About Us

Hello and thank you for finding us! The Old & Rare Wine Company, LLC, is a California licensed wine importer, wholesaler and Internet-based retailer. Our office is located in Santa Monica and our temperature-controlled warehouse is close by in west Los Angeles, California. Currently, we do not have a retail store you can visit and see our wines. We do have pictures of most wines on the website and we can email you an excel spreadsheet of our inventory that you can peruse at your leisure.

The Old & Rare Wine Company was created to satisfy wine buying demand for properly cellared old and rare wines at reasonable prices. We have a large inventory of old and rare wines in our temperature-controlled warehouse. The majority of our wines (over 95%) are obtained from long established auction houses in the United States and shipped in refrigerated trucks to our warehouse. These brick and mortor auction houses inspect their consignors' wines, cellar conditions and take samples to ensure provenance of the wines. We only acquire the very best of these wines, often buying only case lots in original containers. In some circumstances, we procure wines from other sources including reputable European sources, wholesalers and customers who want to thin or reallocate their collections. We only take wines that have been properly stored (mostly in their original containers) and each bottle is inspected for its condition upon receipt. In essence, we source old and rare wines for you. This eliminates the time and costs you would incur to locate, bid/buy and ship the wines yourself. We also break the lots/cases up and sell by the bottle.

The founder of The Old & Rare Wine Company

James Yobski is the founder and owner of The Old & Rare Wine Company. He has been involved in the wine business since 1999. He began his wine career at the Wine Exchange in Orange, CA and later at The Wine House in west Los Angeles. He still has a great relationship with both stores and highly recommends them both. While at The Wine House, James was in charge of consignments and providing stock for the old and rare wine department. He continues to assist The Wine House in their acquisition of old and rare wines.

James also teaches about wine on many different levels. For ten years, James taught an intense, year-long, accredited wine course, as well as classes for beginners at UCLA Extension. The year-long program prepared individuals for the different wine professions in Southern California. James has also taught wine classes at The Wine House and other locations. He continues to offer private and group instruction on wine. If you would like further information about wine course/classes, please email him at james@oldandrarewineco.com.

James began collecting wine in the early 1990s, and continues to try new, different and older wines just like you. James has also visited numerous winemaking areas of the world and worked two harvests in Burgundy.

Prior to engaging in the wine business full-time, James worked as a lawyer for the justice department and was a partner in a San Francisco based law firm.

Bottle Conditions

The Old & Rare Wine Company makes every effort to offer older wines of sound quality and excellent provenance. We strive to obtain older wines that are in typical or better condition for their given age and make of the wine. However, due to the nature of older wines, capsules, label conditions and fill levels will vary.

While capsule and label conditions have no impact on the quality of the wine, we attempt to acquire bottles with capsules and labels in tact. However, not all of our wines have pristine capsules and labels. In the case of capsules, some wines may have loose, scratched or torn foils, or cracked/chipped wax capsules (i.e., Dunn Howell Mountain, Raveneau and Leroy). In very rare cases the foil may be missing or the wax capsule may be chipped off, exposing the cork. As in the case of loose foils, an exposed cork is not a bad thing with regard to the condition of the wine because is shows that the wine has never leaked. With regard to labels, most are in excellent condition for the age of the wine. However, some labels (more so with older wines) are faded, stained, scratched, scuffed or torn. In some cases, part of the label may be missing due to humid cellar conditions, again, that is a good thing for the wine in the bottle. Although we inspect every wine, we generally do not note capsule or label conditions on the website. If you require a perfect capsule and/or label for your wine, please contact us prior to ordering.

In most cases, the fills of the bottles offered by The Old & Rare Wine Company are commensurate with the age and make of the wine. Generally, the fills of our bottles are as follows:

Current release to 10 years from the vintage date - fills are into the neck for Bordeaux shaped bottles and within 1-2 cm of the cork for all other shaped bottles (i.e., Burgundy).

Bottles between 11 and 20 years from the vintage date - fills are base neck or better for Bordeaux shaped bottles and within 2-3 cm of the cork for all other shaped bottles.

Bottles between 21 and 30 years from the vintage date - fills are top shoulder or better for Bordeaux shaped bottles and within 3-5 cm of the cork for all other shaped bottles.

