La Tache gone bad

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Rebecca J
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La Tache gone bad

#1 Post by Rebecca J » September 26th, 2017, 4:47 pm

Hello. I am new to wine and inherited a large collection from an Uncle. I know he stored these carefully, but wonder if these bottles of La Tache are too far gone. I am no expert on wine and have limited storage room. If they are not worth keeping, I could use the space for different bottles. Thank you for your thoughts. I am trying to add pictures, but cannot figure out how to do that. They are both 1991 and the fill is to the neck. I will add pictures as soon as I can. Thank again.
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#2 Post by Victor Hong » September 26th, 2017, 4:59 pm

They may be quite good, if stored well during those years. Neck fills are hard to visualize, as Burgundy bottles tend not to have the same shoulders as Bordeaux bottles do.

Please accept my condolences for your uncle. Too bad that he did not drink them.
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#3 Post by ky1em!ttskus » September 26th, 2017, 5:04 pm

Don't throw them away. They are worth $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.

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#4 Post by Marcus Dean » September 26th, 2017, 5:11 pm

Sorry for your loss,
open a bottle, make sure you use appropriate glassware, the wine may take a little while to wake up in your glass, but if it isnt faulty (corked etc) it will be a great wine.
on the flipside those bottles are quite valuable.

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#5 Post by Peter Hirsch » September 26th, 2017, 5:12 pm

$4k per bottle at most recent auction offered side price.

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#6 Post by Rebecca J » September 26th, 2017, 5:19 pm

Thank you for the condolences and the information. I made the assumption they must be bad, but I guess that might not be true. He also has some 1989 Chateau Haut Brions and 1990 Haut Brions. Stored well. Those have nice fills but the labels are dirty. We adopted his pets after he passed, and they need some serious vet care. I was thinking that if I had to, selling some of the bottles may help with that. I want them to be well cared for. I really appreciate everyones' thoughts.
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#7 Post by Ralph George » September 26th, 2017, 5:28 pm

The important questions is what exactly do you think "stored well" means Rebecca?

Interesting that the only names mentioned are Haut Brion and La Tache, particularly only "La Tache" and no other wording from the label.

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#8 Post by Rebecca J » September 26th, 2017, 5:40 pm

The top says Monopole 1991 and under La Tache it says Appelation La Tache Controlee. I can put more detail in, but I was just asking a question about wine being bad. It could be about any bottle . I guess I should have asked at what point is. a fill level indicative of a bad bottle?. I guess I should have been more specific. My Uncle had a very nice wine cooler. He kept the temp. in the fifties. We have them stored in a wine cooler at our house and also keep the temp in the fifties. If that is wrong, then I guess they were not stored well. We have about 100 other bottles, but many are lower end wines and I am not as worried about messing those up. I'm sorry if it something came across offensive or questionable to you Mr. George. I didn't mean for it to be like that.
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#9 Post by R. Frankel » September 26th, 2017, 5:52 pm

These are very valuable bottles. They are some of the top names in wine, and if stored well (and as you describe would count as being stored well) would last for many more decades.

How valuable? On the order of $1000 a bottle for the Haut Brions and many thousands per bottle for the La Tache. Even if imperfect, they are still valuable. Really.

I strongly recommend that you work with a reputable wine shop that does wine auctions and they will evaluate the wine and give you a solid estimate of the value. If you tell us what city/region of the USA you are in, folks here can give you some recommendations. My guess is you've already gotten some private messages offering assistance, but you probably want to ignore those and go work with a serious high end retailer.

If your bottles are fakes, the retailers will help figure that out too.
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#10 Post by jbray23 » September 26th, 2017, 5:53 pm

Your uncle was a savvy collector, sell them if you need but keep a couple to celebrate important occasions, the wines you listed are special occasion bottles and would be a good way to remember and pay tribute to your uncles memory.
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#11 Post by Rebecca J » September 26th, 2017, 6:10 pm

Thank you so much for the information. It is so helpful. I am in Atlanta GA.
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#12 Post by Ralph George » September 26th, 2017, 6:25 pm

Thanks for the additional information!

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#13 Post by Michae1 P0wers » September 27th, 2017, 9:42 am

Rebecca, though you have no reason to know this, one of the reasons people are skeptical of these wines is that, in recent years, counterfeiting of very high end wines has become widespread. The wine you speak of, La Tache, and in fact all the wines of Domaine de Romanee Conti, are amongst the most common targets for forgery. I'd suggest you speak to a reputable auction house as these are high dollar wines and can be authenticated there. You will pay a commission on the sale, but they can also get you top dollar. The '89 and '90 Haut Brion are no slouches, if not in the same league as the LT.

