LEDOMDUVIN: SHARING KNOWLEDGE AND PASSION FOR WINE SINCE 1991 -
Tasting everything from everywhere, from the multimillion-dollar Chateaux to that small, unknown cellar ending a dirt path surrounded by vineyards... a wine blog to enjoy till the last drop!
Magnum bottles hold 1.5 litres of wine, twice the amount of a regular-sized bottle. And larger is better, right? 😉😄👍🍷
The magnum size offers several benefits, including a slower ageing process due to a smaller surface area of wine exposed to air, often resulting in a fresher, usually more refined, and complex taste than its regular bottle counterpart.
Additionally, magnums are often used for special occasions (birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, and other celebrations), making them an excellent choice for entertaining and gift-giving.
Aside from top wines (Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, etc.), which are usually more expensive in larger formats, magnums, in some cases, may also offer better value for money than buying the same wine in multiple regular-sized bottles.
When buying high-end wines, especially Bordeaux "En Primeur", magnums represent a good investment (*). As they age slower, waiting longer to resell them is not an issue, and their value usually increases more over time than regular bottles or even larger formats, making them more sought-after by collectors and connoisseurs. (**)
Magnums also have the ideal size, neither too big nor too small. They are easier to serve and handle than much bigger formats requiring either another person to help, several decanters, or even decanting machines like VCANTER for 6 litres and above.
Magnums are easier to resell compared to larger formats which are mostly of interest to a niche group of wine collectors. That is the reason why most Chateaux and Domaines mostly bottle their wines in regular bottles (750ml) and magnums (1.5L) and only do larger formats for their own collection or special requests.
Finally, the magnum's ideal format and visual appeal make for an eye-catching display in a wine collection or dinner table.
Back last April, while having lunch at the launch of Bollinger RD 2008 (hosted by @jebsenwinesandspirits), we had an interesting experience tasting it from regular bottles, magnums, and double magnums (or Jeroboam in Champagne), and the verdict was unanimous: it tasted the best in magnum!
Conclusion: Size does not always matter! The magnum size is perfect! And much larger is not always necessarily better. 😉😄👍🍷
(*) When buying Bordeaux "En Primeur", the Chateaux and/or Negociants usually ask the buyers their bottling preferences. Most Bordeaux Chateaux bottle their wines in regular-sized bottles (750ml) and magnum-sized bottles (1.5L), while they might also keep a small quantity of larger formats (3L, 4.5L and 6L) in their vintage library reserved for special occasions and special requests. Anything above 6L can only be made at the discretion of the Chateaux and is surely contractual to prevent buyers from changing their minds and retracting at the last minute.
If you're buying Bordeaux "En Primeur" and want to purchase magnums or larger sizes, make sure you only select wines that increase in value over time, as an investment, in case of resell later on.
For example, I recently bought quite a few 2022 Bordeaux "En Primeur" for the company I work for, and when asked about my bottling preferences, for this particular order (the table below), I selected the following ones (highlighted in brown) as I know by experience that their value always increases over time, more especially in magnum size.
Chateau Palmer is a very good example of a wine that never devaluates. Its value always increases, to the point of sometimes reaching up to 1.5x to even 2x its original value.
For example, as per the price analysis above (courtesy of www.wine-searcher.com), Chateau Palmer 2015 (great vintage by the way, highly recommended) had an average market price of 243 Euros in July 2016 and reached the average market price of 364 Euros in August 2023. That's a 49.79% jump in 7 years.
(**) The magnum value usually increases more over time than regular bottles or even larger formats, making them more sought-after by collectors and connoisseurs. In some cases, the price of a magnum may be slightly lower than the price of two regular bottles. In other cases, usually for top high-end wines, at retailers and auctions, magnums often reach more than 2.5x (or even more than 3x sometimes) the value of a regular bottle. In contrast, a Double-Magnum or an Imperial rarely reach more than 5.5x and 7.5x, respectively. This means that the price for two magnums often exceeds that of a double magnum.
To prove this last point, let's take Chateau Palmer 2015 again. And as I'm in Hong Kong, I will only select the price for Hong Kong.
As per the price analysis above (courtesy of www.wine-searcher.com), Chateau Palmer 2015 in magnum-size retails for about 712 Euros (in Hong Kong), which is about 9.2% more than the average market price of 2 regular bottles (326 x 2 = 652 Euros).
While for the double magnum, as per the price analysis above (courtesy of www.wine-searcher.com), it is available in Hong Kong for about 1,270 Euros, which is about
2.61% less than the average market price for 4 regular bottles (326 x 4 = 1304 Euros) and about
10.81% less than the price for 2 magnums (712 x 2 = 1,424 Euros).
This proves my point that magnum-size bottles are more sought-after for investment by collectors and connoisseurs, especially at auctions, as they are usually worth more than larger formats for an equivalent volume (the price for two magnums often exceeds that of a double magnum).
Voila! I could continue with dozens more examples, but I will stop here. That's all, folks! Stay tuned for more sharing of wine passion and knowledge.
Thank you for reading my post. Stay safe, and take really good care of yourself and your loved ones.