For the most part, great vintages in standard bottles of 750 milliliters have disappeared. However, we’ve assembled a cache of highly regarded wines in large formats. Forgive our boasting, but it’s a pretty amazing feat considering how collectible big bottles are.

And the advantages are….well….huge!

The primary benefit is, of course, that wines age better in large bottles. More wine in a container means less oxygen and sulfur dioxide in the bottle. This effect, in turn, helps the wine to age more slowly. Because the wine ages more gradually, it has a chance to develop more complexity. The thicker glass in large formats also helps to safeguard against temperature variations — the most critical factor in wine preservation and aging.

Common bottle sizes:
Standard – 750 milliliters
Magnum – 1.5 Liters. 2 bottles
Double Magnum or Jeroboam – 3.0 Liters. 4 bottles
Imperiale – 6 Liters. 8 bottles. Used for still wine.
Methuselah – 6 Liters. 8 bottles. Used for Champagne.
Salmanazar – 9 Liters. 12 bottles

Grandest bottle sizes:
Balthazar – 12 Liters. 16 bottles
Nebuchadnezzar – 15 Liters. 20 bottles
Melchior – 18 Liters. 24 bottles
Solomon – 20 Liters. 26 bottles. Typically for Champagne only.

 

As for the Biblical names associated with the various sizes, there is no definitive answer. One theory is that the old English word jorum, used to refer to a large drinking bowl, became linked with the biblical character Joram. Eventually the word Jeroboam evolved, denoting any large bowl, bottle or container for liquid. Once a Biblical reference was established, subsequent large bottles were also given Biblical names.

And in many ways, the names seem appropriate. For example Methusaleh (6 Liters – 8 bottles) is named after the Jewish King who lived a thousand years. A testament to the aging potential for wine in such a large bottle, perhaps?

Melchior (18 Liters – 24 bottles) was one of the Three Wise Men who presented gifts at Jesus’ nativity. Balthazar (12 Liters – 16 bottles) was also one of the Wise Men. However, another Balthazar ruled Babylonia. Does the name refer to that king? Undoubtedly, after consuming a Balthazar, many other associations might manifest. For now, we’ll leave it at that!

What about the cost of large formats versus a standard bottle? You’d think that since you’re buying in bulk  you’d save money, right? But that’s typically not the case with big bottles of wine. Magnums and Double Magnums are generally more expensive because of the cost of the over-sized bottles themselves.

Happily, we’ve been able to gather an impressive selection of well-priced large formats. And of course, we’re passing the savings on to you. Each bottle is a great investment, that will ultimately allow you to enjoy beautifully matured wines at increased value. We’ve even thrown in a few half-size bottles for those of you who just can’t wait and want to drink a vintage early. Voilà!

Unless otherwise indicated, a single bottle is available for each listing. To order, please write [email protected] or call 850-687-1370.
 

MELCHIOR (18 Liters)
2016 Château Cos d’Estournel. JS-100  RP-100 NM-100. $6,600.99
2016 Château Fleur Cardinale. JS-94  RP-92. $1,299.99
 

SALMANAZAR (9 Liters) 
2016 Château Cos d’Estournel. JS-100  RP-100. $3,189.99

IMPERIALE (6 Liters)
2015 Alter Ego de Château Palmer. JS-96  WE-94. $689.99
2016 Château d’Armailhac. JS-95  RP-93. $669.99
2016 Château Calon-Ségur. JS-98  RP-96. $1,329.99
2016 Château Canon-la-Gaffelière. JS-96  WS-95.  $799.99
2016. Château Clerc Milon. JS-96  RP-94+ $1,089.99
2016 Château Cos d’Estournel. JS-100  RP-100 NM-100. $2,159.99
2016 Château Pavie. RP-100  JS-100. $3599.99
 
DOUBLE MAGNUM (3 Liters)
1988 Château Malartic-Lagravière. $358.99. 2 bottles
2000 Tertre Rôteboeuf.  RP-98. $1,599.99. 3 bottles
2005 Tertre Rôteboeuf.  RP-98. $1,799.99. 3 bottles
2016 Château Cos d’Estournel. JS-100 RP-100 NM-100. $1,069.99
2016 Château Fleur Cardinale. JS-94  WA.92. $229.99
2016 Château Peby Faugeres. JS-97  RP-96. $599.99
NV Billecart-Salmon Brut Rosé. DC-93. $349.99
 

