Once again, our auctions have demonstrated a real desire for natural wine. Our December sales confirm this clear trend, with really rare names going under the hammer for really high prices. Note that this is a global phenomenon, with clients from Germany, Russia, and the Asian continent keeping their eyes on domains with tiny production levels.
The Loire, the Jura, and the Beaujolais: natural wine keeps up the pace
A veritable playground for lovers of natural wine, the Loire is now a go-to region to find the next big thing. The auctions we held in December continued on this path, with some sales that would have been considered unprecedented just a few years ago. Kicking the cult classics Clos Rougeard and Didier Dagueneau off the podium were the 2000 vin de France Genèse cuvée made by Les Jardins Esmeraldins and the 2006 Les Nourrissons by Stéphane Bernaudeau. The Jardins Esmeraldins wine went for €1,363 a bottle, and a lot of six by Bernaudeau went for €1,351. These two, rare signatures were followed closely by a little 50cl dessert wine: a 1997 The Picrate by Eric Calcutt. This nectar undoubtedly owes its success to the eponymous producer who, after 5 years, brought his ‘natural’ work to an end since it never really took off, apart from in Switzerland and Japan where his fine, ageing wines were mainly exported.
Other regions continue to rise thanks to the work of many producers who cultivate using eco-friendly methods and who vinify their fruit with little intervention. In the Jura, it’s the iconic Pierre Overnoy who continues to stand out, this time with his 1987 vin jaune Arbois Pupillin that sold for €1,198. Another good result came for the 2016 vin de France Ja Naï Les Saugettes from Domaine des Miroirs, which went under the hammer for €860. As for the Beaujolais, the king of natural wine Yvon Métras and his L’Ultime cuvée have again been coveted by enthusiasts, with a 1999 vintage selling for €614.
Bordeaux: magical Merlot from the Right Bank
If we look at more traditional regions, we can see that Bordeaux’s right bank also had a certain success, most notably from the fascinating appellation of Pomerol and Saint-Emilion. From Pomerol, let’s underline the progress made by Petrus (a 2000 vintage and a three-bottle lot from 2008 were sold for €4,666 and €6,386 respectively). Château Lafleur also did well, with a six-bottle lot from 2000 selling for €8,350, as did Château Le Pin whose 2006 two-bottle lot went under the hammer for €3,864. Saint-Emilion is represented by grands crus classés such as Ausone (12 bottles bought for €4,912), Angélus (12 bottles at €3,107) and Cheval Blanc (six bottles for €4,912).
Burgundy: rarity defined
Burgundy certainly wasn’t left behind, since Domaine de la Romanée-Conti shone at a very high level. A case of 13 bottles from the domain was sold for €40,524. From the same property, we have seen the rise of large formats (a magnum of 1999 Grands-Echezeaux sold for €5,035, +8%) and of La Tâche cuvées (a 2010 was sold for €4,298 and a 2002 vintage for €4,052, an increase of 6% and 7% respectively). We have also remarked upon the increasing presence of Domaine Bizot, a property that appeared in December with a 2002 magnum of Echezeaux that sold for €3,254.
Rhône Valley: the comeback of Guigal’s La La La trio?
Three properties stood out from the rest of the Rhône in our December auctions: Guigal, Rayas, and Henri Bonneau. The famous Guigal cuvées had fallen into the background a while ago, but they made a comeback in December; a 1978 La Mouline sold for €2,702 and a La Landonne from the same vintage for €2,088. Château Rayas displayed its colours with pride when various lots sold well: two bottles of 2010 for €2,456 and two bottles of 2009 for €1,948, for example. Finally, Henri Bonneau’s Castel-Papal again drew the attention of curious fans of the Réserve des Célestins cuvée; this two-bottle lot from 1988 very nearly reached €1,550.
Italy: unstoppable Piedmont
Taking our little tour beyond the borders of France, we can’t deny that Italy has lost none of its shine, especially regarding the wines from Piedmont. The big names? Giacomo Conterno’s 1997 Barolo Riserva Monfortino sold for €1,351, and a magnum of 2004 Barbaresco Asili Riserva Falletto made by Bruno Giacosa went for €1,044.
After reading this round-up of top sales, you might be thinking about selling some of your own bottles. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with our sellers team; they’ll have all the information you need to pursue a sale of your wine with iDealwine.
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