Long Island retailer question

I’m looking at an older bottle at W.H. Frank, in Islip, I think. Anyone know anything about them and their storage? Thanks.

[If I could make this board’s search function work for me, I might have gotten my answer that way.]

I’ve bought a few older bottles from them and they’ve been fine. I bought a few Bruno Giacosa 2000 Barbera D’Alba from them a year or so ago, and they were outstanding. (And I left some on the shelf, only to return and find the rest were gone - still kicking myself about that one). Also notable was a '98 Corbieres which was still showing well in late '09. My one bad experience was a half bottle of '78 Coutet, but it was obvious from the bottle that there were problems and I took a flyer anyway.

Temperature control there, especially in the back, is not great (though cold is more of a problem than heat) so there is legitimate cause for concern, but my experiences there have been okay. FWIW, there was an older gent running the store about ten years ago (when I was working in the area) and when I went back a few years later a younger couple had taken over. I think we’re looking at a backlog from the previous management.

Of course, if you’re looking at some of the bottles that I’ve got my eye on, then the answer is they’re awful! Stay away!.

Definitely a gamble.


Is it a specific wine you’re looking for?

They have an older wine at a great price?

If it’s a specific wine, there may be a member or two here that have it properly cellared and reasonably priced.

If its a great price, it might be worth the gamble. We bought six bottles of older vintage wine at a shop in Carmel because they had the original release price on them. We didn’t even consider the fact they were in the window on display. (We were young and stupid.) Four of the wines were excellent, one was fading and one was shot. The total price for the six bottles was less than the average price elsewhere for four bottles. Sometimes the gamble is worth it and you are dealing with a store that should know how to store wine.

I appreciate everyone’s responses. The wine I’m looking at is a '99 red Burgundy at what seems a good price; WineSearcher says they have it, but I’d need to confirm. Very good vintage, obviously, but for a 10+ year old wine storage issues are critical. Some retailers have original stock that they bought back when, some have wines sourced later from a variety of resellers, and even though I’m generally a trusting person and like to take people at their word, I understand the limitations of that approach when it comes to buying older bottles.

If you’re going by wine-searcher or what’s listed on their web site, it could be gone. They aren’t real good about clearing out their computer inventory when they have ghost bottles left.

From what I’ve seen, the old bottles in this store are original purchases and have been stored there the whole time. I’ve witnessed them dust off and open a sealed case with the original packing materials still in it. As I said before, it looks like it’s leftover inventory from the old owner (who definitely knew what he was doing). No question that buying an old wine there is a gamble, but not a horrible one.

I shop at this store fairly regularly. They do have some '99 burgundies in stock. I’ve bought some Jadot & Rion wines there and all have been very good. Their customer service, however, is not so good. I would take the risk if it’s a wine you really want.

Again, thanks everyone for the responses and advice.