You can also take Rich's advice and use a local retailer, but make sure it is someone very trustworthy. Maybe get multiple opinions.

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#14 Post by Rebecca J » September 27th, 2017, 10:05 am

Thank you Michael. I had no idea wines were counterfeited. Unbelievable what people won't do!
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#15 Post by Bdklein » September 27th, 2017, 10:06 am

Rebecca J wrote:Thank you for the condolences and the information. I made the assumption they must be bad, but I guess that might not be true. He also has some 1989 Chateau Haut Brions and 1990 Haut Brions. Stored well. Those have nice fills but the labels are dirty. We adopted his pets after he passed, and they need some serious vet care. I was thinking that if I had to, selling some of the bottles may help with that. I want them to be well cared for. I really appreciate everyones' thoughts.
Get rid of the animals and keep the wine!!
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#16 Post by Drew Goin » September 27th, 2017, 10:06 am

I thought you could sell them to the owner of VICE magazine. ;)

"The first sip of the grand cru burgundy changed his life. 'I had it, and I thought, This is a real problem,' he says. So he endeavored to not only drink it, but drink it all. 'I’ve bought the majority of 2008 Romanée-Conti in America,' he says. '2008 Romanée-Conti used to sell at auction for $4,000 a bottle. Now it’s probably $40,000 a bottle because there isn’t any left. I have maybe the last six bottles in the world.' (A cursory scan of internet wine purveyors reveals several bottles available for under $15,000.)"

http://en.mogaznews.com/Fashion/151254

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#17 Post by R@y.Tupp@+sch » September 27th, 2017, 10:28 am

Michae1 P0wers wrote: I'd suggest you speak to a reputable auction house as these are high dollar wines and can be authenticated there. You will pay a commission on the sale, but they can also get you top dollar. The '89 and '90 Haut Brion are no slouches, if not in the same league as the LT.
Rebecca,

If you consign those wines with an auction house you will easily be able to negotiate a zero seller's fee and pay no commission.
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#18 Post by Brandon R » September 27th, 2017, 10:34 am

I hate to be a jerk, but a person who is, "new to wine" doesn't usually refer to a bottle as, "La Tache." That's how someone who is familiar with wine would likely refer to them. Same for, "Haut Brion." Usually, true newbies refer to the entire name and really, truly don't know what they have. Same with referring to the, "fill into the neck." This is spoken like someone who knows wine. I just think this smells odd. I'm sure I'll get flamed here, but I would be skeptical as heck.
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#19 Post by KatrinaBI » September 27th, 2017, 10:44 am

Brandon R wrote:I hate to be a jerk, but a person who is, "new to wine" doesn't usually refer to a bottle as, "La Tache." That's how someone who is familiar with wine would likely refer to them. Same for, "Haut Brion." Usually, true newbies refer to the entire name and really, truly don't know what they have. Same with referring to the, "fill into the neck." This is spoken like someone who knows wine. I just think this smells odd. I'm sure I'll get flamed here, but I would be skeptical as heck.
Agree with you. Skeptical also.

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#20 Post by Ralph George » September 27th, 2017, 11:20 am

KatrinaBI wrote:
Brandon R wrote:I hate to be a jerk, but a person who is, "new to wine" doesn't usually refer to a bottle as, "La Tache." That's how someone who is familiar with wine would likely refer to them. Same for, "Haut Brion." Usually, true newbies refer to the entire name and really, truly don't know what they have. Same with referring to the, "fill into the neck." This is spoken like someone who knows wine. I just think this smells odd. I'm sure I'll get flamed here, but I would be skeptical as heck.
Agree with you. Skeptical also.
Right there with you both - hence, the reason for my post upthread asking why only "La Tache" and "Haut Brion" were mentioned.

Now I suppose the next post from the OP will be about how she already did some research and was getting familiar with terminology.

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#21 Post by Anton D » September 27th, 2017, 11:39 am

Well, thinking on it...not making any statement regarding the veracity of the OP's claim...

If you knew nothing about wine and came across this, how would you name it for the purpose of asking questions?

Image
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#22 Post by Anton D » September 27th, 2017, 11:41 am

How would someone describe this if they didn't know wine?

