High fill or Normal fill - Level of young wines. Exceptionally
good in wines over 10 years old.
Into neck - Perfectly good for any age of wine. Outstandingly
good for a wine of 10 years in bottle.
Mid neck fill - Indicates exceptional storage for any wine. In
bottles over 10 years of age, indicates especially good storage
conditions. For those over 40 years of age, may indicate a recorked/
Base neck fill - The fill is at about the bottom of the neck.
Indicates excellent storage for any wine. For wines over 25
years of age, indicates exceptional storage conditions. Many
producers fill bottles at base neck or lower.
Top shoulder - Fill just down below base neck. A standard
fill for wines over 10 years of age. Normal level for any claret
15 years old or older. For wines over 25 years of age, indicates
excellent storage conditions.
Upper or high shoulder - A fill just above the midpoint (as
measured by volume) of the shoulder of the bottle. Acceptable
for any wine over 20 years old. For wines less than this age,
may indicate problems with storage conditions. Common for
wines over 40 years of age. Exceptional for pre-1940 wines.
Mid shoulder - Not unusual for wines over 40 years of age,
but may suggest poor storage condition or early signs of cork
failure. Can be at significant risk of being undrinkable and
estimates for the value of the wine usually take this into account.
Lower shoulder - Some risk. Low estimates on wine value,
usually no reserve at auction.
Low shoulder - This can often be an indicator of poor storage
conditions and/or an undrinkable wine. Not normally recommended
for consumption. Risky and usually only accepted for
sale if wine or label exceptionally rare or interesting. Always
offered without reserve and low estimate.
Below low shoulder - Rarely seen. Not acceptable for sale
unless a rare sort of bottle. Wine will usually be undrinkable.