US retailers offering German auction wines?

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maureen nelson
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US retailers offering German auction wines?

#1 Post by maureen nelson » September 12th, 2019, 4:35 am

Anyone know of any US retailers that will arrange for bids at the VDP auction and will bring them in for you if you win?

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Dirk Brinkmann
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Re: US retailers offering German auction wines?

#2 Post by Dirk Brinkmann » September 12th, 2019, 4:52 am

Hi Maureen, I am not 100% sure, but the German commissioners should provide this service to you. So you place a bid with them and they charge your for the auction price, commission and shipping.

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Re: US retailers offering German auction wines?

#3 Post by Ethan Abraham » September 12th, 2019, 5:41 am

Flatiron

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Larry Stein
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Re: US retailers offering German auction wines?

#4 Post by Larry Stein » September 12th, 2019, 9:17 pm

DeeVine Wines in SF has for many years. Not sure if they are this year.

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Re: US retailers offering German auction wines?

#5 Post by Tom Reddick » September 12th, 2019, 9:37 pm

DeeVine- but you need to contact them ASAP. The deadline for bids was 9-1 and they are already over in Germany or on their way. They work through Selbach (the commissionaire branch of the company- same ownership as Selbach winery), so if you reach out to Selbach they might be able to help coordinate bids at this point.

SELBACH, J. & H. GmbH & Co. KG

Postfach 1104

D-54492 Zeltingen/Gewerbegebiet

Telefon 0 65 32 – 95 38 0

Fax 0 65 32 – 40 14

selbach.zeltingen@t-online.de
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Re: US retailers offering German auction wines?

#6 Post by Russell Faulkner » September 12th, 2019, 11:42 pm

Are you sure they bid through Selbach? The sit on a different table normally. But that’s not a bulletproof indicator.

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Re: US retailers offering German auction wines?

#7 Post by Tom Reddick » September 13th, 2019, 8:09 am

Yes. I know both parties.
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Robert Dentice
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Re: US retailers offering German auction wines?

#8 Post by Robert Dentice » September 13th, 2019, 8:52 am

Just a curious question? Does it matter who you bid through? Specifically do certain firms who have longer term relationships get any type of preference? Not asking about non-auction factors like counterparty risk etc.

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Re: US retailers offering German auction wines?

#9 Post by Russell Faulkner » September 13th, 2019, 8:59 am

Nope, well not in theory, I guess the larger the bidder the more chance of 'spare' bottles being available.

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Re: US retailers offering German auction wines?

#10 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » September 13th, 2019, 9:02 am

DeeVine stll exists?

Do they still cook the wines for no extra charge?
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Re: US retailers offering German auction wines?

#11 Post by Larry Stein » September 13th, 2019, 9:08 am

They do, but no longer have a brick and mortar store. Didn't know there were issues with cooking the wines. I always picked up there. Ambient temperature in Pier 19 was fine.

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Re: US retailers offering German auction wines?

#12 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » September 13th, 2019, 9:12 am

I bought from them three times over the years. All three transactions were problematic. The worst was some auction wines (2001 Loosens) they had in stock - brutally cooked. Never could get them to answer the phone about it.

Never again.
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Re: US retailers offering German auction wines?

#13 Post by Russell Faulkner » September 13th, 2019, 9:23 am

A few of us shipped some ex auction stock from them to the UK around 2012, all have been excellent so far, but thats a small population.

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Re: US retailers offering German auction wines?

#14 Post by Jay Miller » September 13th, 2019, 9:50 am

D@vid Bu3ker wrote:
September 13th, 2019, 9:12 am
I bought from them three times over the years. All three transactions were problematic. The worst was some auction wines (2001 Loosens) they had in stock - brutally cooked. Never could get them to answer the phone about it.

Never again.
My understanding is that the poor storage was at their pier location and it's not a problem any more (assuming the wines don't date from that period).
Ripe fruit isn't necessarily a flaw.

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Re: US retailers offering German auction wines?

#15 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » September 13th, 2019, 10:12 am

And I have not bought since they closed that site.
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Re: US retailers offering German auction wines?

#16 Post by Robert Dentice » September 13th, 2019, 10:27 am

Stephen Bitterolf from Vom Boden is also offering Auction wines this year.

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Re: US retailers offering German auction wines?

#17 Post by J. Rock » September 13th, 2019, 11:14 am

Do you guys think that the auction wines are noticeably better than the APs sold through retail or that they tend to be worth the premium? I notice that sometimes they get better reviews than non-auction wines, but sometimes they get worse reviews. I've never had any, but am admittedly very curious.
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Re: US retailers offering German auction wines?

#18 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » September 13th, 2019, 11:17 am

J. Rock wrote:
September 13th, 2019, 11:14 am
Do you guys think that the auction wines are noticeably better than the APs sold through retail or that they tend to be worth the premium? I notice that sometimes they get better reviews than non-auction wines, but sometimes they get worse reviews. I've never had any, but am admittedly very curious.
I don't find it to be the case, but I am a bit of an outlier.

The better scores tend to be for the sweeter wines, and auction pradikat wines tend to be richer sweeter.

