Grand Cru Selection
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Bottles without any observation from our part have perfect appearance for their age and levels are at least ‘Very Top Shoulder’ (see below). Stained label, slightly oxydized cap, barely low level... It is not abnormal that aged bottles present such imperfections. Do not forget what looks like a defect might just be a quality: why be worried about a 20 years old mildew label? That proves wine had been stored in a well-damp cellar... Insofar as these wines are generally sold at a lower price, wine lovers may find good deal. Even in original cases, different qualities of caps and labels as much as different levels can be found. In order to detect possible defects, we control each of the cases entering our cellar. Bottles noticed that way are precisely described.
Photo 1: "slightly damaged" cap. Photos 2 & 3: "moderately damaged" caps. Here, an important tear and a slight oxidation. Photo 4: "highly damaged" cap. Here, a strong oxidation and a risk of reduction through the cork.
Photo 1: it's perfect! Photo 2: "slightly damaged" label. Here, some damp patches. Photo 3: "moderately damaged" label. Here, some damp patches and tears. Photo 4: "highly damaged" label.
TS - TOP SHOULDER. Usual level for wines over 15 years old. HS - HIGH SHOULDER. Typical reduction through the cork, usually no problem. MS - MID SHOULDER. Usually some deterioration of the cork and therefore some variation. LS - LOW SHOULDER. Risky and usually only accepted for sale if wine exceptionally rare or interesting. BS - BOTTOM SHOULDER. Not acceptable unless a rare sort of bottle. (Sources: Christie's and Sotheby's) Note: in our lists, bottles without any observation belong at least to the Very Top Shoulder level.
The condition of drinkability of burgundy is less affected by ullage than its equivalent from Bordeaux. For example, a 5 to 7 cm ullage in a 50-year old Burgundy can be considered normal, indeed good for age, 3.5 to 4 cm excellent for age, even 7 cm rarely a risk. (Source: Christie’s)
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