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#23 Post by Anton D » September 27th, 2017, 11:41 am

I don't mean to pee on any skeptics' parade, just wondering how we would expect the names to be presented.
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#24 Post by Mike Evans » September 27th, 2017, 11:44 am

Rebecca, your post has generated some suspicion here because La Tache is very expensive wine made in relatively small quantities by one of the world's most renowned wineries for a long time so there is great demand for it by collectors. That demand also attracts counterfeiters and some participants here played important roles in the exposure of convicted counterfeiter Rudy Kurniawan. That can lead some here to be very (and sometimes overly) sensitive and suspicious when a new poster appears with questions about the kinds of wines that are frequently the subject of fraud, which in turn can make this seem like an unfriendly and unwelcoming place.

Given the quality and value of the wines you inherited, I would suggest that you contact a reputable auction house if you want to sell them. It sounds like the kind of collection that would be of interest to them and it makes it less likely that someone will seek to take advantage of you. Hart Davis Hart is Chicago is well regarded and I've had good experiences as a buyer with Heritage Auctions.

As to your question about the fill level. In a sloped Burgundy bottle like La Tache, the fill is measured by the distance between the bottom of the cork and the level of the wine, and the greater the distance, the more of a problem it may be, depending on the age of the wine. If the bottle has shoulders, like the Haut Brions, any fill in the neck for a 25+ year old wine is unlikely to be a problem.

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#25 Post by Brandon R » September 27th, 2017, 11:50 am

Good post, Mike.
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#26 Post by Mike Evans » September 27th, 2017, 11:56 am

The suspicion seems a bit much here. The OP seems to know enough to recognize the names of some of the better wines, but just had questions about how to evaluate the condition of the bottles. If someone has limited experience actually drinking older wines or buying at auction, I'm not surprised that the person wouldn't have a good sense of what level of ullage is a problem, and this seems like a logical place to ask the question.

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#27 Post by Ian Dorin » September 27th, 2017, 12:27 pm

Mike Evans wrote:Rebecca, your post has generated some suspicion here because La Tache is very expensive wine made in relatively small quantities by one of the world's most renowned wineries for a long time so there is great demand for it by collectors. That demand also attracts counterfeiters and some participants here played important roles in the exposure of convicted counterfeiter Rudy Kurniawan. That can lead some here to be very (and sometimes overly) sensitive and suspicious when a new poster appears with questions about the kinds of wines that are frequently the subject of fraud, which in turn can make this seem like an unfriendly and unwelcoming place.

Given the quality and value of the wines you inherited, I would suggest that you contact a reputable auction house if you want to sell them. It sounds like the kind of collection that would be of interest to them and it makes it less likely that someone will seek to take advantage of you. Hart Davis Hart is Chicago is well regarded and I've had good experiences as a buyer with Heritage Auctions.

As to your question about the fill level. In a sloped Burgundy bottle like La Tache, the fill is measured by the distance between the bottom of the cork and the level of the wine, and the greater the distance, the more of a problem it may be, depending on the age of the wine. If the bottle has shoulders, like the Haut Brions, any fill in the neck for a 25+ year old wine is unlikely to be a problem.
Thanks Mike!
I actually emailed Rebecca a couple of days ago.
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#28 Post by Rebecca J » September 27th, 2017, 12:36 pm

Thank you for the information Mike, I will contact an auction house. Probably more for an appraisal and a professional opinion, as I cannot look at something and tell if it's good or not. Sorry for the suspicion, I kind of understand in light of Mike's comments about fakes. I collect glass art and if someone had sold fakes around I would be very suspicious as well. However, What point is there to saying you don't know about something when you do? I'm not sure how else to ask a question or try and find answers. I also don't think that I offered to sell to anyone. I just wanted to know what we had, if it was good, and how to find that out in case we HAD to sell. You are all certainly entitled to your opinions, but I didn't realize this would upset people. I'm sorry for that. And thank you Mike for trying to clarify.
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#29 Post by c fu » September 27th, 2017, 12:50 pm

