Are aged wines still valuable?

Wine cellar with wines ageing

Old vintages of fine wine suitable for ageing are always highly sought-after.  In fact, after several years of ageing, the wine’s textures and aromas transform and offer a completely different tasting experience. Now is the time to sort out your wine cellar!

What constitutes as a “mature vintage”?

At iDealwine, we view wines that are more than 10 years old as a “mature vintage”. The price of these mature beverages can sometimes increase for the simple reason of supply and demand depending on the rarity of the bottle. As you probably know, most wine needs rest to be able to be savoured when they are at their most divine. You’ll find over 1,300 mature vintages in the iDealwine cellar. From Burgundy to Bordeaux, via the Rhône Valley, Languedoc and Champagne, you’ll also find mature fine wine from Italy, Spain and Hungary.

Our oldest bottle at the moment is a Calvados from Christian Drouin which dates back to 1939. With a high percentage of pear, this bottle is a bit of an anomaly and sells for €1,675. We also have a magnificent 1946 Rivesaltes from Domaine La Sobilane at only €125. Tasting this fortified wine is a unique experience with its classic aromas of rancio, prune and spices.

The impact of a vintage’s quality and characteristics on prices

Prices can also vary depending on the scores given by famous critics such as Robert Parker (who retired in 2019) and Antonio Galloni (Vinous). A good example of this would be Château Pontet-Canet which has seen the price of its 2010 soar to €225 (2024 iDealwine Price Estimate) after Robert Parker gave it a 100/100 upon release. The following vintage in 2011 did not receive such a high sore, having been given 93/100 and the price of a bottle from this less successful year is logically lower (estimated at €88). We can also use the similar example of Clos Saint-Martin whose price varies greatly according to the quality of the vintage and critic’s notes: €145 for the 2010 vintage and €55 for the 2007.

It goes without saying that the scores and notes aren’t everything ; the rarity of mature vintages and their flavours also have an influence. Wine enthusiasts will ask questions about the production methods used, the ageing potential of the wine, its aromas… Mature vintages enthral us wine lovers as they are a way to taste a drop of history.

Bordeaux’s En Primeurs are not to be missed either!

If you wish to discover how wines evolve over time, Bordeaux’s En Primeurs are for you. This is a campaign that occurs every year in springtime and allows you to pre-buy wine that is still in its barrels. The idea is that you bet on the future by buying wine at the most attractive prices and see what happens to the value as the years go by.  Since 2021, iDealwine has run a dedicated En Primeur website that is available in French and English. The wines will become available to purchase on it as they are released from the end of April. If you are looking for a long-term investment, you can sign up for alerts, so you won’t miss any releases.

What to do with mature vintages?

So, if you come across a series of (very) old bottles while going through your cellar, don’t throw them away! Some, of course, can’t be sold due to their condition: low or empty wine level, missing label, loose cork or destroyed capsule… But apart from these extreme cases, if you decide to sell, you could make some good money. And if the state of a bottle does not allow it to be sold, do not throw it away, but open it instead!  At worst, you will be fleetingly disappointment, but at best, you will experience something exceptional. All of this simply requires you to carefully sort through your cellar…

However, don’t think that the older a wine is, the higher its price will be. Wine prices follow a curve that corresponds with its peak condition. It progresses slowly and peaks when the wine, too, appears at its best. Then, once it exceeds this peak, the price will also experience a slow decline. However, certain vintages are more sought-after and rarer, especially when a wine is from what is dubbed “a vintage of the century”, as in 1929, 1945 or 1961.  Generally, a wine’s price estimate increase over time. In extremely rare cases, bottle’s prices can experience staggering variations. For example, a bottle of Mouton Rothschild 1945 (see below for the price estimate over time) was sold at its lowest auction price in November 2019 – €5,526. Five years later, only two more bottles have been sold on our website.  The latest one in January 2024 went under the hammer for €11,205. This bottle is so rare that collectors are willing to pay its weight in gold for it.

Price Estimate Mouton Rothschild 1945

Sell your wines

Buy mature vintages

Leave a Reply