Selecting wines for your collection

The wine collection may consist of one or several bottles or a whole a wine cellar. It all depends on the financial capacity of the collector. Although as a rule, the wines of the same brand are purchased by boxes (box of six bottles, where each bottle is 0.75 liters). Especially popular with collectors of fine wines is a 1.5-liter bottle (the so-called "magnum"), the wine of very high quality and only the best years is poured in this bottles.

Of course, not every wine, even if it is French, can be included in the collection. First of all, a collector's wine have to be fortified (which means, aged in barrels and of a high quality, made from the certain varieties of grapes, that are grown in certain wine-growing areas, with special technology). This wine - after soaking in a vat or a tank - is further aged in the bottle for not less than two years. With the proper care, red wines can be stored up to a hundred years, and sometimes even longer. However, now the main objects of investment for a wine collector are the wines under the age of thirty years.

wine chateau latourThere are no "typical" wine collections - each one of them is unique. The experienced wine collector or the one, who is knowledgeable in this matter at least in general terms, is always able to pick up the objects of his future investments in the literal sense of the word 'taste'.

The main part of the collection (as synonymous with the "good wine" has always been the French wine, and the most expensive and prestigious wines of France, of course, come from Bordeaux) can be founded by the representatives of the Red Bordeaux, belonging to the category "First Growths". The genealogy of the Bordeaux wines can be traced to 1855, when in the Medoc area there was made their first classification. At that time there were identified the leaders, that remain the same prestigious today. This is a great Chateau (First Growths): "Chateau Latour", "Chateau Lafite Rothschild", "Chateau Mouton-Rothschild", "Chateau Haut Brion" and "Chateau Margaux". For example, "Chateau Mouton-Rothschild" from the "great harvest" 1982, that has received in many wine ratings, the highest score of one hundred points, by today is the dream of every collector.

Elite wines from Bordeaux remain fresh and vigorous at the age of forty and even eighty, and sometimes - hundred years! A bottle of "Chateau Lafite Rothschild" (harvest 1784!) was sold in 2000 at the auction in London for more than twenty four thousand GBP. The best French wines are also classified "Grand Cru". This inscription is most often placed on the label after the name of the vineyard.


The second echelon of the collection can be a red wines from Burgundy (usually of the category "Dom de la Romanee-Conti"). Wine collection "Domaine de la Romanee-Conti", which consists of "Romanee-Conti" `96, "La Tache"` 96, "Richebourg" `96, "Grands-Echezeaux" `96, "Romane` e-Saint-Vivant" `96, "Echezeaux" `95 (six "magnum" bottles of each wine) was sold in autumn 2000 at the auction in New York for almost fifty two thousand dollars. As a best producers of Burgundy were recognized "Ramonet", "Leroy" and "Fairelry".

In the second echelon of the wine collection can also enter the Red Bordeaux wines of category "Second Growths" (meaning names as: "Brane-Cantenac", "Leoville", "Pichon", "Montrose", "Cos d `Estournel", "Gruaud-Larose" and others).


romanee conti wine


As the third component of the wine collection, many experts recommend Italian wines, which only twenty years ago entered a collector's elite and are now gradually gaining attractiveness as an investment. The great Italian wines are presented in the category DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita). For the wines of this category there must be present on the neck of a bottle a pale pink ribbon - a certificate with letters DOCG. Among the Western collectors there are very popular Italian wines of the categories: "Super Tuscan" (classification IGT), "Barolo", "Brunello di Montalcino". At the auctions in the USA the red Italian wine "Tignanello" (harvest 1990) in the beginning of 2002 was worth an average of eighteen hundred dollars for a dozen. Now it's price is about twenty two hundred dollars. During this year the price for a dozen bottles of another Italian wine - "Sassicaia" (harvest 1990) - rose up from thirty four hundred dollars to forty hundreds.
Quite big investment attractiveness have the wines of Portugal, the traditional "Porto". Especially valuable are the so-called "vintage" wines, grapes for which were collected in a particularly good years, recognized as such by most manufacturers. The best Portuguese producers of collectible "Porto": "Quinta do Noval Nacional", "Cockburn", "Fonseca", "Dow", "Croft" and "Graham".
Prices for the vintage wines are very often depending on a fashion. For example, among the investors are now fashionable Italian wines, wines of the New World (Chile, Argentina), the Australian wines. A few years ago in the market there were excellent Tuscan wines (Italy, harvest 1997) and they were quickly snapped up by the private collectors. Now the market value for the bottle of this wine is twice bigger.


tignanello wine


When selecting wines for your collection, your choice can be based on the estimates of a wine, made in a given year, that is made by the wine experts. The most authoritative for the wine collectors all over the world are the reviews of Robert Parker and the magazine "Wine Spectator". Wine experts put down some points (of a hundred point scale) for each wine of a certain brand - the wine ratings are based on this points. A potential investor may examine the reviews of wine experts on the wines, that are interesting for him, and get oriented on the composition of his collection.
Experts are warning, that making the selection for your collection of the luxury brands of wines from 40s of the last century, you must show the great care and caution, because the counterfeiting is widely distributed on the market. In short, the collection of wine independently purchased by investor through the Internet, may end up being the "cat in a bag", and in the same time it will not necessarily be a fake. The point is, that no one in this case can ensure the proper conditions of storage and transportation of such a capricious item.


The market of wine collections is influenced by both: seasonal and subjective (the sale of a large batch of a certain brand of collectible wine), and general economic factors. For example, the Asian crisis had a strong influence on the secondary wine market. At that time the prices for many wines have fallen. Investors began to actively "dump" their collections on the market, there appeared not very good wines (the so-called "travelers" - wines, that are often transported from one place to another). However, over time the value of the vintage wines was recovered and again began to grow.
There is a special Bordeaux Index (, which is tracking the average market prices for the prestigious wines from the region of Bordeaux. The index is calculated basing on the value of different "Chateau" wines, primarily from 1982, 1985, 1986, 1990 and 1995. As a perfect wine inventory solution can be used wine inventory software.

Generally the market of collectible wines depends on the overall economic situation. When the global economy is on the rise, people start to invest in the luxury items, one of the components of which are also the expensive wines. If the economical prognosis is negative, wines are in a smaller demand between investors. Choosing the wine collection is a very subjective thing. Your support in this case will be a good consultant on wines. A reliable and professionally competent in this matters consultant will easily and safely guide the investor in the world of classic French Chateau and temperamental Italian wines.




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