Q: At a recent auction, I bought a bottle of 1989 Margaux for just about its current auction price on the Wine Spectator Auction Index. When I opened the bottle, I was startled to find that the cork looked brand new: shiny, almost plasticlike with no signs of aging. Also, there was a misspelling: instead of "mis en Bouteille au Château," the spelling was "Mis en Bouteilles." Did I buy a fake?
A: Paul Pontallier, of Château Margaux, says: "I can confirm that the correct spelling on the 1989 Château Margaux cork is "Mis en bouteilles" with an "S". The fact that the cork "looked brand new" is rather encouraging, as we have made so many efforts to improve the corking.
"We've also started to laser etch our bottles, beginning with the 1989 vintage, and you should be able to read to code "LCM 89" etched at the bottom of your bottle. Should you still have some doubts, you can send us photographs of this cork and bottle for evaluation."
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