Obviously that does not apply to auction dry wines.
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Re: US retailers offering German auction wines?

#19 Post by Russell Faulkner » September 13th, 2019, 11:34 am

I’d advise really trying to understand the differences between (say) Schaefer Spatlese GD AP #10 and #05 before buying auction wines you won’t drink for over a decade.

That said in about to head off for my tenth auction, have several hundred bottles on the cellar and claim no expertise.

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Re: US retailers offering German auction wines?

#20 Post by Tom G l a s g o w » September 13th, 2019, 11:47 am

Russell Faulkner wrote:
September 13th, 2019, 11:34 am
I’d advise really trying to understand the differences between (say) Schaefer Spatlese GD AP #10 and #05 before buying auction wines you won’t drink for over a decade.

That said in about to head off for my tenth auction, have several hundred bottles on the cellar and claim no expertise.
You’re heading there on Maureen’s behalf? champagne.gif

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Re: US retailers offering German auction wines?

#21 Post by maureen nelson » September 13th, 2019, 4:25 pm

Wow, thanks!

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Re: US retailers offering German auction wines?

#22 Post by maureen nelson » September 13th, 2019, 4:32 pm

Russell Faulkner wrote:
September 13th, 2019, 11:34 am
I’d advise really trying to understand the differences between (say) Schaefer Spatlese GD AP #10 and #05 before buying auction wines you won’t drink for over a decade.

That said in about to head off for my tenth auction, have several hundred bottles on the cellar and claim no expertise.
Good advice. I, of course, have been buying Schaefer’s wines for about 30 years and am pretty familiar with both his #5 and his #10. And while I am still holding some of 1998 auction GD spatlese, I don’t know that I’ll be aging any 2018s i buy for more than 20 years. Of course, the beneficiary of any 2018 auction wines i might acquire (my 21 month old grand niece) might wait until the wines are at least 25 years old. If her mother doesn’t get her hands on them first.

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Re: US retailers offering German auction wines?

#23 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » September 13th, 2019, 4:43 pm

Not sure it’s worth waiting on 1998s. That’s a vintage that is in a lovely spot now.
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Re: US retailers offering German auction wines?

#24 Post by A.Gillette » September 13th, 2019, 6:27 pm

J. Rock wrote:
September 13th, 2019, 11:14 am
Do you guys think that the auction wines are noticeably better than the APs sold through retail or that they tend to be worth the premium? I notice that sometimes they get better reviews than non-auction wines, but sometimes they get worse reviews. I've never had any, but am admittedly very curious.
My take based on the wines that I focus on: for many of the auction wines, there is no non-auction corollary. If you want Schloss Lieser Doctor spat, you have to buy the auction version. That is a special wine and for me it alone would substantiate buying at auction. It’s that good. For Zilliken, the auction wines usually strike me as drinking a step up in the labeled pradikat. So that is worth taking into account when you look at price. Peter Lauer’s non-auction wines are wonderful. His auction wines can be...out of this world. The higher up the pradikat, the more auction Lauer tends to make me re-think the universe. The Lauer LGK at auction is unbearably good. The kind of thing that I feel lucky to be able to buy and can’t imagine living without. Grunhaus brings really great stuff to auction. There is a producer signature to the wines - a grunhaus “grapiness” that I get in all of them and like very much. The auction kabinett strikes me as a step up from the non-auction kabinett. For Prum, I don’t know what to say. The non-auction wines are so good. The auction wines are so good. It just seems that they are all so underrated because they’ve been so good for so long. I’ve had the auction next to the non-auction version of various Prum spat and auslese and thought they were both worth owning. I don’t really think you can go wrong buying Prum and tasting new releases at auction or otherwise can be difficult so I just buy some Prum wines and put them away and feel lucky to have them even if the ones I didn’t buy turn out to be slightly more wonderful than the ones I did. Egon’s Scharz kabi is too expensive for me on a relative basis. Whatever other scharz wines Egon offers at auction are too expensive for me on an absolute basis. But the Le gallais when available (nothing at auction this year) are really good and I’d buy them. Sorry for the rambling. Did my best to answer honestly.

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Re: US retailers offering German auction wines?

#25 Post by Tom G l a s g o w » September 13th, 2019, 6:33 pm

maureen nelson wrote:
September 13th, 2019, 4:32 pm
Russell Faulkner wrote:
September 13th, 2019, 11:34 am
I’d advise really trying to understand the differences between (say) Schaefer Spatlese GD AP #10 and #05 before buying auction wines you won’t drink for over a decade.

That said in about to head off for my tenth auction, have several hundred bottles on the cellar and claim no expertise.
Good advice. I, of course, have been buying Schaefer’s wines for about 30 years and am pretty familiar with both his #5 and his #10. And while I am still holding some of 1998 auction GD spatlese, I don’t know that I’ll be aging any 2018s i buy for more than 20 years. Of course, the beneficiary of any 2018 auction wines i might acquire (my 21 month old grand niece) might wait until the wines are at least 25 years old. If her mother doesn’t get her hands on them first.
A decade is 10 years, hopefully we’re both good. Neal too (sp).

