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1982 Chateau Lafite Rothschild

emmayer Oct 14, 2009 11:34 AM

My husband and I were given this as a gift on our wedding day from my in-laws. They purchased it the year we were born as a gift to give their son on his wedding. I don't think they realized what a great wine they were purchasing!

The wine has been kept in a wine cellar all these years - dark, cool, on it's side. It's in excellent condition. As much as we would love to crack it open - we'd love to put the money toward our house also.

Any suggestions on the best place or way to sell? Consignment, direct to buyer, wine shops, ebay/wine sites, etc? Thanks!!

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  1. njfoodies RE: emmayer Oct 14, 2009 11:46 AM

    Tons of sites out there: Winecommune, Winebid, etc. Can also look at CellarTracker.com as they now have a partnership with Vinfolio. If that were me however, I don't care what it is worth from a money perspective, and would just drink it based on the special nostalgia that this wine was purchased for. That is a special wine given for a special reason, but that is just me, and in these economic times, I can understand needing the money! I'll start the bidding at $200! ;-)

    1. s
      sedimental RE: emmayer Oct 14, 2009 12:12 PM

      I sell on Wine Commune and really like the site. It is easy and you will get an instant quote for the average auction price if you just hit that button on WC when listing it. Careful on setting your expectations too high by way of Winesearcher or WineZap for pricing. Look at the "average" price, it is rare that anyone selling is getting the top price these days. The wine market is not so hot right now, but a Lafite will always get bids (even from a new seller). A wine shop will likely not give you much at all.

      I agree with emmayer though, it will make a great evening for you if you drink it!!!

      2 Replies
      1. re: sedimental
        emmayer RE: sedimental Oct 14, 2009 12:17 PM

        We debated on drinking it.... my mother in law says sell it too! Depends .. if it ends up being a couple hundred bucks (thanks njfoodies for the bid haha), then we'll enjoy it ourselves. We love traveling more than wine however, and could help pay for an extra day or two in Europe next year also and put it in savings! We may enjoy that more.

        1. re: emmayer
          sedimental RE: emmayer Oct 14, 2009 12:22 PM

          Ooops. I meant I agree with njfoodies!
          Well, going to France is much better than drinking France :)
          Good luck!!

      2. e
        emmayer RE: emmayer Oct 14, 2009 12:17 PM

        Thank you all for the ideas - I'll check them out.

        1. r
          RicRios RE: emmayer Oct 14, 2009 01:28 PM


          Recent Zachy's auction in LA, 10/10/09.

          Lot 769, 4 btls of 82 ChLR, estimates $6,500/$11,000, went for $12000 ( $3000 /btl )
          Lot 873, 1 btl of 82 ChLR, estimates $1,600/$2,600, went for $3120

          (20% Buyer's premium included in final price)

          Market value according to wine-searcher.com in the range $3000 / $5600

          1 Reply
          1. re: RicRios
            RicRios RE: RicRios Oct 16, 2009 12:08 PM

            Christie's auction in NY 10/15/09.

            Lot 20, 4 btls (very top shoulder) of 82 ChLR, estimates $6,500/$10,000, went for $13,200 ( $3300 /btl )
            Lot 286, 3 btls (top shoulder) of 82 ChLR, estimates $4,800/$6,000, went for $7,800 ( $2600 /btl )

            (20% Buyer's premium included in final price)

          2. invinotheresverde RE: emmayer Oct 14, 2009 08:45 PM

            The problem is that you're not known as a respectable dealer. There are very few people who would be interested in buying your bottle with no storage history. It's a gamble, to say the least.

            11 Replies
            1. re: invinotheresverde
              emmayer RE: invinotheresverde Oct 15, 2009 06:28 AM

              Yes it is ... for all they know it's been sitting on a hot window sill in the attic upright for 27 years! However fill level proves otherwise and the bottle is in perfect condition and was stored in a wine cellar all these years. I'm sure someone will be interested, it's just about getting a fair but reasonable deal to us. We aren't looking to clean someone out, just enjoy the present our mother gave us in another form. Thanks for everyone's input!

              1. re: emmayer
                invinotheresverde RE: emmayer Oct 15, 2009 09:52 AM

                If you're intent on selling it, I'd hold onto it a little longer. Wine prices are in the toilet right now.

                1. re: invinotheresverde
                  RicRios RE: invinotheresverde Oct 15, 2009 11:07 AM

                  What you're saying agrees with common sense.
                  However, recent auction prices seem to defy common sense ( see my post above ).

                  I was probably one of the first here to post re. a dramatic decline in prices about a year ago or so, both retail & auction ( http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5476... )

                  Retail doesn't seem to be back, but auction is. I know, doesn't make sense, but it is what it is.

                  1. re: RicRios
                    invinotheresverde RE: RicRios Oct 15, 2009 11:22 AM

                    While I agree that retail is suffering more, I got some sweet deals at auction just last week. I picked up some Second Growths at a fraction of what I expected to pay. Score!

