Warning if bidding at K&L Wines on a couple lots

I don’t normally call out retailers but this one has got me fired up by their lack of due diligence and knowledge.

They have two bottles of old wood aged Port on their auction. BOTH shows clear signs of prior seepage/heat damage. One, the “100” year old is 500ml bottle and not a 750ml as listed. There is no mention of the seepage on the description for either. KL was contacted by a friend of mine and their reply from Maria Baskhanova, from their auction department, was basically, Port is known to seep and it’s ok (see below). Uh, no that is not the case. Port does not seep unless it’s damaged or it’s so old the cork is giving way. Both of these are bottled within the past two years so the cork isn’t old. I know the producer and his importer well. I also own both of these bottles and they aren’t known to seep. Both of these bottles are not cheap and are very hard to come by. Especially the “60” as the producer only did this 750ml bottle for a limited bottling run for an FTLOP Buying Op and now it’s in a 500ml bottle.

I normally love K&L but their listing and their replies to this issue defies belief and defies their normally good past practice. They deserve to be called out so someone in higher power there can properly educate Maria about Port and about t-corks as well.

Relevant part of Maria’s email

…The wine was bottled recently in 2015 and it’s not uncommon for port wine to seep… Port is susceptible to seepage and as both of the bottles have t-stoppers this makes them even more susceptible to this…


100 year link

60 year link

(Edit: as I was typing they’ve added “Past seepage” in the description. The question is have they reached out to the current bidders to let them know that? It wasn’t there earlier and the auction ends today on one.)

Their auction department is as vigilant as winebid. Not very.

Hah, I understand mistakes happen. These mistakes are huge. The 100 year retails for just under $1,000 now and very rare. I could understand if this was a run of the mill cheap bottle of wine. What is worse is Maria’s knowledge of wine if she actually believes what she wrote above.

Um, let’s put aside for a moment whether it’s “common.” If you have 2 identical bottles of wine (or Port), and one is pristine and the other has signs of seepage, is their likely hammer price going to be identical?
That’s uncommon.

At least they fixed the description to include seepage.


One of the auctions ends today and the seepage wasn’t added until after those bids had been placed. Have they contacted the bidders? No they haven’t. I know they haven’t as I bid on both early, when they were not going for as much as they are now…and at a price I’d risk for the seepage, and I’ve not been contacted. No way I’d pay what they are currently bidding at without the disclaimer of seepage issues. But if you didn’t know it could lead to people raising their bids without seeing the new wording.

They added the seepage note but left it as a 750ml.

Yup, [help.gif]

Maybe they are watching us…

Description: Bid on this bottle of Quinta do Mourão S. Leonardo 100 Years Old Port (500ml) in original wood.


Hah! Took them long enough. They still haven’t notified current people who’ve bid on it already to inform them of the changes. I hope they at least contacted the current high bidder.

I’ve generally been very happy with K&L auctions so would be curious if other people have had less than stellar experiences.

What Maria stated is not right, and confusing. And the seepage is an issue. I’ve noted the general lack of standards any more in the auction house business and again I say it’s sad and a loss because these are the people that go to the wine cellars, they KNOW the storage conditions, and they used to be of benefit to consumers. Now, they no longer are. They will sell anything to the highest bidder and caveat emptor.


They should notify the bidders, of course, but should also pull the lot, then resubmit it with the proper description. If they don’t do that, there are invalid bids (based on a false description) driving up the bidding, which is essentially fraudulent.

Well they didn’t do any of that. I gotta say the first time I’ve been unhappy with how K&L has handled this. It is clear they were in the wrong and they have yet to properly address it. There is still one bottle up for auction.

I’ve received an email today that they have pulled the lot, they apologized and will be relisting again later with the correct descriptions.