Bottles between 31 and 40 years from the vintage date - fills are upper shoulder of better for Bordeaux shaped bottles and within 4-6 cm of the cork for all other shaped bottles.

If you have any questions regarding the fill of any wine, please contact us.

Pictures

We do our best to earn the confidence and trust of our customers and try to be a reliable source of old and rare wine. In an effort to earn that confidence and trust, we try to include a picture of every wine we offer for sale. Where more than one bottle is available, we strive to picture the bottle with the lowest fill and/or most label damage. While this does not produce the most flattering pictures of our inventory, it does reduce misunderstandings between what you order and what you get. In fact, most of our customers are very pleased to receive bottles in better condition than those pictured. If you have any concerns, please email us at sales@oldandrarewineco.com and we'll answer your questions and provide you with additional photos.

Undrinkable and "Corked Wines" - No Refunds

Because The Old & Rare Wine Company did not produce or bottle any of the wines we sell, and due to the fact that the character of wine changes with age, we cannot guarantee the personal "drinkability" of every bottle we sell. It is the industry standard for shops such as ours, and it is the policy of The Old & Rare Wine Company, that older wines are purchased "as is" and at the buyer's risk as to the drinkability of the wine.

This policy includes "corked" wines (those tainted with TCA and smell of wet cardboard). This wine fault occurred during the maturing/bottling of the wine at the winery and is completely out of the control of The Old & Rare Wine Company. Whether the wine is from us or not, please contact the winery if you encounter a "corked" wine. Only the winery can solve this problem.

We do not issue refunds on wines that are deemed undrinkable or "corked."

Cancellations and Returns

All wine sales are final. Please review the email you receive confirming your order carefully to make sure you ordered the correct wine and shipping address. We are not responsible for any incorrect orders placed by the customer.

Any cancellation of any order must be done within 10 days of placing the order and prior to the shipment of the order. All cancellations are subject to a 10% restocking fee, unless there was an error on our behalf. The restocking fee is not a penalty but compensates us for our loss. When we charge your card your order is reserved for you. Your credit card company charges us when we charge your card and when we subsequently credit your card for a cancellation. Therefore, we will strictly enforce the collection of the restocking fee if your card has been charged. If we have not charged your credit card, you may cancel your order without being subject to the restocking fee.

No order may be cancelled after 10 days of placing the order.  No order may be cancelled after it has shipped (the shipment is in the possession of the shipping carrier). An address change (shipment re-routing) may be requested by the customer after shipment but a $15.00 fee will apply (this is the fee charged by shipping carriers for address changes).

Any return of unopened and undamaged wine that was incorrectly sent to the customer (i.e., wrong wine or vintage) must be done within 10 days of your receipt of the wine. Please email or call to inform us that you are returning the shipment. We will only issue an exchange/refund on returned products that were incorrectly shipped to you (i.e., wrong wine or vintage). We will not accept return of any wine that has been opened, harmed during transportation or harmed due to extreme weather conditions.

In rare circumstances we may, in our sole discretion, accept the return of unopened and undamaged wine that was correctly sent to you. Please call us prior to returning the wines as such circumstances are determined on a case-by-case basis. If we do accept a return under these circumstances, the customer is responsible for a 10% restocking fee and the shipping costs both ways.

Pricing and Availability

All listed prices do not include shipping/delivery charges. All listed prices do not include sales tax, if the wine is being delivered in California. Prices, ratings/reviews and availability of wines are subject to change without notice. Although it rarely happens, we do make mistakes in pricing so we reserve the right to correct those errors. The Old & Rare Wine Company cannot guarantee the availability of all items on our website. Occasionally we run out of an item before we can reflect that on the website. In the event that we do run out of an item you ordered, we will promptly contact you via email or telephone. At that time you can cancel your order free of charge or substitute another product.

Placing Orders

We prefer order requests to be placed on our website through the secure shopping cart. However, we also accept order requests by email and telephone. Before ordering, please read our About Us and Shipping Information links regarding our terms of sale. When placing an order request please include, your name, address, email and phone number. Please send your requests to sales@oldandrarewineco.com or call: 310.829.5390.

