Poll A better auctioneer story. And which 1978?

Discussion in 'UK Wine Forum' started by Ben Coffman, Jul 31, 2020 at 11:26 AM.


Which 1978

Poll closed Today at 11:26 AM.
  1. Kirwan
  2. Branaire Ducru
  3. Haut Batailley
  1. Some may remember a story posted 18 months or so ago about a regional auctioneer who "sold" me a wine for more than my top bid. Their T&Cs said they could do so. It was a salutary experience.

    I've pretty much lived under the maxim that mistakes happen (I've made plenty and shall continue to do so), but it;s how one responds that is what matters.

    I bought a single bottle of 1978 Lascombes at another regional auctioneer (Tavershams) just before Christmas. The postage wasn't worth the cost, so I agreed to pick it up when next in the area. They were v happy to store it and indeed volunteered. Things got a bit delayed then Coronavirus kicked in. I was heading up that way on Monday and contacted them about picking it up. They confessed they'd accidentally sold it. They have offered a full refund (about £36) or another 1978 from either Haut Batailley, Branaire Ducru, or Kirwan.

    They have been really good. I would like another '78. Any useful knowledge gratefully received. But which wine? [Geordie accent] You decide [/Geordie accent].
  2. As it my birth year I've had each of those and my pick would certainly be the Batailley which has always been solid and reliable, though I think my first question would be what are the levels on each as at this age and with this vintage that can effect the wine pretty adversely if its mid-shoulder or even upper shoulder.
    Ben Coffman and Ian Sutton like this.
  3. You should chance it and ask if they'd sell you all three for £36 each. ;)
    Mahmoud Ali and Ben Coffman like this.
  4. I agree with Gareth, Ben, that the Haut-Batailley would be the one to go for but good bottles of the other two would be a pleasure too; take a bottle not the cash because these are pretty rare bottles. Most 1978s need drinking but there are some great bottles around. The modern day equivalent vintage is 2014.
    Charles Muttar and Ben Coffman like this.
  5. The levels on all seem v good - into neck / base of neck. They are genuinely not trying to palm me off. Cellartracker seems to like the Haut Batailley best too. I think I shall go for that. Though as of writing the polls are neck and neck. Thanks all.
  6. I voted for the Branaire on the basis that if you allow me to vote in a poll you get the result you deserve....
    Jeremy Hammett likes this.
  7. Interesting story. Years ago, long before online sales, I put in a commission bid on a mixed lot of Chave Hermitage from 1970s vintages at an auction house I won’t name. When the results came out it appeared I’d won it as it was hammered for below my top bid. When the invoice arrived in the post it was instead for 3 bottles of Lafite 1971 for my top bid which I didn’t want (poor reputation in that vintage). I queried it but they were insistent that was what I’d bid on (I hadn’t) so I had to take it. Pretty sure the Lafite lot didn’t sell so they palmed it off on me.

    The wine was as bad as it’s reputation.
  8. I've had quite a few 78s, especially clarets, (it being both mine and Vicki's birth year) - my experience generally has been St Julien as the most successful commune, so on that basis I'd go for the Branaire.
  9. I know that this isn’t going to help but I had a stunning Giscours more than a few years ago. And the one that got away: Pichon Lalande. I kept umming & ahhing at £15 (?) & lo one day it had sold out. .
  10. Too many auction houses are shady, but then the same is true of too many of their regular customers. Buyer beware for sure.

    Refreshing to see the auction house's attitude in Ben's OP, indeed genuinely seeking to make it right.
    Charles Muttar likes this.

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