Wine Talk

Snooth User: lferrett

Chateau La Mission Haut Brion Graves

Posted by lferrett, Aug 29, 2009.

I have a bottle of Chateau La Mission Haut Brion Graves 1980. Do'es anyone know how much it's worth

Replies

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Reply by dmcker, Aug 29, 2009.

How has it been stored, where, at what temperature over the past 25 years?

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Reply by dmcker, Aug 29, 2009.

And how high is the level of wine in the bottle, what is the condition of the cap (give it a very gentle twist--does it spin around easily?), label, etc.?

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Reply by lferrett, Aug 29, 2009.

It has been stored in a dark basement with an average temperature of 50 degrees.
3/4 of an inch below the cork. The condition of the cap is excellant. It did no spin at all.

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Reply by dmcker, Aug 29, 2009.

Another question: do you know the provenance, i.e. how did it get from Pessac-Leognan to that dark basement, and when?

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Reply by lferrett, Aug 29, 2009.

It was basically put in a wine rack from the day it was bought.

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Reply by dmcker, Aug 29, 2009.

But bought where, from whom?

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Reply by dmcker, Aug 29, 2009.

The 1980 vintage is generally recognized as being the worst for reds from Bordeaux between 1977 and 1984, which are considered even worse. '82 was far and away the best during that period, though '83 does have some surprising standouts. Of the '80s, I've heard several people say La Mission was one of the best.

That being said, it will command only a fraction of the respect given an '82. A very quick and dirty search just now showed one place in San Diego offering the '80 for $125 and another couple in France for around 150 Euros. I have not done business with any of these vendors, and would be very careful approaching the purchase of such a bottle.

The key element in the equation, besides the winery and the vintage, is the bottle's provenance and condition, and beyond that the trust that a buyer can have in the seller. If you are planning to sell the bottle you'll need to address any knowledgeable buyer's concerns in this area. If you are looking for a valuation for insurance purposes, I'm sure the discussions with the insurance company will get interesting.

La Mission Haut Brion is one of my favorite wineries anywhere. Last year I donated a bottle of the '59 to a charity auction, and the gavel fell on a price of approximately $2,250. But that was for a very different, much older vintage. And the auction people and purchaser knew well its provenance and storage conditions. I'm sure there are bottles of that vintage now that go for even higher prices, though that is a specialized, rarified market.

That's another thing, too. Aged, fine wines aren't the most 'liquid' of markets. It's not always easy to find the right buyer. Have you also considered drinking the bottle, on a suitably special occasion, with the right person or people?

Anyway, just a few thoughts off the top of my head. Good luck with the bottle, and it would be interesting to hear how you dispose of it.

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Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Aug 30, 2009.

I would say that's about right.


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