what are ex-chateau wines

What Are Ex-Château Wines?

How much would you pay for a bottle of 1995 Latour? If I told you that the bottle had remained at the Latour estate since it was bottled nearly two decades ago, would you be willing to pay more for it than a bottle that had passed through dozens of hands?

In 2013, collectors had to make this exact choice after Latour decided to drop out of en-primeur sales altogether and sell off older wines from 1995 instead. Latour held onto the 1995 bottles, waiting until they reached peak drinking age, then sold them directly to collectors as ex-château wines.

But what are ex-château wines?

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Bottle of red wine bought directly from producer in front of barrel in bucolic setting.

How Do I Buy Wine Direct From a Producer?

In the world of wine, less is more—at least when it comes to handling and transportation. Whether you relish local wines or seek to collect cases from around the world, you want assurance that the journey from the vineyard to your doorstep was as straightforward and uneventful as possible.

Why? If you aim to enjoy the wine at your next dinner party, you’ll want to serve nothing less than the best a bottle has to offer. And if you’d prefer to resell the wine for profit instead, you’ll receive the greatest ROI from a bottle that’s all but guaranteed perfect provenance.

In either case, the best approach may be to buy directly from producers.

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Château La Mission Haut-Brion is a Bordeaux super second.

10 Château Haut-Brion Best Vintages for Any Investor

As rich in history as they are in flavor and complexity, this producer’s red and white blends are a must-have for any connoisseur interested in adding some quality Bordeaux wine to their collection. It can be difficult to know where to start when so many of their wines have received such high acclaim, but our guide below to Château Haut-Brion’s best vintages of all time provides an excellent place to begin your search.

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Aubert wine rating

Aubert Wine Ratings: The Producer’s Best Vintages

Mark Aubert’s winery first sprang into existence from California’s rich soils in 1999, and ever since, Aubert Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines have been climbing steadily higher in professional and public opinion, like grapevines reaching for the sun. Of course, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are the state’s most prolifically planted varieties. With so many other notable California producers specializing in similar wines—Peter Michael, Williams Selyem, and Donum among them—what is it about Aubert wines that merits an ever-growing waiting list just to join the winery’s mailing list?

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best vintages for chateau lafite rothschild

Ranking the Best Vintages for Château Lafite Rothschild

As one of the exceptional five first-growth Bordeaux châteaux, Château Lafite Rothschild has enjoyed over a century’s worth of acclaim for its delicately delectable wines. Today, it remains one of the most distinguished labels in the world—and if you are looking to build a top-quality Bordeaux collection, only the best vintages of Château Lafite Rothschild will do.

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What do wine tariffs mean for collectors?

What Wine Tariffs Mean for Collectors and Investors

On October 18, 2019, the U.S. imposed a 25-percent tariff on a variety of goods, including wine, imported from the UK as well as three countries of the EU. These countries were found guilty of providing illegal government subsidies to the multinational aerospace company Airbus by the World Trade Organization (WTO). By subsidizing Airbus, the three countries where the corporation’s shares are traded—France, Spain, and Germany—distorted the marketplace for airliner manufacturing in general and the Boeing Company in particular. 

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The Best Vintages of Vega Sicilia for Collectors

Over the course of more than 100 years, Vega Sicilia has established itself as Spain’s most respected and luxurious winery, and that sterling reputation holds to this day. Many of the world’s leading wine connoisseurs praise the estate’s celebrated flagship wine, Único, including Spanish wine expert Luis Gutiérrez of Wine Advocate. He says this historic Ribera del Duero estate is “one of the greatest in the world” because of its unique terroir and its winemakers’ passion for crafting elegant, multilayered wines. 

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2010 is one of Château Montrose's best vintages in history.

Château Montrose’s Best Vintages in History

Though the youngest of all the estates ranked in the Bordeaux classification of 1855, Château Montrose quickly gained fame as an estate capable of producing incomparable wine. Since most years are good years for this estate, choosing from among the best vintages of Château Montrose is no easy task. Whether you intend to hold a bottle as an investment or just long enough to savor a glass at its peak, this guide will help—but buying multiple vintages certainly won’t hurt, either.

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One of the best vintages of Château Palmer was the 2009.

The Best Vintages of Château Palmer

Wines produced in the Margaux appellation in Bordeaux are often as complex and spirited as the histories of the estates that bear their names. The best vintages of Château Palmer are no exception. Often delicate, precise, and profoundly pleasing to the palate, the first taste of almost any of this estate’s Bordeaux leaves you wanting more—an exceptional achievement for a wine that was long ago, and perhaps unjustly, classified as a third growth. 

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