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Re: US retailers offering German auction wines?

#26 Post by John Glas » September 13th, 2019, 6:46 pm

DeeVine stll exists?

Do they still cook the wines for no extra charge?
Bought from them 10 years ago so got lucky as all the wines were drinkable. Everything after I purchased from them didn't have good pricing. I can't remember the sale I got in on but it was offering excellent pricing.

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Re: US retailers offering German auction wines?

#27 Post by David_K » September 13th, 2019, 7:06 pm

maureen nelson wrote:
September 13th, 2019, 4:32 pm
Russell Faulkner wrote:
September 13th, 2019, 11:34 am
I’d advise really trying to understand the differences between (say) Schaefer Spatlese GD AP #10 and #05 before buying auction wines you won’t drink for over a decade.

That said in about to head off for my tenth auction, have several hundred bottles on the cellar and claim no expertise.
Good advice. I, of course, have been buying Schaefer’s wines for about 30 years and am pretty familiar with both his #5 and his #10.
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Re: US retailers offering German auction wines?

#28 Post by Tom Reddick » September 13th, 2019, 8:28 pm

D@vid Bu3ker wrote:
September 13th, 2019, 11:17 am
J. Rock wrote:
September 13th, 2019, 11:14 am
Do you guys think that the auction wines are noticeably better than the APs sold through retail or that they tend to be worth the premium? I notice that sometimes they get better reviews than non-auction wines, but sometimes they get worse reviews. I've never had any, but am admittedly very curious.
I don't find it to be the case, but I am a bit of an outlier.

The better scores tend to be for the sweeter wines, and auction pradikat wines tend to be richer sweeter.

Obviously that does not apply to auction dry wines.
Agreed. The wines definitely tend to be sweeter and "bigger" than their Pradikats. Mosel Fine Wine Review is a good barometer for what you can expect. They release TNs in an issue just ahead of the auctions and generally make a point of indicating the "feel" of what they are tasting (for example saying a Kabinett is "Auslese in all but name"). Gilman has also been increasingly publishing notes for the auction wines ahead of the auctions. So that is another good resource.

To add to what David said- I generally find that in the best situations the auction wines will have a greater degree of finesse and subtlety of expression. It is a small difference, but at that level it is a noticeable step up. Almost like going to Romanee-Conti from La Tache, but not quite so dramatic.

However, it can take a great deal of time for those differences to show clearly- the magnificence of Willi Schaefer's 2005 Spatlese Auction is just now beginning to fully reveal itself, for example.

But please note that Auctions are no guarantee either. 10 years ago I had the 2000 Egon-Muller Auslese Auction, which sold for a small fortune at the auction, and it was just as heavily flawed as the few 2000 regular release wines I tried at release.

Also- since you are dealing with wines that take a long time to mature, there are always the risks of a given wine going out of balance or not developing as hoped long-term. A wine being an auction offering offers no automatic protection against that, and it is not unheard of in some situations for a producer's regular commercial cuvees to eventually outperform the auction examples.

But when they are just right- the auction wines are as good as it gets.

It is worth noting that until about a decade ago, at the Kab and Spatlese levels, and even Auslese in some cases, auction wines did not sell for that much more than commercial release bottlings. It is only recently that prices have begun to be double or more- in many cases- those of commercial releases. That growth in the premium gap is, I think, driven more by broader interest in the auctions and the quest to have "the best and rarest" than it is a testament to how much better the auction wines will tend to be over time.
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Re: US retailers offering German auction wines?

#29 Post by Tom Reddick » September 13th, 2019, 8:32 pm

Russell Faulkner wrote:
September 13th, 2019, 9:23 am
A few of us shipped some ex auction stock from them to the UK around 2012, all have been excellent so far, but thats a small population.
I am hard pressed to dispute the claims of prior difficulties with DeeVine because many of them have come from people like David who are well known to have good palates and be very honest in their dealings.

That said, I have done business with DeeVine for almost 20 years and have purchased wines from stock and auction going back to the mid-90s. Everything has been in superb condition. Never had a single issue.

So I carry on enthusiastically, but I also have to believe the tales that have come from trusted wine friends. Certainly recent stock is fine. In the past 2 years I have backfilled a lot of 2000s vintages of Schaefer and others- all bottles coming over pristine. And at this point, aside from a handful of really old bottles from a big cellar they handled once- most of the stock on hand is more recent and by all accounts very trustworthy.
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Re: US retailers offering German auction wines?

#30 Post by Al Osterheld » September 13th, 2019, 8:56 pm

I also had good luck with them, although was not a major customer so would not question the experiences of others.

The Pier 19 location was kind of a weird place to visit. I drove by once, decided I must have the wrong address. Then I bought some wine for pick-up at their location and they told me to just drive in and park about 2/3 of the way down (it was a shared space). So, I drove through the entrance past the signs that said "authorized personnel only", dodged a forklift, and drove until there was a sign for Dee Vines next to three or four parking spaces that said "no parking". A rather pleasant woman with a Russian accent helped me, but I had subsequent orders shipped.

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