KatrinaBI wrote:
Brandon R wrote:I hate to be a jerk, but a person who is, "new to wine" doesn't usually refer to a bottle as, "La Tache." That's how someone who is familiar with wine would likely refer to them. Same for, "Haut Brion." Usually, true newbies refer to the entire name and really, truly don't know what they have. Same with referring to the, "fill into the neck." This is spoken like someone who knows wine. I just think this smells odd. I'm sure I'll get flamed here, but I would be skeptical as heck.
Agree with you. Skeptical also.
Disagree very very strongly. If you don’t know French labels and see a la tache bottle, you’d call it a la tache cause it’s in huge bold letterings. More prominent than anything else on the label
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#30 Post by KatrinaBI » September 27th, 2017, 12:57 pm

c fu wrote:
KatrinaBI wrote:
Brandon R wrote:I hate to be a jerk, but a person who is, "new to wine" doesn't usually refer to a bottle as, "La Tache." That's how someone who is familiar with wine would likely refer to them. Same for, "Haut Brion." Usually, true newbies refer to the entire name and really, truly don't know what they have. Same with referring to the, "fill into the neck." This is spoken like someone who knows wine. I just think this smells odd. I'm sure I'll get flamed here, but I would be skeptical as heck.
Agree with you. Skeptical also.
Disagree very very strongly. If you don’t know French labels and see a la tache bottle, you’d call it a la tache cause it’s in huge bold letterings. More prominent than anything else on the label
Yes, you are probably right.

Irrespective of details, a poster asking how she can sell her deceased uncle's collection of La Tache and Haut-Brion so that she can buy health care for that same deceased uncle's animals is bound to raise a skeptical eyebrow or two. Or maybe not. Wine collectors are very intelligent as a group after all. newhere

In any event, seems like Rebecca is in contact with auction house and has given further details here so skepticism likely unwarranted in this instance.
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#31 Post by Paul Jaouen » September 27th, 2017, 12:58 pm

Rebecca J wrote: You are all certainly entitled to your opinions, but I didn't realize this would upset people.
A lot of people here get easily upset even when they are not affected. [rofl.gif]

Talk to Ian Dorin. He's a good guy that can help vouch for their authenticity and can help you sell them.
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#32 Post by AndrewH » September 27th, 2017, 12:59 pm

Mike Evans wrote:The suspicion seems a bit much here. The OP seems to know enough to recognize the names of some of the better wines, but just had questions about how to evaluate the condition of the bottles. If someone has limited experience actually drinking older wines or buying at auction, I'm not surprised that the person wouldn't have a good sense of what level of ullage is a problem, and this seems like a logical place to ask the question.
Besides, unless OP is selling directly to someone on this board, what does it matter? No auction house is going to authenticate wine based on a few chat board posts saying "lucky you - those are valuable wines".

Why not take OP at face value, provide her with the info that these bottles, unless fake, are likely valuable and, unless she wants to drink them, could likely sell them through a reputable seller/auctioneer for a lot of money? After that, let her and her selected seller deal with authenticity issues. And if she comes back here and tells us "I'm bummed - auctioneer told me they're all fakes" then we can refer her to the Rudy thread.
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#33 Post by Ethan H » September 27th, 2017, 2:01 pm

AndrewH wrote:No auction house is going to authenticate wine based on a few chat board posts saying "lucky you - those are valuable wines".
I agree, we should let the OP contact some auction houses, and then ask her what they say. I don't think any of us want to imply more ill will on the part of the OP. Who among us wouldn't be pleased to be the conduit from a treasured cellar to a connoisseur's palate?
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#34 Post by Anton D » September 27th, 2017, 2:20 pm

c fu wrote:If you don’t know French labels and see a la tache bottle, you’d call it a la tache cause it’s in huge bold letterings. More prominent than anything else on the label
This.
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#35 Post by Chris Seiber » September 27th, 2017, 4:17 pm

While we can each have our hunches about these bottles, unless / until Rebecca tries to sell them to anyone here, she really hasn't done anything suspicious. Why would a counterfeiter or crook come ask these kinds of questions here?

Best wishes to you, Rebecca, whatever the outcome with the bottles. 89 Haut Brion is probably the best wine I've ever had, it's an all time classic. If you can save one of those for yourself, do so.

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#36 Post by Ralph George » September 27th, 2017, 4:52 pm

Chris Seiber wrote: Why would a counterfeiter or crook come ask these kinds of questions here?
To play devil's advocate, there are a couple points to be made:

1) If the OP was a scammer, he or she could be acting naive in hopes of hooking a few fish privately.

2) The OP could be a troll.

I'm not saying either is true, but a small dose of skepticism keeps you from getting bilked if a scam is afoot.

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#37 Post by robert creth » September 27th, 2017, 4:58 pm

Brandon R wrote:I hate to be a jerk, but a person who is, "new to wine" doesn't usually refer to a bottle as, "La Tache." That's how someone who is familiar with wine would likely refer to them. Same for, "Haut Brion." Usually, true newbies refer to the entire name and really, truly don't know what they have. Same with referring to the, "fill into the neck." This is spoken like someone who knows wine. I just think this smells odd. I'm sure I'll get flamed here, but I would be skeptical as heck.
No flaming here as I thought the same thing. Just a sceptic.

