A rare exception….

Posted in Uncategorized on October 30, 2014 by Lionel

A regularly held belief is that as fine wine auctioneers we must spend our whole time drinking the good stuff. In reality this is not true (I probably manage a bottle a week if I’m lucky!). Yesterday was a rare and (extremely pleasant) exception as Chris and I were being treated to lunch at 28-50 by a very generous client.

I arrived to find Graham and Xavier (co-owner and founder of the restaurant) tucking in to a bottle of the sublime 1982 Chevalier Montrachet from Bouchard. This is the oldest white Burgundy I’ve ever tasted and one of the finest. The nose was incredible – loaded with melted butter, a touch of hazelnut and spice. The wine possessed amazing precision too and had a firm acid backbone which must have made it pretty challenging in its youth! It made a great pairing with my starter of squid, cauliflower puree and curry oil.

To follow we had a pair of wines which were bought via a BfW sale a couple of months ago – a 1982 La Mission Haut Brion and its younger cousin the 1990 Haut Brion.  Sadly the 1982 was showing its age and creaked a little (though this was probably partly because we were comparing it with the ’90 – it was still a really fine glass of wine!). The 1990 was stupendous and crackled with life and energy – lots of cedar and black fruit on the nose – a real demonstration of why the Chateau is held in such high esteem.

If the treats we’d enjoyed so far were not enough a bottle of Graham’s 1994 Vintage port rounded things off. This was so vibrant and young that it was hard to believe we were drinking a 20 year old wine. Whilst not a crime to drink it now if I had any in the cellar  I’d probably give it another 5 years or 24 hours in a decanter.

I could go on to write about the wine trade dinner I rolled on to afterwards but frankly that would just make me look greedy. I’ll simply say that Prum’s 2001 Wehlener Sonnenuhr Auslese was everything one might hope for from one of Germany’s finest producers and that a 1978 Knudsen Erath Yamhill County Pinot Noir was a revelation – everyone was guessing early ’90s Burgundy!

Knudsen

Bidding ending soon – The September Series 2014: Fine Wine, Port, Champagne & Spirits

Posted in Upcoming sales on September 22, 2014 by Lionel

Our September Series auction offers you the chance to bid on a wealth of excellent wines. With timed auctions ending over a twelve day period, the sale is filled with exciting and hard to find wines from all corners of the globe alongside some rare and interesting spirits in a variety of formats.

Bidding will close on a lot by lot basis from tomorrow Tuesday 23rd September until Saturday 4th October 2014

The full catalogue for this sale can be found here.

Bidding ends as follows:

Tuesday 23rd September:
Lot 1 – 11: Armagnac and Cognac
Lot 12 – 31: Brandy and other spirits
Lot 32 – 42: Whisky
Lot 43 – 58: Port

Champagne Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame 1995 2 bts Est. £160-200

Wednesday 24th September:
Lot 59 – 60: Port
Lot 61 – 62: Sherry and Madeira
Lot 63 – 85: Champagne and Sparkling wines
Lot 86 – 99: Sweet Dessert Wine
Lot 100 – 101: White Bordeaux
Lot 102 – 116: Red Bordeaux

Thursday 25th September:
Lot 117 – 174: Red Bordeaux


Friday 26th September:

Lot 175 – 190: Red Bordeaux
Lot 191 – 202: White Burgundy
Lot 203 – 232: Red Burgundy


Saturday 27th September:

Lot 233 – 252: Red Burgundy
Lot 253 – 260: Rhone
Lot 261 – 290: Spain
Chateauneuf du Pape Rouge 1994 Vieux Telegraphe 12 bts Est. £160-200
Sunday 28th September:
Lot 291 – 311: Spain
Lot 312 – 324: Portugal
Lot 325 – 348: Italy

Monday 29th September:

Lot 349 – 350: Italy
Lot 351 – 364: Germany, Austria and Alsace
Lot 365 – 371: Northern Rhone
Lot 372 – 393: Southern Rhone
Lot 394 – 404: South West France
Lot 405 – 406: French Country Wines

Tuesday 30th September:
Lot 407 – 411: French Country Wines
Lot 412 – 416: Mixed lots
Lot 417: Chile
Lot 418 – 420: New Zealand
Lot 421 – 464: Australia

Wednesday 1st October:
Lot 465 – 522: Australia

Thursday 2nd October:
Lot 523 – 580: Australia

Friday 3rd October:
Lot 581 – 638: Australia

Saturday 4th October:

Lot 639 – 675: Australia

More wine fraud appears…!

Posted in Uncategorized on May 12, 2014 by Lionel

The recent trial of Rudy Kurniawan has brought the problems of fraud in the world of wine in to the spotlight. It’s well documented how, amongst other tricks, old bottles were refilled and old wines were relabelled as rare and elusive gems such as Domaine de la Romanee Conti 1945 (a wine of which there were likely only a few hundred bottles produced).

