"It’s just a bottle of such rarity that you half expect to never see one!"

Sworders' Wine Specialist Paul Fox reflects on a palatable year for the Fine Wine and Spirits department...


Paul Fox Wines and SpiritsPaul Fox | Wine Specialist


What was your favourite lot to sell and why?
An 1850 vintage of Verdelho by Vinicola de Madeira. There will come a day when there are no longer any 19th-century fortified wines to be enjoyed. Until that time comes they are something to be savoured. This particular bottle is made from Verdelho grapes which were grown before the phylloxera plague swept across Europe’s vineyards towards the end of the century - extremely popular at the time but much scarcer now. 

What was your most surprising find of the year?
A 1937 bottle of Romanée-Conti by Domaine de la Romanée Conti. It’s just a bottle of such rarity that you half expect to never see one! Initially, we received an image of this bottle via email but it took much research and verification on our part before we allowed ourselves to believe it was the real deal. It sold for £8,260.

What was your most rewarding piece of research?
Various bottles of wine and spirits which had lost their labels. It is always worth digging that little bit deeper into the other aspects of a bottle that can give away what it is – the capsule, any other labels, and embossing on the bottle itself can all help to provide you with an answer to what’s inside. Of particular reward was a bottle of Cognac bearing a label which read only “Limited Production, Single vineyard Cognac, Estate bottled” which we managed to identify as an old bottling of Domaine Frapin’s Vieille Grand Fine Champagne Cognac.  It sold for £153.



Sworders Fine Wine & Spirits department concluded an extraordinary year with an auction in November that featured a diverse collection of wine and spirits and saw 94% of available lots selling, proving that even in times of adversity there is still a simple pleasure to be derived from having something special to drink.

Entries for the next exciting sale close this Friday 12 February, so if you are considering selling, or simply wish to satisfy a curiosity over that bottle that has been stashed away for years, please get in touch. 

Contact Paul Fox - 01279 817778 | paulfox@sworder.co.uk 







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