- The Underground Wine Letter - http://www.undergroundwineletter.com -


I am often asked about acquiring old wines. My answer is always to be very careful and know the provenance. Remember the Undergound was the first to talk about wine fraud (to read that article click here [1]) So if you are one of those who is looking to buy old wines with great provenance here is your tip of the day and maybe the tip of your life.


My long time friend and Underground Contributing Editor, Albert Givton, has decided to sell a large part of his cellar. Albert is extremely wine knowledgeable, had a wine publication for many years, and published a wine book of his experiences called Carte Blanche which he describes as “A Quarter Century of Wine Tasting Diaries and Cellar Notes: 1974-1999”.

Here is what he had to say in the preface to his book:

“A wine consumer’s advocate, I speak from a position of absolute independence from any connection-past or present-to the commercial side of wines. I am completely free to express my views about wines, with no underlying motive or interest.

I have never been associated, in any capacity whatsoever, in the production, ownership, distribution or retailing of wines, nor involved in directorships, auction houses, or any other business ventures related to wines. I am driven by pure passion, and by the desire to follow my fascination for learning and teaching about the wonderful world of wines.

Over the past 25 years, I have been given the opportunity to experience, first-hand, many of the greatest wines ever produced-and to witness the tremendous changes that have occurred in the taste of wines, winemaking methods, and the growing global interest in the subject….”

Here Albert states the same basic Underground philosophy that has been in place from the very beginning in 1979. He is a man after my own heart and I am in complete agreement with him.

Albert has a very discerning palate and really knows his wines. Over the last 40 or so years he has accumulated an incredible collection of the greatest wines. All are wines that he knows and loves and they have been perfectly stored. The only problem is that he is not getting any younger and he has too much wine. So this is a great opportunity for those of you looking to buy great old wines.


 Here is what Albert had to say about the sale:

“My cellar will be auctioned off by Zachy’s in New York on Friday,October 26th.
I will attend the sale and will be signing copies of my book Carte Blanche-books that will be given to successful bidders.
While the auction lasts all day,my lots (198 to 522 for a total of 324 lots)will be auctioned off between
11:45 a.m. and 3:00 pm approximately,over a champagne lunch at Smith and Wollensky’s restaurant in mid-town(east side).
Almost forty years went into collecting these wines, a lot of care and attention and hard work! But I do not feel sad( though I did for a while). I just hope that appreciative palates will get to educate themselves and enjoy some very rare treasures….”

Again, this is an incredible opportunity if you are looking to buy old wines. You can go to the Zachys website by clicking here [2].

Once you are on the website click on search to go to the catalog and go to lot 198 which is the beginning of Albert’s wines.

Good luck!

In Vino Veritas,Sig

John Tilson