Today sees another case rear it’s ugly head (Jancis Robinson gives a nice summary on her site. For those who want a graphic depiction see here though. I have given an approximate translation below. A timely reminder (as though one were needed) to all of us in the business that one can never be too careful.

Vinfusk for millions : The methods by which a Danish couple bamboozled the rich

A scratch in the prestigious label or a little discoloration from years of storage of the valuable wine bottle in an exclusive wine cellar.

These are some of the many telltale characteristics wine writers René Langdahl Jorgensen and André Devald from the magazine “Gastro ” used to identify the multi-million wine fraud committed by the Danish couple Malene Meisner and René Dehn (formerly Rehné Thomsen ).

The detective work has also teamed up with a number of international “wine detectives” who have helped to reveal other scammers in the wine world .

According to the latest edition of “Gastro”, the Danish couple for several years cheated international wine connoisseurs. This was done by pouring cheap new wine into old cheap and expensive wine bottles with attractive labels and then recorking them.

They seem almost priceless wine bottles were next with much devotion served by fashionable wine tastings in an exclusive wine club for vinverdenens elite . Guests had paid dearly for the privilege to taste the rare drops, and the situation had none of the expectant varietals courage or ability to point out that the opskænkede wine was forged.

The following images are some of the bottles, according to ” Gastro” detection miraculously and supernaturally have been drunk several times on different occasions :


This prestigious Burgundy from the world’s most expensive wine producer Domaine de la Romanee-Conti in the year 1937 served the Danish couple, both in France in December 2012 and in London in April 2013. During the most recent serving the label torn here and there to remove revealing stains, yet it is recognizable.

The wine would normally cost around 75,000 per. bottle.

Also, another coveted Burgundy from the same manufacturer – Richebourg 1945 – is being offered up both in Burgundy in December 2012 and in april2013 in London. The wine is so rare that it can be priced. Despite some extra scratches on the label in London reveals, among other conspicuous discoloration that is the same bottle.

A hundedyr La Tache 1947 costs at auction almost 50,000 It opened the Danish couple 1 August evening in 2012 on their balcony and showed off afterwards with it on twitter. Burgundy pearl with the same folds and spots on the label was, however, a few months later reused for the couple’s expensive paying guests in France.

Also noble dessert wine could miraculously served several times from the same animal bottle. This d’Yquem 1929 opened both in Basel in March 2012 and eight months later in Burgundy. The deposited precipitate and the label’s distinctive go again.
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Cult-Bourgognen Cros Parantoux 1988 stand up against the 50,000 bottle. Therefore, there may not be much to say to the couple Meisner and Dehn fake to enjoy the same bottle three times in six months: in July 2012 in Burgundy, in October 2012 in Basel and again in Burgundy in December 2012.

Also Pomerol wines can be drunk again and again. This Lafleur 1947 to a value of at least 30,000 DKK serves pair both March 2013 in Zurich and the next month in Basel, as there has been poured new wine into old bottles.

A small, dark mark months’ label indicates that this bottle drink both Sølyst in North Zealand in September 2009 and in Burgundy in December 2012. Had it been a real Château Margaux 1900, the price would be around £ 80,000, but in this case, bottle from a start was a Belgian forgery, the magazine gastros detective work.

Chateau Latour is undoubtedly a “grand vin”. Not least in the Bordeaux phantom vintage 1961. But this bottle (auction price usually approx. 30,000 million) with the characteristic glue residue under the label reused extensively: in Bern in July 2011, four months later in Hong Kong and in October 2012 in both Basel and since Johannesburg.

A small, dark mark months’ label indicates that this bottle drink both Sølyst in North Zealand in September 2009 and in Burgundy in December 2012. Had it been a real Château Margaux 1900, the price would be around £ 80,000, but in this case, bottle from a start was a Belgian forgery, the magazine gastros detective work.

Revealing stripes down the label indicates that this extremely rare Petrus 1945 (trade price up to 50,000) also is gone again when Rene Dehn and Malene Meisner have played their very own type of flaskeleg. Among other things, it has been drunk at a dinner in Basel in February 2013 although the year was shown in a photo empty.

Petrus was in Denmark known as Peter Brixtoftes favorite wine when there really should be a celebration.

Of all the over 40 great wines by the couple proved to have refilled and served several times, Petrus ’70 perhaps the most daring scam. Not because of the price but because the exact same bottle served throughout twice Neil Martin. The first time in September 2012 by The White Clubs events in Basel, and in February 2013 he gets it back at the launch of his Pomerol-book. Besides being refilled, there is now also scratched a slightly larger hole in the top of the label, but the many other stains and marks testify fraud. It does not prevent Meisner from tweeting that the bottle was “amazing”.

Top producers in the world of wine is to fraudsters despair beginning to feel the precious bottles. For example, this Romanée-Conti in 1997 at a cost of up to DKK 70,000 After being served in September 2012 in Basel is the label carefully disfigured, but the stain months’ on the label forget Meinser and Dehn to remove when the bottle is again tasted three months later in Burgundy. Also, the last digit of the bottle number is tried krasset away, but the bottle is the same: No. 02555th

Last Chance to Bid – Cognac Whisky & Other Rare Spirits.