Weather and Limited Weather Holds

It is important to understand that wine is perishable and very sensitive to temperature. This should be taken into consideration especially while wine is in transit. We recommend that you take the weather between Los Angeles and you into consideration in selecting the appropriate shipping method for your purchases. Transporting wine in extreme weather conditions, even by overnight service, may seriously damage it. During periods of extreme weather, The Old & Rare Wine Company strongly advises against the transport of wines by any means. During these times we are pleased to provide you with free, short-term storage until better weather conditions prevail (Limited Weather Hold). Once you are ready to ship, simply go to the website, log in, find your orders, choose your shipping method and checkout.

If shipment is requested during periods of extreme weather, the buyer exempts The Old & Rare Wine Company from any liability for any damage to the wines during shipment. Please remember these are your wines and you determine the shipping method and timing.

Please keep in mind that we are not in the wine storage business. Hence, we will assess storage fees for orders kept longer than 6 months at a rate of $2.00 per case, per month (one case minimum). If you need wine storage, we can acquire that for you or provide you with contact information for a number of wine storage facilities in the Los Angeles area.

Email List – Special Offers

The Old & Rare Wine Company holds the highest respect for its customers and guarantees our firm commitment to your privacy. We do not sell any of the information provided by you to any other institution. When you create a customer profile you will have the opportunity to be added to our email list for special offers. We send out emails periodically (about once or twice a month) to alert our customers of special offers on New Arrivals. Many of the New Arrival wines are in small quantities and the email gives our customers the first opportunity to buy them.  Moreover, customers from the email list that purchase 6 bottles or more will receive a 10% discount on any of the New Arrival wines. You can remove yourself from our email list by logging on to the website and un-checking the box to receive the special offers. You can also call us or send an email to be removed from the email list.

We Buy and Take Consignments of Properly Cellar Wines

If you would like to thin your cellar or simply take advantage of the market, we know that the task of selling your own wine can seem difficult and time-consuming. We offer two flexible methods for you to cash in on your properly cellared wines. We are always interested in purchasing your properly cellared wine outright. In this scenario, we agree on a price for your wines and you get paid. Alternatively, you can consign your properly cellared wines to The Old & Rare Wine Company for sale. In a consignment scenario, we work with you to maximize the sale of your wines and pay you a percentage (typically 70-85%) shortly after those wines have sold. You set your own price (with our advice) in a consignment. If your wine is not selling, you choose if you want to lower the price or simply take the wine back. You choose the option that best suits your needs and timing.

Whether you decide to sell or consign your properly cellared wines to us, we will need as much of the following information listed below as possible. Alternatively, if you have already received a proposal from another wine company, please send us that list. We will be able to process your request much faster.

  • Vintage
  • Wine name, producer, any vineyard designations that apply, whether it is a reserve, etc.
  • Number of bottles
  • Size (half bottle, 750ml, magnum, double magnum, etc.)
  • Condition of the bottle(s)- fill levels (ullage), label condition, signs of seepage, and any other condition that will affect the value of the bottle. If you have bottles where you are unsure of the fills or labels, you can send us digital photos via email.
  • Finally, a description of how the wine was stored, general provenance (i.e., most wines were purchases upon release) and your full name, address and daytime phone number.

Once you have detailed all the information above, please email it to us. We suggest you use excel. If you do not have excel, Microsoft WORD is fine, but please use a tab stop after each category (i.e. Vintage (tab) Wine (tab) number of bottles (tab), etc.). Any agreed upon price for your collection is subject to review once we can make our own visual inspection. We also can arrange insured, refrigerated shipping and in some cases even assist in packing. Whatever your needs, we will try to help.

Professional Advice

While most of our customers are knowledgeable about old and rare wines, we often help those who are newer to wine, who know what they like and are in the process of building their cellars. Mr. Yobski has considerable wine trade experience and has tasted many wines from the producers listed in the inventory.

Wine Appraisals

Mr. Yobski can also provide wine appraisals for legal, insurance or other purposes. He has been appraising wines professionally since 1999. It also helps that he is a licensed attorney in California, Illinois and Missouri. If your wine has been damaged due to fire or other events and you need an appraisal or if life's circumstances require you to value your wine, please contact Mr. Yobski at james@oldandrarewineco.com.