What is provenance?

As with any valuable asset (such as art), the provenance (from the French provenir, ‘to come from’), or history of a wine is absolutely crucial when buying wine, especially fine and rare wines from great and historic vintages, where authenticity, origin, storage and transport are key factors in ensuring its optimum condition (quality and development) in bottle.

The finest wines are those that are stored correctly

For example, storing a wine at the correct (and constant) temperature is vital for its gradual maturity and therefore both its quality and value in the market place. Poor storage can render the finest of wines undrinkable.

Our experts ensure provenance

Our experts have over thirty years experience in buying wine and you can be confident that we take every precaution possible in ensuring the provenance of fine and historic vintages by our rigorous checking policy, proficiencies and thorough inspections. We only obtain stock directly from vintners or recognised merchants with many years standing, and we only acquire a wine if we are 100% sure of its provenance. If there is any doubt at all over a wine’s provenance we simply will not purchase it.

One example of our approach concerns Château Lafite Rothschild, for which we possess a library of current/back vintages that we have accumulated over the years, and we have spoken directly to Charles Chevalier, Lafite’s general manager about this. Monsieur Chevalier has drawn attention to the various enhancements that they’ve either pioneered or been early adopters on in terms of digital coding of bottles, security within coding of labels, closures and banding of cases. He has also alluded to the increased amount of verification and refilling of older wines at the château or overseas that they’ve undertaken as well as their proof tag/bubble seal system.

Condition reports

For older vintages we provide additional information on the quality of the label and the fill level – as wine evaporates naturally over time. If you have any further questions about the provenance or condition of a wine, please do contact us and we can provide you with further advice and details.