Posted in Uncategorized on March 19, 2014 by Lionel

Our auction of Cognac, Whisky and other Rare Spirits with Dreweatts and Bloomsbury Auctions kicks off at 12pm tomorrow – 20th March via live.bidforwine.com. From ancient Brandy to esoteric Greek spirits and old Gin we’ve got it all.

In particular we’d like to highlight lots 77-91 which may just be the
bargains of this sale. They’re a chance to taste a bit of history in the
form of a c.1960s bottling of White Horse Fine Old Scotch Whisky. These
days blends get a bad press and often understandably so. Back in the day
though the market for Scotch was much smaller and so some choice drams
got bottled in the liveries of the big blended brands. White Horse was
famed for it’s high Islay Malt content and the bottles we’ve tried from
this batch show why. There’s a strong peat smoke quality to the whisky
reminding us that Caol Ila and Laphroaig are the backbone of the blend.
There’s a malt sweetness too and a pleasant saltiness to the finish. Do
not overlook these lots – they’re under-priced at their low estimate of
£120 per dozen.

Our auctions for February

Posted in Uncategorized on February 18, 2014 by Lionel

After a discrete start to the year Bid for Wine’s feature auctions have stepped up a gear with not one but three great sales this month!

From tomorrow (19th Feb) onwards auctions will be closing in our ‘Valentine’s Day’ sale. Lots on offer range from single bottles of mature Claret through to 2006 Anjou Rouge from Domaine De Salvert and some top-notch Austrian wines.

Additionally we’re pleased to offer part 1 of Fine Wines from a Doctor’s Cellar (see full details here) – lots of mixed cases to lovely Burgundy, Rhone and Claret – and a live sale with Dreweatts and Bloomsbury Auctions on 20th Feb at Donnington Priory, Berkshire and online via live.bidforwine.com.

Happy bidding!

A Happy Christmas and New Year to all our customers

Posted in Uncategorized on December 24, 2013 by Lionel

This year has been a good one for Bid for Wine. We passed the 9000 registered users mark and have now had over 28,000 listings on the site. 8400 consignment sales have passed through the warehouse in the last five years (most of those in the last year and a half) and the rest of those sales have been down to you, our industrious and much loved buyers and sellers through our unique peer to peer system.

This year as you know we have also been running the wine sales for Dreweatts and Bloomsbury Auctions and have sold over £800,000 worth of wines and spirits through the dedicated sales at Donnington Priory.

Many of you have left commission bids and used the BFW live sale site during these auctions – thank you for your bids and your patience! We all hope that you have enjoyed using the site this year and you’ll see some improvements and changes over the next few weeks which we hope will make your experience even better for 2014.

A happy Christmas and New Year to you all.

Lionel, Chris, Jan and the rest of the BfW team.

Bid for Wine’s 5th Birthday Celebrations including a 0% commission offer.

Posted in News on September 25, 2013 by Lionel

This October marks Bid for Wine’s 5th Birthday – an exciting milestone – and we’ve decided to celebrate by offering a 0% commission deal for all sales via the site’s marketplace style ‘direct listings’ during October. This will give you effectively free access to over 9000 buyers around the world!

We started Bid for Wine in 2008 to give people an easy and low cost way to sell excess bottles, wines one will never drink because tastes have changed or cases bought for investment. When we launched Lehman Brothers had just collapsed and the world seemed to be in meltdown so it was an inauspicious start. Since then and over 25,000 lots later we’ve established a successful operation in Singapore and now offer a market leading calendar of sales for clients who want a fully managed service. Additionally our partnership with Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions gives you access to a broad range of complementary auction services across fields ranging from books to fine jewellery.

We want to use our birthday to remind people of Bid for Wine’s core offering though. The site is the UK’s only genuine peer-to-peer venue for wine sales by auction or, alternatively, if you’ve an entire cellar to clear then we can manage the whole process – we’re always very pleased to provide no-obligation valuations for potential consignors (just send us an email).

We’re often asked about the security and provenance issues which might arise from direct sales. Before anyone is allowed to sell with us they’re automatically vetted and if further investigations are needed then we do them. As anyone who uses the site will know feedback is incredibly important too – no-one likes getting a bad reputation. There’s also a real sense of community on the site – lots of our customers in the city will sell to one another and then meet up over lunch to swap their bottles – which means that people know one another and do call us if they see anything potentially untoward. Finally Chris and I are also in regular contact with a range of industry experts including several MWs who we use to advise on older wines and some other queries.

We’ll also be marking the anniversary with some other offers plus a feature auction including a vertical of Jaboulet’s Hermitage La Chapelle from 1971 onwards plus lots of vintage Champagne (Dom Perignon 1995, Pol Roger 1979 and others). Do check here on the blog or join our mailing list for further details.

Full T&Cs for the 0% offer can be found here.

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