind in a kitchen that probably was much too warm for storing wine.

However, the community loves to hear how these things turn out, so if you open these, tell us what they were like.

Reply by GregT, Mar 28, 2014.

Fox makes a good point. I wouldn't expect much from the wines for all the reasons stated.

That said, you can sometimes be surprised. A no-account shiftless wine might be simply magnificent at 30 years, and nobody would have expected it. No one can predict the future; we can only go on past behavior.

So while people might be skeptical, it may be that the wines are nonetheless transcendental. Let us know. And I think Fox has a great suggestion except that I'd add one more thing.

Just in case, go out and buy a bottle that you have more confidence in right now! Then invite those friends.

Reply by William Djubin, Mar 29, 2014.

Drink these wines during the next 2 days. Discover Pommard.

Reply by William Djubin, Mar 29, 2014.

Or make sauce.

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