Auction Report March 2021 | Echézeaux estates contend for victory

domaine bizot vosne-romane

In March, iDealwine became the backdrop for an intense bidding war between two top signatures of the Côte de Nuits. Unusually, it was the grand cru Echézeaux at the heart of the battle, a pearl of the prestigious Burgundy sub-region.

Last month, magnums from two domains that cultivate vines in the Echézeaux appellation were put up for auction at iDealwine, both from the same vintage: 2009. The first comes from an icon, Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, an estate with 4.7 hectares on this appellation. DRC’s Echézeaux cuvée, produced in 15,000 bottles a year, is described by the domain as the earliest-maturing of their wines, and the simplest of their grands crus. ‘A beautiful tenderness encases a steel skeleton that allows the wine to evolve elegantly.’ In the end, it was a French bidder who won this magnum for a sum of €4,789, 30% above its starting price.

Domaine Bizot, star of the moment

Just a few weeks after this success for Romanée-Conti, it was Domaine Bizot’s turn to shine. A private collection went up for auction including almost 60 bottles, classic and magnum formats, red and very rare white cuvées produced by the microscopic Domaine Bizot. This estate was taken up in 1995 by Jean-Yves Bizot, who immediately chose to abandon the use of herbicides, gradually taking the path of responsible agriculture before making the full transition to organics from 2001. Since 2004, the domain has been fully organic in its production, without seeking an official label, and Bizot has also reduced the use of sulphur during vinification. Several Echézeaux parcels with distinct characteristics are cultivated, and this 2009 vintage is a top collectors’ bottle since it turned out to be the last year for the Les Treux parcel’s older vines, decimated by a cold snap later that year. It was a surprise when a magnum from this vintage went for €5,035, an increase of 64% on its starting price! Other top performances for Bizot last month included a bottle of the glorious 2002 which sold for €3,193 to a bidder in Hong Kong, as well as a magnum of the 2008 Vosne-Romanée Les Jachées cuvée which went under the hammer for €3,009.

Jean-Yves Bizot recently acquired some parcels in the Marsannay appellation, and his tiny production of the Clos du Roy cuvée sold for €933 a bottle, both in the 2009 and 2008 vintages. As for cru from the regional appellation Le Chapitre, its 2009 and 2010 vintages have performed even better, selling for €1,117.

This domain also crafts Chardonnay cuvées from the Les Violettes parcel. Labelled as a simple ‘Bourgogne’ cuvée since the Vosne-Romanée appellation officially allows only red wine, enthusiasts are nonetheless drawn in, as demonstrated by a hammer price of €626 for the 2009 vintage.

Selosse supreme in Champagne

Selosse skyrocketed to the top of iDealwine’s ranking of best-selling Champagne houses in 2020, with its sales in value doubling in the space of a year, but this estate is not resting on its laurels. In March, the 1990 grand cru Blanc de blancs stepped over the 1k mark, going for €1,044 to a client in Singapore. Selosse’s 2002 Millésime Brut Blanc de blancs was bought by an American enthusiast for €633 (+17%), and a bottle of the Grand Cru Avize Les Chantereines Extra Brut has taken off to Hong Kong after receiving a top bid of €577. Clients from Japan, Estonia, the UK, Italy, Denmark, and Finland also found their perfect fizz from Selosse throughout the month. An unstoppable force in a competitive market!

Grange des Pères…magnum-sized

The Languedoc’s most famous domain is experienced in the art of whipping up a frenzy at auction. Whilst there weren’t any record-breakers last month, there was a notable result for the second vintage ever produced by the domain, a 1993, that went for €1,105. The magnum format has also seen great success of late, being rarer and thus highly coveted. A 2015 vintage in this size went under the hammer for €602, whilst a 2000 sold for €571. Whichever date appears on the bottle, it is clear that enthusiasts go mad for these generous formats. This may well be a path for other top domains in the region to follow…

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