Looking to build an outstanding wine collection? Look no further! We catch up with wine collector, entrepreneur and family man Selim Bocti and hear how to build and develop a wine collection.
Born in a family of fine wine and luxury spirits importers, Selim was immersed in the world of wine from an early age. He was quickly put in charge of running the family business. Through his job, Selim had the opportunity to visit and build relationships with winery owners and winemakers and it was that human aspect of the industry that fascinated him. I love fine wines and the people behind them: the winery owners, the winemakers, and their families. They live in a constant state of flux because of what they do: the most important aspect of making wine is nature, and they only have a limited ability to control such a strong force. They are very skilled, but also very humble and passionate people. The story behind the label is as powerful as what is in the glass.”
Selim Bocti visits Chateau Pichon Baron with Christian Seely.
The real switch, however, occurred during a dinner at the Maison Joseph Drouhin with Frederic Drouhin himself, explains Bocti, who had the opportunity to taste a 1971 Musigny, from his year of birth. It was for him an amazing experience to drink a wonderful wine packed with as much flavour as history. As a wine lover, Selim has also developed a considerable collection, which continuously evolves over the years. He takes great joy in opening a bottle that is at the perfect stage of its evolution. Although he finds it particularly difficult to choose specific highlights from his cellar, as all his wines “are there for a reason”. Bocti tends to be drawn to wines from wineries with which the story of the winemaker resonates the most. “The more I get close to the families behind the wines, the more three-dimensional the experience of drinking it becomes.” Saying that, he does have a soft spot for wines from Bordeaux and Piemonte, Angelo Gaja’s in particular, and – of course – his passion for great Burgundy, especially Vosne-Romanée and Échezaux. It is Selim’s kind, altruistic nature, combined with his distinctive flair for fine wine that led him on a mission to bridge the gap between fine wine investments and the 21st century and in 2020 co-founded, with his father Gabriel and fellow wine enthusiast Georges Chalhoub, the Vintage Cellar app.
Selim Bocti’s wine app Vintage Cellar
To put it simply, Vintage Cellar is a member-only fine wine investment app, backed by a team of wine professionals and sommeliers to provide a concierge style service for a niche community of members. Targeting neophytes as well as experienced collectors, the majority of members so far are composed of the latter. The purpose of Vintage Cellar is to become immersed in a community of like-minded people, driven by curiosity. “Curiosity is the decisive factor, as we are here to help with knowledge and experience,” adds Bocti. Ultimately, the goal is to encourage more people to drink, to learn about and to start collecting wines, as well as to share and compare their experiences with a worldwide community of wine lovers. Easy to navigate, the app enables you to browse, pick out what appeals to you and learn about each wine, safe in the knowledge that there is a team of dedicated sommeliers on hand available to advise. The first step to building a wine collection is to work out what you like. Bocti believes that you are likely to be a much better judge of the wines you like than those you don’t care for. The best way to do that is to Taste, Taste, Taste! Sampling wines from many different regions, and learning about them will help develop your palette and if you come across something that you like, buy in accordance with your budget. “Wine can be a great investment, not just financially – although the rewards can be great – but also in future pleasure and friendship” says Bocti. In fact, Selim explains that it is extremely rare for wine lovers or collectors to buy wine simply as a commodity. Collectors want to enjoy their Nectar of Gods as it matures, use the bounty in their cellars to mark the most special occasions in life and perhaps even lay down a treasure chest for future generations.
““Whatever the motivation or strategy used to collect wine, one should never forget that it is made first and foremost to be enjoyed, at every stage of its evolution. That is what makes it so special. People who treat wine solely as an investment sacrifice the pleasure of seeing a wine evolve”” – Selim BOCTI
Selim Bocti with Stephanie De Bouard Rivoal at Chateau Angelus.



Read up on which estates have a good reputation and are on their way up in critics’ scores and reviews. Don’t be blinkered by the Old World: some New World wines are becoming increasingly established in the world of fine wine.


Whether you choose to source your wine from an auction house, directly from the winery or through a merchant it’s vital that you buy from someone who vets the bottle’s authenticity. At Vintage Cellar, we recommend booking an online session with a wine specialist who can help turn every individual’s taste in wine into a great cellar. What is more, thanks to the app, you can always check the value of your cellar in real time.


Remember that, in general, the best profits are to be made by buying wines en primeur (shortly after they have been made and before they are bottled), and be prepared to wait five years or more for the price to increase: don’t see wine as a short-term investment.


Bocti recommends a balance of 50/50 between young vintages, and vintages that are ready to drink. That’s exactly how he manages his personal cellar. He also highlights that a Pinot Noir, preferably from Burgundy makes a safe wine investment.


It is vital to ensure that your wine is stored in optimal conditions. At Vintage Cellar, whatever the size of your collection, they keep your wines in bonded warehouses and store them in top-quality wine coolers.
Storage facilities of Vintage Cellar


Through Vintage Cellar the user has full visibility on his collection with up to date valuation and can also take action via the sommelier to withdraw any wines which can be shipped to the desired destination. This is applicable also to transfer wine to a private cellar or if you wish to sell it.


Counterfeiting, sadly, is a huge global problem in the wine industry, just as it is with fine art, antiquities and watches or handbags. The relationships Vintage Cellar has with its winemakers, however, allow them to be absolutely sure that they are acquiring the genuine article, with perfect provenance. It also means that clients can sell their wines with a perfect pedigree attached, which commands a substantial premium on the secondary market.


Like in any field as a Collector, it is very easy to attract unwanted attention, which is why safety is paramount. Make sure to take out an insurance policy that will cover every eventuality such as theft, breakage and natural disasters. At Vintage Cellar all the wines are insured at current market value the minute they reach the bonded warehouse.


With any acquisition you should safeguard original documents such as receipts, auction catalogs and seller information. Taking pictures of the original bottle, highlighting its condition, will helps establish the value and potential resale value of your collection. Alternatively, you can trust a third party such as V.C who can take care of all the paperwork on your behalf and provide you with the ultimate service.


Through Vintage Cellar, making your assets liquid, so to speak, couldn’t be easier. Just ask your sommelier at Vintage Cellar and let them talk you through the process: everything will be handled for you.


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