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Wine Conditions and Our Inspection Process

It is our policy at Hart Davis Hart Wine Co. to inspect each and every bottle that we sell to ensure provenance, condition and to confirm that every bottle accepted has been removed from proper storage.

Great attention is paid to the cellars from which we remove the wines consigned to HDH. Only wines from carefully maintained private or commercial wine storage and transported with the utmost care are approved for sale.

Even under exemplary storage conditions it is normal for any bottle of wine that has spent the last ten, twenty even fifty or more years in a cold damp room to show some visible signs of age. In most cases it is the label or the capsule that has been affected, not the wine in the bottle. In fact some label and capsule conditions can be evidence of unusually good storage.

The absence of any statement related to the condition of the bottle, label, or capsule does not necessarily mean that the bottle is in pristine condition. All conditions related to ullage are noted regardless of the age of the wine and wines with poor seals are removed from consideration. Some conditions may be omitted if they are judged to be very minor, normal for a wine of a given age, or if the wine was deemed likely to have left the winery in its current condition. We do not note conditions on back labels, import strips or tax strips.

In the inspection process special attention is paid to the following:

  1. Ullage/Level: Is the wine level appropriate for a wine of this age? Are there signs of past seepage? Click here to view a diagram of wine levels.
  2. Color: Is there evidence of browning? Is the wine cloudy? Are the depth of color and amount of sediment appropriate?
  3. Front Label: Is the label soiled, stained or damaged in any significant way?
  4. Capsule: Has the capsule been torn significantly, worn or trimmed? Is the capsule corroded?
  5. Bottle: Is there anything significant to note regarding the bottle? Is it period glass, does it bear any unique or unusual engravings or art work?
  6. Cork: Does the cork appear to be sound? Was it deemed necessary to trim the capsule to reveal the cork brand?

We are proud to have some of the most experienced rare wine experts in the industry on staff to inspect each and every bottle that we accept for consignment. If a wine makes it through our rigorous inspection process, you can bid with absolute confidence.

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