Useful Terms

Buying & Selling

Some of the most used terms when buying and selling with Langton's.

Lot
A single or multiple items sold as a single unit for one price. A lot can include varying number of bottles and in some cases different types of wine.
Estimate per Bottle
Expected price range that a lot is expected to fetch for. This is based on historical sales data and is provided as a guide to help with your bidding.
Bid
Placing a bid is making an offer for a determined amount of money for a specific lot during an auction. All bids with Langton's are per bottle (except set or barrels).
Current Bid
Is the highest bid for a lot in real time.
Auto Bid
Allows you to enter your maximum price when bidding on a lot. This ensures that you are the highest bidder until your maximum prices has been reached.
Passed In
A lot will be 'Passed In' when it doesn't reach its vendor reserve.
Reserve
he Reserve is the minimum price at which the lot will be sold. Reserves are confidential and not published.
Buyers Premium
The Buyer's Premium is Langton's charge on the wine you buy. 18% incl. GST. It is added to all successful bids at the close of an auction. You only pay the Buyer's Premium if you are the successful bidder.
Vendor Commission
The amount paid by the seller to Langton's on the sale of wine through Langton's.
Hammer Price
The Price successfully bid for and to be paid by the buyer for a lot sold at auction.

Ullage

Sometimes described as the 'fill level', ullage is the term used to describe the level of wine in a bottle and is one way of assessing the condition of a wine.

The loss of wine from a bottle happens through evaporation and occurs naturally over time. The ullage level of a bottle can give insight as to the type of care and storage condition that the wine has been kept in.

The following represent wine fill levels for Bordeaux, Cabernet Sauvignon, Penfolds Grange and similar bottles -

Base of Neck
Indicates a very minimal reduction of wine due to evaporation. An excellent level for any wine 10 years or older.
Just Below Base of Neck
Indicates a minimal reduction of wine due to evaporation. A very good level in any wine 15 years or older.
Very high shoulder
Indicates a very slight natural reduction of wine due to evaporation through the cork and capsule. A good level in any wine 15 years or older.
High shoulder
Normal level for any Bordeaux 20 years or older.
Mid-high shoulder
Indicates a natural reduction through easing of the cork and evaporation through cork and capsule. Buyers should inspect the wine or obtain a condition report.
Mid-shoulder
Indicates some weakening of the cork and therefore risk of oxidation. This is not unusual in wines over 50 years old and estimates will take this into account. Bottles of wine from more important, older vintages can be attractive as curios in a collector's cellar.
Low-mid shoulder
Indicates high risk of oxidation and will attract low estimates.

Ullage - other regions

The definitions below apply to Burgundy, Rhone, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Riesling and wines in similar bottles.

Burgundy and Riesling-style bottles cannot be measured in the same manner as Bordeaux-style bottles because of the slope of the bottle's shoulder. As a result, fill levels for Burgundy and Riesling bottles are measured in centimetres by looking at the space between the base of the cork and the wine.

2cm or less
is considered excellent fill for any age and a fill level does not need to be mentioned.
3cm or better
is a perfectly normal fill for wines aged 10 years or older. It is an excellent level for wines aged 25 years or older.
4cm
is considered normal fill for wines aged 15 years or older and excellent for wine aged 35 years or older. However, it would be cause for concern in wines aged 15 years or younger.
5cm
is not uncommon in older wines of 30 years or older. Some risk is involved at this level.
6cm or more
is a poor fill level for any wine, unless the wine is extremely rare.

Common Bottle sizes and descriptions

Name Description Size
Half Bottle Equals half a 'regular' bottle 375 ml
Bottle A 'regular' bottle 750 ml
Magnum Equals 2 bottles 1,500 ml
Marie-Jeanne (Bordeaux) Equals 3 bottles 2,250 ml
Tregnum (Bordeaux) Equals 3 bottles 2,250 ml
Double Magnum Equals 4 bottles 3,000 ml
Jeroboam (Sparkling/Burgundy) Equals 4 bottles 3,000 ml
Jeroboam (Bordeaux) Equals 6 bottles 4,500 ml
Rehoboam (Sparkling/Burgundy) Equals 6 bottles 4,500 ml
Imperial (Bordeaux) Equals 8 bottles 6,000 ml
Methuselah (Sparkling/Burgundy) Equals 8 bottles 6,000 ml
Salmanazar (Sparkling/Burgundy) Equals 12 bottles 9,000 ml
Balthazar (Sparkling/Burgundy) Equals 16 bottles 12,000 ml
Double Imperial (Bordeaux) Equals 16 bottles 12,000 ml
Nebuchadnezzar (Sparkling/Burgundy) Equals 20 bottles 16,000 ml

Wine Labels

The condition of a wine/s label is taken into consideration in determining value. Langton's makes every effort to describe in detail the conditions of labels.

The condition of wine bottle labels are referenced in the following way -

Minor Label Damage
Describes labels that have small marks, scuffing or a slight tear.
Damaged Label
All other imperfections such as large nicks, tears, scrapes
Badly Damaged Label
Only used to describe extreme problems such as major portions of label damaged or missing, or the label is unreadable etc.

Wine Closures

Wines under cork typically have a sleeve or capsule covering the top of the bottle. Not only is it a decorative element of a bottle's label it adds a level of protection to the cork underneath

Wax capsule
The original capsule is wax, not metal or plastic. Wax capsules are quite common on larger format bottles.
Screw cap
An alternative wine closure that consists of a metal cap that screws onto threads located on the neck of a bottle.
Vinlock (Vino-Seal)
A glass stopper closure with a plastic seal.
Missing Capsule
There is no capsule in place. Wines without an original capsule but with a branded cork may be sold,

Wine Closures - Conditions

Like wine bottle labels, the condition of the capsule is also taken into consideration when determining value. Langton's makes every effort to describe in detail the conditions of labels.

The condition of wine bottle capsules and closures are referenced in the following way -

Minor Capsule Damage
Generally small nicks, tears, scrapes
Damaged Capsule
Describes capsule/s soiled or damaged by dust, dirt, humidity or water
Badly Damaged capsule
Only used to describe extreme problems such as major portion of the capsule damaged or missing etc

Packaging Descriptions

Original Case
Wines that are packed in their original case in which they were packaged at the winery
Original presentation box
Wines that are packed in their original cardboard presentation boxes
Original timber case
Wines that are packed in their original timber cases

Penfolds Red Wine Clinic

Penfolds red wines that are 15 years and older may be assessed, topped up, re-corked and re-capsuled at bi-annual wine clinics held in state capitals in conjunction with Langton's Fine Wine Auctions. Bottles in acceptable condition are given back labels signed by a Penfolds winemaker certifying that the wine has been topped up and re-corked under proper supervision. Langton's will not sell any wine that has failed to meet Clinic standards. We advise clients to never buy Penfolds Grange without a company capsule.


Henschke Quality Assurance Program

This is an in-house re-corking program for old bottles of Henschke red wines still owned by C. A. Henschke & Co. The program was conducted by Henschke and Langton's Fine Wine Auctions.


Jimmy Watson Trophy

This prestigious award is given to the producer of the best one-year-old dry red wine in the Royal Melbourne Wine Show.