When buying Vintage Ports, it is always best to purchase from a Taylor Fladgate importer, which has purchased the wine from Taylor Fladgate own cellars, or from one of its customers, such as a well established fine wine merchant.
However Vintage Ports, which age in bottle, are also sold at auction and traded by fine wine brokers on what is known as the ‘secondary market’. Caution is required when purchasing Vintage Port from these sources. It is important to deal only with well established and reputable firms and to insist on information regarding the wine’s provenance. The seller should be able to give details of where and from whom the wine was acquired, in what conditions it was stored since leaving Taylor Fladgate's cellars and whether or not it has been recorked (recorked bottles should be avoided).
Generally speaking the leading international auction houses and well established fine wine merchants are careful only to offer Vintage Ports of known provenance and to verify the wine’s condition. However, this is not the case with all wine brokers and traders. If there is no certainty as to a wine’s provenance and condition, it is best to be cautious even if the price is tempting. Like any other fine wine, Vintage Port will suffer if stored in poor conditions for a long period.