Levels and conditions of the bottles


hf high fill normal fill. Level of young wines. Exceptionally good for wines over 10 years old.
in into neck Perfect for wines of any age. Outstandingly good for a wine of 10 years in bottle or longer.
ts top-shoulder Normal for Wines which are 15 years or older.
hs high-shoulder Natural dwindling, normally absolutely harmless. Acceptable for any wine over 20 years old. Exceptional for wines of 50 years or older.
ms mid-shoulder Mostly a sign of an aging cork, therefore a lower estimated value. Calculable risk. Not unusual for wines between 30 and 40 years of age.
lms lower-mid-shoulder The risk is acceptable. Wines have a lower estimated value.
ls low-shoulder Risky purchase. Only acceptable for very rare or well sought-after wines. Lowest estimated value.

Burgundy-, Champagne- or similar shaped bottles:

Owing to the slope of the shoulder it is impractical to describe levels as mid-shoulder, etc. Wherever appropriate the level between the cork and the wine will be measured and catalogued in centimetres.
The condition and drinkability of burgundy is less affected by ullage than its equivalent from Bordeaux. For example, a 5 to 7 cm. ullage in a 50-year-old burgundy can be considered normal, indeed good, 3.5 to 4 cm. excellent for the age. Even 7 cm. is rarely a risk.


  • Although we make every effort to measure and describe the fill-levels of older vintages, corks over 20 years old begin to loose their elasticity and levels can change between cataloguing and shipment to the buyer.
  • We therefore emphasize that there is always a risk of cork failure with old wines and due allowance must be made for this.
  • It is not our policy to open original cases.
  • Under no circumstances can an adjustment of price or a credit be made for ullage after delivery.
We wish you every success and hope that you enjoy the auction!