MAGNUM (1.5 Liters)
2009 Château Palmer. JD-99 RP-98. $739.99. 2 bottles
2009 Château Pape Clément Rouge. RP-100 JS-98. $369.99. 2 bottles
2013 Bond Melbury by Harlan. AG-97 RP-97. $994.99. 1 bottle
2014 Opus One. JS-97 RP-96. $699.99. 3 bottles
2015 Château Ducru-Beaucaillou. AG-98 DC-97. $369.99. 5 bottles
2015 Château Pontet-Canet. JS-98  RP-96+ $249.99
2016 Château Branaire-Ducru. WS-96 WE-95. $119.99
2016 Château Clinet. JD-99  RP-97. $209.99
2016 Château Cos d’Estournel. RP-100  NM-100  JS-100. $359.99. 2 bottles
2016 Château Haut-Bailly. JD-98  RP-98. $254.99. 3 bottles
2016 Château La Mission Haut-Brion. RP-98+  WS-97. $929.99.
2016 Château Monbousquet. JS-96 WS-94. $109.99.
2016 Château Mouton-Rothschild. RP-100 JD-100 JS-100 AG-100 NM-100. $1,329.99. 3 bottles
2016 Château Pape Clément. JS-98  RP-96. $249.99.
2016 Château Pontet-Canet. WE-100  RP-98. $259.99
2016 Château Smith Haut Lafitte. RP-98 DC-98. $239.99. 3 bottles
2017 Château Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape. JD-95 DC-95. $139.99. 6 bottles
2017 Henri Boillot Volnay Premier Cru Les Caillerets. JM-94. $175.99. 7 bottles
2017 Paul Jaboulet Aîné Hermitage La Chapelle. JD-99 JS-98. $388.99. 2 bottles
NV Billecart-Salmon “Brut Réserve” Champagne. DC-95. $99.99. ETA Fall 2020
NV Billecart-Salmon Brut Rosé. DC-93. $139.99. ETA Fall 2020
NV Billecart-Salmon “Sous Bois” Brut Champagne. WS-94. $144.99. ETA Fall 2020
NV Gosset “Grande Réserve” Brut Champagne. $99.99. 4 bottles

 
STANDARD (750 ML) 
2006 Billecart-Salmon “Cuvée Nicolas François Billecart” Brut Champagne. RP-97 DC-96. $97.99. ETA Fall 2020
2007 Billecart-Salmon “Cuvée Elisabeth” Rosé Champagne. RP-97 DC-96. $134.99. ETA Fall 2020
2015 Château Poesia. JD-93. $48.99. 118 in stock
2016 Château Bellefont-Belcier. RP-93+ $42.99. 60 bottles
2016 Château Haut-Bailly. RP-98  JS-98. $119.99
2016 Château Haut-Brion. JS-100  WE-100 AG-100 RP-100 DC-100. $597.99. 10 bottles
2016 Château Pape Clément. JS-98  RP-96. $94.99
2016 Château Hosanna. JS-97  RP-95+ $169.99
2016 Vieux Château Certan. RP-100  JD-100. $309.99
2018 Aubert “Lauren Vineyards” Sonoma Coast Chardonnay. RP 98. $149.99. 6 bottles
2018 Aubert “Eastside Vineyard” Russian River Chardonnay. JD-100 RP-99+ $129.99. 6 bottles
2018 Aubert “Larry Hyde & Sons” Carneros Chardonnay. RP 97-99. $129.99. 6 bottles
 
HALF-BOTTLES (375 ML)
2009 Château d’Yquem. RP-100 JS-98. $199.99. 9 bottles
2015 Château d’Yquem. RP-100 AG-98. $189.99. 12 bottles
2015 Château Latour Matillac. JS-93  RP-93. $19.99
2015 Château Pichon Comtesse Réserve de la Comtesse.$21.99  JS-93  WE-93
2016 Château Pichon Comtesse Réserve de la Comtesse. WE 96-98. $22.99
2016 Griffons de Château Pichon-Baron. JD-93. $27.99. 12 bottles
2016 Château Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc. JD-99. $49.99
2017 Château d’Yquem. JS 98-99 RP 97-99. $189.99. 2 bottles
 
Here’s to BIG BOTTLES!