Dujac & other Côte de Nuits domains | Auction report

Just over 6,000 bottles were offered for sale at the last online iDealwine auction which closed on 15 March. A third of the bottles were purchased by foreign enthusiasts, with bidding from some thirty countries. This sale put scarce grand crus from the Domaine Dujac under the spotlight.

Although Domaine Dujac does not often feature at auction, thus keeping it out of the spotlight, it belongs to an exclusive circle of producers whose wines are sought after by enthusiasts worldwide. Established in 1967 by Jacques Seysses, the domaine is now run by the next generation, (Jeremy, Alec and Diana, Jeremy’s wife). One of the domaine’s distinctive features is vinification of whole bunches of grapes, which gives young wines an elegant vegetal note, which some enthusiasts can find disconcerting, hence the need to cellar them for several years until their flavours develop fully. At the latest iDealwine auction, it was these mature vintages which fetched higher prices. The domaine comprises some fine parcels, with 12 Côte de Nuits premiers and grands crus. These include Clos de la Roche, one of Domaine Dujac’s most iconic labels. Given its scarcity on the auction market, it comes as no surprise that the price literally skyrocketed for two superb years, achieving €672 for Clos de la Roche 1999 (+24%) and €660 for the 2002 (+84%). The 2008 – which was somewhat cast in the shade by the two previous vintages and went under the hammer at €296 (+23%) – therefore still has some real potential for future growth. The Clos Saint Denis 1999 also achieved a good result, selling at €528 (+15%).

The main trends for other regions which emerged from this sale were Mouton-Rothschild and Lafite premiers crus in the Bordeaux category which topped the auction sale leader board, even in the lesser vintages such as the Mouton 1992, 1993 and 1999 and Lafite 2011. Most grand cru classé prices rose, and not just in renowned years (€840 for Cheval Blanc 1990, +17%); more recent fine vintages also picked up, such as 2009 (+25% for Haut-Bailly at €165) and 2010 (€326 for Angélus, +9%). In Sauternes, Château d’Yquem collectable vintages have been as successful as expected: a bottle of 1925 achieved €1,500 (+46%). The war years, which are hard to source, are also achieving high prices (€1,440 for a 1942 vintage and €1,260 for the 1941).

In Burgundy, Asian enthusiasts were to the fore, pushing up the bidding on Burgundy grands crus. Romanée from Domaine Liger-Belair winged its way to Hong Kong for €1,620. Wines from Domaine de la Romanée Conti were snapped up by buyers from Singapore, including a Richebourg 1990 (€2640, +28%) and a bottle of La Tâche 2007 (€2,340, +34%). Prices of marcs from the famous domaine also rocketed – €1,260 for a Fine de Bourgogne (DRC) 1986 and €984 for a Marc de Bourgogne 1988 from the same source. Turning to white wines, Domaine Arnaud Ente, which is making a name for itself, is universally acclaimed; its Meursault Clos des Ambres 2011 went under the hammer for €260.

In the Rhône Valley, the strong performance of Guigal’s so-called LA-LA-LA Côte-Rôtie trio of wines continues apace (+41% for La Landonne 1995 at €360). In the whites, the 2009 vintage of Château-Grillet broke the 200 euro barrier (24€, +40%).

In other regions, notable results included €288 for a Jurançon – le Petit Manseng moelleux 2001 from le Clos de la Joliette. In the magnums, two wines from regions which rarely attracted attention until recently also achieved good auction results: €192 for the Fleurie L’Ultime 2011 from Yvon Metras and, still in the magnums, €180 for the Côtes du Jura Cuvée Marguerite 2009 from Jean-François Ganevat. In Champagne, scarcity is always at a premium, and a bottle of the famous Salon Cuvée S in the 1990 vintage went under the hammer at €732.


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