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#38 Post by robert creth » September 27th, 2017, 5:01 pm

robert creth wrote:
Brandon R wrote:I hate to be a jerk, but a person who is, "new to wine" doesn't usually refer to a bottle as, "La Tache." That's how someone who is familiar with wine would likely refer to them. Same for, "Haut Brion." Usually, true newbies refer to the entire name and really, truly don't know what they have. Same with referring to the, "fill into the neck." This is spoken like someone who knows wine. I just think this smells odd. I'm sure I'll get flamed here, but I would be skeptical as heck.
No flaming here as I thought the same thing. Just a skeptic.

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#39 Post by NoahR » September 27th, 2017, 5:17 pm

I would chug these, fridge-cold and preferably with pizza. The faster you drink, the better, otherwise the magic will dissipate. And if you dont like the La Tache, just blend it with the Haut Brion - it's an acquired taste.
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#40 Post by Stan Y. » September 27th, 2017, 5:32 pm

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S. Y @ t € s

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#41 Post by George Chadwick » September 27th, 2017, 5:40 pm

Ralph George wrote:
Chris Seiber wrote: Why would a counterfeiter or crook come ask these kinds of questions here?
To play devil's advocate, there are a couple points to be made:

1) If the OP was a scammer, he or she could be acting naive in hopes of hooking a few fish privately.

2) The OP could be a troll.

I'm not saying either is true, but a small dose of skepticism keeps you from getting bilked if a scam is afoot.
I'm with Ralph.
I'm not "upset." The whole tone is off. I'm not criticizing Rebecca the person. I'm just looking at words on a page.

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#42 Post by Curt Wood » September 27th, 2017, 7:50 pm

Not sure and can't find it but wasn't there a thread similar to this a few years ago? I seem to remember someone posting about rare wines they found/or were left to them by someone.

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#43 Post by alan weinberg » September 27th, 2017, 7:53 pm

How were the bottles stored? Temp, humidity, etc.

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#44 Post by Michael Martin » September 27th, 2017, 7:54 pm

Curt Wood wrote:Not sure and can't find it but wasn't there a thread similar to this a few years ago? I seem to remember someone posting about rare wines they found/or were left to them by someone.

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La Tache gone bad

#45 Post by Chris Seiber » September 27th, 2017, 9:25 pm

Michael Martin wrote:
Curt Wood wrote:Not sure and can't find it but wasn't there a thread similar to this a few years ago? I seem to remember someone posting about rare wines they found/or were left to them by someone.

Cheers,
Curt
viewtopic.php?f=7&t=130506&hilit=Inherited#p2064064
There have been a few of these over the years. I prefer to assume they're sincere until there is reason to think otherwise, which I have not seen yet in this instance. But I understand other people are guarded.

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La Tache gone bad

#46 Post by Fred C » September 27th, 2017, 10:07 pm

Michael Martin wrote:
Curt Wood wrote:Not sure and can't find it but wasn't there a thread similar to this a few years ago? I seem to remember someone posting about rare wines they found/or were left to them by someone.

Cheers,
Curt
viewtopic.php?f=7&t=130506&hilit=Inherited#p2064064
Also color me skeptical given the similarities to this previous thread. Maybe the mods should make it easier to post pictures on this site? ;)
Ch!3n

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Scott Brunson
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La Tache gone bad

#47 Post by Scott Brunson » September 28th, 2017, 3:35 am

Great [berserker.gif] thread, but needs more drift.
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Markus S
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La Tache gone bad

#48 Post by Markus S » September 28th, 2017, 4:48 am

Scott Brunson wrote:Great [berserker.gif] thread, but needs more drift.
Okay, why has the wine "gone bad" as the poster says? Did it somehow join a gang, become a terrorist, or commit adultery?? [drinkers.gif] How's that for drift?!
$ _ € ® e . k @

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Marc Hauser
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La Tache gone bad

#49 Post by Marc Hauser » September 28th, 2017, 4:53 am

I'm skeptical that so many people are skeptical. Perhaps it's a conspiracy?
ITB-ish (unfrozen caveman cannabis lawyer and erstwhile wine lawyer)

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Paul Jaouen
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La Tache gone bad

#50 Post by Paul Jaouen » September 28th, 2017, 5:37 am

alan weinberg wrote:How were the bottles stored? Temp, humidity, etc.
Post #8
Best,
Paul Jaouen

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