A day spent in a wine cellar - Now with pictures!

I get a phone call from a coworker that tells me a neighbor of his is recently widowed and her husband had a sizeable wine cellar that she wants to sell. My first thought was a cellar full of old Mouton Cadet.

I show up and the cellar is in the far corner of the basement in a separate room. It was nice and cool so my hopes were up.

The first thing I notice is a rack of German wines. Spats, Aus, and others from the 20’s and 30’s!!! Hopes for these were soon dashed….most of the corks were pushing out and wine had leaked all over the floor. (Don’t people notice this???) I threw away almost all of the Germans, it was very sad since a well aged Riesling always hits the spot.

I had to box up all the empty and leaking bottles of inexpensive Port and Sherry. I couldn’t even stand in the cellar when I got there because of everything on the floor.

I looked in the corner and saw the gold mine, FIRST GROWTHS!!!

I also saw several Burgundies!

Finally some action!

I sorted everything out and continued to throw away bottles of Burgundy from 1937 that had completely evaporated.

I will attach the complete list at the end of this note for those interested. I believe I have enough interest from people here locally to buy these.

These are the only wines really worth buying.

7 1959 Margaux 375ml
6 1959 HautBrion 375ml
1 1953 Margaux
1 1985 Pichon Longueville
3 1940 Latour
2 1955 Latour
1 1966 Lafite
1 1953 Latour
1 1966 Montrose
5 1967 Palmer
12 1967 Palmer OWB – Just Opened!
2 1922 Ducru Beaucaillou- Beautiful!!!
1 1969 Pichon Lalande 1.5
1 1962 Chateau Le Bourdieu
1 1959 LaTour Carnet
3 1962 Chateau Voigny Sauternes 375ml
1 1964 B&G Barsac
1 1984 Moulin des Carruades
1 1969 Calon Segur
2 1970 Les Forts De Latour

1 1967 Leonard Kreusch Pommard
1 1966 Echezeaux P. Misserey & frère
Reguciants Nuits Cote dor
1 1937 Clos Vougeot Jolliot Paulin 12oz
1 1964 Clos Vouget
Domaine Gros Frere et Soeur
1 1959 Morey Saint Denis
1 1937 Chambolle Musigny
1 1973 Brouilly Ch de la Valetta
3 1978 Oggauer GoldtreppeBeerenauslese Eiswein
Reichsgraf von Ingelheim

Some bottles were hard to read because of the layer of dirt!

I will post pictures Monday.

Pictures - http://www.flickr.com/photos/9002900@N02/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

You absolutely SUCK!

As administrator of this forum, don’t I get some dibs on a few of those at release prices (or whatever you offered her)??

After looking at the prices for some of this, there is no way I can afford even a split of the 1959 Margaux, and they are PRISTINE! (after removing layers of dust)

I’ll see what kind of feedback I get from some local folks and may have to offer these to some folks.

ANY idea what 1922 was like for Ducru??

Also I do see any 1967 Palmer on wine searcher.

FAIL!! (sorry, Otto)

How did she get wind of pricing?

She doesn’t know exact prices but she does know they a worth quite a bit.

She also has tons of racing memorabilia from the 60’s when her husband was a car owner at Indy!

Hey John, I bought an OWC of 67 Palmer at auction about three years ago in anticipation of my 40th. I think I paid $800 plus the vig. Those that I’ve drunk have been really pretty good, if not long for this world. Given the personal significance I am more than happy with the purchase, FWIW.


PRISTINE?..after noting other bottles that were leaking and with pushed corks in the same cellar? I don’t really see how this works.

That’s what I was thinking. I think there should be some random and/or representative samplings before these are declared great for sale.

Any of our auction folks want to chime in here?

Several years ago, a friend of mine made a similar discovery.
Before he was married, his wife had owned a small restaurant. She had bought a wine cooler and stocked it with wine for the patrons. After a few years she sold the restaurant but kept the cooler.
When she married, the cooler came to live in the basement of the couple’s home.
Eventually, her husband fell in with bad companions and became interested in wine. They had forgotten about the cooler in the basement until one day they decided to clean it out. When they opened the cooler they found a lot of 1982 Bordeaux as well as many fine Burgs. from that era.
I know this because I got to drink the 1982 Cheval Blanc out of that cooler (twice) and never forgot what a fine first growth can mature into.

I might also add that, as a result of this incident, I have a part of my cellar sectioned off for my daughter - it will be hers when I die. Maybe she will enjoy a similar revelation.
Best, Jim

I’m with you. Corks pushed out would be a red flag to me. IMHO, I think a random tasting would be a good idea before claiming these bottles are pristine.

“how did she get wind of pricing?” -talk about FAIL. Are you going to screw over a widow for wine??

The wine should be sent to auction-let the market decide what it is worth. I’ve heard a number of stories over the years where some guys are proud of themselves for buying 1st growths by the case for $100 from some unsuspecting widow.

Personally I wouldn’t have thrown out anything-I’d prefer full disclosure re cellar conditions and old Germans are notorious for leaking-doesn’t necessarily mean the conditions were poor.

Hopefully I’ve misunderstood Todd.


The German wines were all from the 20’s and 30’s…several from 1929.

They have lived in the house for over 40 years and the Bordeaux were all bought since they have lived in the house. The German and some of the Burgundy have moved around quite a bit.

I’ll post the pics on Monday.

I will go next week with a better camera and take better quality pictures.

She knows wine fairly well, she just doesn’t drink it much since her husband passed.

I have never seen SOOOOOO much stuff in one house.

did the wine cellar double as a sauna? How could bottles of Burgundy be empty–completely evaporated? How could the Rieslings have leaked so badly? We all have Rieslings with “splooge” on them, but typically the leak seals off and the fills are fine. This is anything but a pristine cellar.


John, I am relatively new to this forum. Cool posts about the wine cellar inventory. But I somehow cannot get past that avatar! Who is that??? (hopefully for you, your wife!!!).

Colin [welldone.gif]

I wish it was…but it’s Jennifer Love Hewitt

OK folks, here are some photo’s of the wines.

I don’t see why people think all the wine is bad because there were many that had leaked. Like I said before, the wines from the 20’s and 30’s had been moved several times over the years and could have been cooked early.

The Bordeaux had all been purchased since they lived in the house and had not been moved. Plus the German wines are 30 YEARS older than the Bordeaux.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/9002900@N02/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;