wine auction at K&L Wines
I am asking what you think about online auctions at K&L wines.
I might be bidding for 3 bottles of 2009 red wine which apparently are offered for auction by a Tucson, AZ collector who kept them in 57 F storage since 2012 (this was the release date of this wine). The condition of the wine is said to be "excellent". My hesitation comes from the fact how do they know this collector was really taking good care of the wine not to mention having them shipped to Tucson in the first place.
K&L Wines has a very good reputation. While I am not a buyer of wines at auctions, I would have confidence in their representations of wines they are auctioning.
I'd trust them. They're pretty sharp, and inspect the bottles carefully. I'd ask if some buyer protections are in place for DOA wines.
I've only bid on a K&L Wine auction twice and I've lost both times.
However, my cellar has a couple of dozen bottles of wine that K&L bought out of someone else's cellar and put up for sale. I can think of only one that had a problem. The ones that I've opened have been enjoyed by me and my wine geek friends. I'd say they do a good job of picking what wine they sell.
l would make sure they are selling what they say they are selling. While in the shop in SF, checked on an auction item due to lower estimate that thought and upon checking the bottles, found it was a variant of the wine of lesser value than what was listed, thus the lower estimate.
K&L are highly reputable and there is a group of collectors in Tucson that are both and honest and knowledgeable. I suspect one of them is the seller. Provided the wine is described correctly IMO you can bid with confidence on the condition of the wine. If for some reason the wine is not as described K&L will make good
K&L is a reputable retailer, with a staff who understands what to look for when physically inspecting bottles for signs of poor storage conditions.
Did they physically check the cellar/locker/etc the wine was stored in with a thermometer and humidifier? Probably not. However, checking ullage against the position of the cork in the neck, against signs of heat/water damage that would show on the glass/label/foil is more than adequate.