QUESTION: Hi! I found this old bottle in the back of my mother-in-law's liquor cabinet. It is completely in Spanish. The label is torn and appears to have gotten wet at some point in time. I can't seem to find any information about it online. Here is what the label (attached) says. "SANTACRUZ; Gran Vino Seco; ELABORADO Y EMBOTELLADO EN ORIGEN POR; BODEGAS Juan Ramirez; CASA FUNDADA EN 1914; VALDEPEĐAS"
On the back is a label with a map. At the bottom of that label is some text printed on it. "3/4 - CN - N.o 152015 - T"
The bottle has been stored upright in an air conditioned house as far as I know. Can you give me any info as to what it is or what it might be worth? I live in the US (Melbourne, Florida). Thank you so much!
ANSWER: Hi Dave,
There's a bit about the winery at http://www.bodegasjuanramirez.com/index.php?lenguaje=2
Your wine comes from the La Mancha area of central Spain - of Cervantes and Don Quixote fame - that has attracted recent investment from wine makers who have concentrated on the Tempranillo grape used for Rioja.
There is almost no possibilty of pleasure from drinking such an old bottle as this and you wouldn't be able to sell it so it's worthless I'm afraid.
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QUESTION: Thank you so much for the response! I wonder if you can tell me why the wine would be no good? Do only certain types of wine age properly? Is it because of the way it was stored? Thanks again David.
It's a common fallacy that wines get better the longer you keep them. A very few, such as top vintage Ports, do improve in the sense that the first 20 years or so bring changes through maturity that most enthusiasts would see as 'improvements' and continue in that vein for many decades more before the spirit finally overtakes the fruit and the balance is lost.
But the vast majority have a far shorter lifespan with decline starting within a year or so of release and then accelerating to the extent that very few are as enjoyable beyond 10 years of age.
In very broad terms, one can be fairly confident that a costly wine from a noted producer in a top district will have a longer lifespan that a budget one from a megawinery or one in a marginal area.
Storage plays an important role in all this as wines kept lying down in a cool dark place will always keep as well as can be expected, whatever the original quality, while poor storage - standing up in full sunlight on a kitchen windowsill, or in a loft subject to seasonal freezing and heat - will never last as well, even if it was a Bordeaux First Growth.
Your Valdespenas isn't from a top district, a top producer and nor does storage in 'MIL's liquor cabinet' bode well. So all three lead to the answer I gave.