                    1. re: invinotheresverde
                      RicRios RE: invinotheresverde Oct 15, 2009 01:44 PM

                      The only ones paying top dollar at auction right now are the nouveau-riches of the moment ( happy goldmansachsers, twentysomething oriental billionaires, you name them ), what I'd call the sheiss-set. These guys go after big names only ( as the one proposed by the OP ). Schnorers as yours truly look after La Grange des Pères, fifth grows, whatever goes under the radar. These ones can still be had for a song. But going back to the OP, if I were in her place I'd take my bottle to Zachys in a blink.

                  2. re: invinotheresverde
                    manku RE: invinotheresverde Oct 16, 2009 10:03 AM

                    Really...cases of 82 lafite have sold for nearly 40000 in the last four weeks...97 Harlan is selling for 1400/bottle...schrader just sold 600000 worth of wine, many for north of 400/bottle...

                    Wine prices are extremely strong right now...for quality wines.

                    Not sure where you are getting your information?

                    To the OP, I would contact local stores and ask them if they are interested...I don't think you'll get full price...but certain you should get 1500-2000...assuming the bottle looks good.

                    1. re: manku
                      invinotheresverde RE: manku Oct 16, 2009 10:50 AM

                      Getting my information through my own personal experience at auction.

                      I agree with Ric about the super rich still buying the big guns, but, as mentioned above, I paid about 40% less than I anticipated for some Montrose, Cos d'Estornel, Leoville Las-Cases and Gruaud-Larose. I'm not complaining.

                      1. re: invinotheresverde
                        manku RE: invinotheresverde Oct 16, 2009 11:12 AM

                        I agree that it's the high end that is strong, however I haven't seen much true weakness in the off vintages/seconds...what have you bought?


                        1. re: manku
                          invinotheresverde RE: manku Oct 16, 2009 02:36 PM

                          "...what have you bought?"

                          "...I paid about 40% less than I anticipated for some Montrose, Cos d'Estornel, Leoville Las-Cases and Gruaud-Larose." They were all '05 vintages.

                          1. re: invinotheresverde
                            manku RE: invinotheresverde Oct 17, 2009 08:58 AM

                            sorry...what i meant to say, is how much did you pay...with buyers commission for these wines...saying 40% less than you anticipated is like when i ask my wife how much something cost, and she replies that it was "on sale"!

                            1. re: manku
                              invinotheresverde RE: manku Oct 17, 2009 09:09 PM

                              Your wife is smart. ;)

                              Gruaud: $53
                              L.L.C: $233
                              Cos: $140
                              Montrose: $77

                              Forty percent may have been a slight exageration, but these wines were much cheaper than I thought they'd be, especially the L.L.C., considering the Spectator status.

              2. grampart RE: emmayer Oct 16, 2009 07:22 AM

                You might want to keep an eye on this auction which includes a bottle of 1982 Chateau Lafite Rothschild. http://www.piasa.auction.fr/pdf/20091...

                1. noreservations RE: emmayer Oct 24, 2009 10:07 AM

                  Has anyone here been able to recently taste this beauty? In a seemingly previous(and more prosperous!) life I was able to buy one bottle but have been uncertain as to when to let the cork fly.

                  I remember reading the tasting notes in one of Parker's Wine Buyer's Guides(fourth edition from '95) where he had this close to ten times....all with great but yet somewhat "inconsistent" results across the tastings.

                  Mind you, he included this among the many 'Great Bordeaux Wines Of This Century' so it's safe to say it will be extraordinary but I would hate to open this if it is in one of its "closed down" stages. Any suggestions?

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: noreservations
                    sedimental RE: noreservations Oct 24, 2009 11:26 PM

                    I recently opened one (in July). It was fabulous. I thought I would sell some if it was "under fabulous".... I decided to keep them. I think the inconsistencies have more to do with storage than anything else. In my experience, most classic cru's over 20 years old are rarely "closed". It could also be that my palate can't detect the minor variances that might be there or that you might notice if you were at a formal "tasting". Robert Parker, I am not....I let the cork fly when the feeling moves me!

                    1. re: sedimental
                      noreservations RE: sedimental Oct 25, 2009 07:48 AM

                      Thanks for your post, the response is most appreciated. I hope the wine is as unique as your User ID...nicely done! Point taken with most 20+ year old classic crus not being "closed". I rarely hesitate to enjoy any bottling but with some of the super special First Growths(which I will most likely never be able to purchase again), I'm admittedly unsure of when to most fully enjoy some of the single bottles of my collecting past....thus the reading of tasting notes or input from those fortunate enough to have multiple bottles.

                      The "points-police" followers in wine leave me wondering at times but at least there's descriptive tasting notes available to glean useful insight from reviews that perhaps can better inform me of the "best" opportunity for a wine to display its full potential. I'll now look forward to enjoying this Lafite sooner than I thought.

                    2. re: noreservations
                      woojink RE: noreservations Oct 26, 2009 11:34 AM

                      I have had this wine on several occasions. While uniformly excellent, the bottle variation was indeed greater than expected. If I were a scoring type, I would say that the experiences have had a variance between a low of 94 and high of 100.

                      If it were me, I would drink the wine, not sell it. From an unexperienced, I doubt the OP will get the premiums that a Christie's auction would bring. Whereas drinking it can easily be a once (or twice) in a lifetime experience.

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