PSA: Older Piedmont on WineBid

Someone(s) put up on WineBid a whole lot of older Giacosa and Montfortino. It looks like some of the best vintages. It’s all well outside my price range, but I will be intrigued to watch. I’m a little curious these ended up on WineBid; I would have thought a non-internet only auction house, such as Hart Davis, would have drawn more of the kinds of collectors interested in such collectibles.

You just never know. I was trying to help liquidate a cellar and it was a nice one. The husband just randomly went to Winebid instead of looking at options.

It’s also a place that has missed problems with wines in the past. However, every time I’ve brought something to their attention they’ve taken it off the bidding block.

Wow. Those are some incredible bottles…

Prices are stupid though…

It could easily have ended up there because there are provenance/storage issues that kept the more reputable auction houses away.

Some really great wines, but with those wines and those prices, I don’t trust the provenance. Its a shame b/c those are some really great wines.

Are those prices actual bids or some minimum?

I think they are minimums.

A quick way to tell if there has been an actual bid placed on an item is to look at the box containing the word “BID” in the lower right hand corner of the lot. If there is no asterisk following the BID, there is a real bid. If there’s an asterisk, the lot is at its current minimum bid.

I was surprised by those minimums as well.

With respect, this is an irresponsible comment. By that I mean that given the times winebid has been called out in the forums- including one specific case where the question of what controlled storage really meant- I can understand your comment, but really and truly the secondary market at large was generally as unprepared as winebid for dealing with the reality of a wider audience of sellers who did not have or understand proper provenance (as well as those who acted with malice.)

I have been dealing with winebid for almost 20 years and they have tightened their research and provenance reviews just as stringently as most of the major auction houses. They are not behind the times- and never have been (IMHO.)

More generally, I am finding winebid an increasingly attractive option these days for a wider variety of collections- and for when I do a little thinning of my own cellar. I think most of this has to do with the fact the major auction houses and brokers are focused on higher dollar sales. Unless you have a particularly rare or unusual bottle- $10-15K is the minimum where most players are interested in talking to you. Winebid has a $2,500 minimum. That makes a big difference.

5 years ago I would have agreed that one does not send high dollar bottles to winebid, but increasingly I am seeing that they are getting good results at the high end- and not just with CA wines which have always been a sweet spot for them.

I 1000% agree with this. I’m a very happy Winebid customer and have been for a handful of years now. I have had a VERY high success rate with the wines I’ve purchase from them (across all price points), and I love the fact that I can find unique and interesting wines that you wouldn’t find at the larger houses. Plus, they’re customer service is fantastic.

I’m a big fan.

I don’t think so. I got a lot of obviously cooked older bottles from Winebid years ago when I bought a lot from them. Several of them had signs of (old) seepage that there had been attempts to hide, but it was still visible and not stated. Every time I brought a cooked bottle to their attention, I first said very clearly that I wasn’t blaming them and wasn’t asking for anything, but wanted to bring it to their attention in case they had any problem consignors. Almost every time, they ignored those statements and responded with ridiculously defensive comments about how they weren’t liable. It came to a point where I had gotten so many cooked bottles that I stopped buying from them. I know some people have gotten lucky with Winebid, but I bought a lot of cases over several years, so my sample size here is not very small. They became fairly notorious at that time, with good reason, for not properly vetting the wines they sold.

If the first sentence is true, that’s great, but based on my previous experiences I would have a hard time believing it. I also think it’s logistically impossible. Winebid buys a lot of small quantities from a huge number of different sellers all over the country. They really can’t take the same care in checking provenance and condition (beyond physical inspection, and I saw them mess up even that quite a few times when dealing with them) that the reputable auction houses do. Their relatively low minimum that you mention shows that their business model is designed to work as I’ve described.

Your second sentence saying they “never have been” is simply not true. My purchases were around 8-12 years ago. Reputable auction houses and even retailers were already quite concerned with provenance at that time. Winebid apparently was not.

I’m glad you’ve had good results with Winebid. I’ve had far higher success rates with literally every other source I’ve used for older wines.

Remember when winebid took all of the back vintage Bouchard Montrachet Mark b found at a store and under storage condition said properly cellared by original owner since release

Them and kl. Oof.

Crap shoot at those prices. I’ve had mostly great luck with WB except for one bottle that was DOA. Ironically it was 71’ Monfortino DOA but at much lower price, thankfully.

Wow. I owe you an apology Doug. While my experiences have been far different and I stand by my own experience dealing with them (primarily in the capacity of referring collections and getting clients through the vetting process), it is clear you had a far different set of encounters- and if I were in your shoes I would be singing the same tune you are. I apologize and retract my claim of irresponsibility.

No problem, but thanks. You probably noticed Fu’s post too. There have been a few incidents like that. If we know about a few, there’s no telling how common it is.