Auction report November 2021 | Bizot and Auvenay take top spots

Looking at November’s auction results gives us confirmation that two Burgundy estates are drawing in the crowds. With a market simply full of surprises, though, there was also a result we didn’t see coming, here in the shape of a Japanese wine estate.

World record for a 2006 Echézeaux from Domaine Bizot, a jeroboam for €41,752

We’ve already written about this big news, but it’s worth repeating! Wines from Domaine Bizot have been drawing more and more attention in recent years, with feverish buying interest reaching its latest high last month. You can read more about the record in our dedicated article: ‘Record-breaking | €41,752 for a 2006 Domaine Bizot

Domaine d’Auvenay still on the up

It’s often difficult to tell which way the market will turn for Burgundy’s grands crus, but the boat has certainly been rocked recently. As we’ve seen for Bizot, cuvées from Domaine d’Auvenay (Lalou Bize-Leroy’s second estate) have become hugely coveted in the past years. In the last few months, though, this interest has sky-rocketed, with values for Auvenay bottles going through the roof. This is a phenomenon we once saw for Domaine Leroy itself. In the November auctions, some of the outstanding results for this estate included a bottle of 2005 Bonne-Mares which sold for €13,631 (+26%) to a British client; a bottle of 2015 Puligny-Montrachet Les Enseignères won by a French wine professional for €8,719; and a 2004 Chambolle-Musigny that went under the hammer for €6,877. For each of the Auvenay cuvées sold, the hammer price was a two- or three-figure increase on its estimated value.

‘Beau Paysage’, a Japanese phenomenon

There was a little surprise in the mix when we looked through our November results, this time in the form of an emerging but distinctive phenomenon: Japanese wine. We’re used to reporting success stories from Japanese wine makers who have settled in France, including Domaine des Miroirs, Pedres Blanques, la Grande Colline, and Mai & Kenji Hodgson. Now we’ve spotted a pique in curiosity for wine made in Japan, specifically in the Yamanashi valley.

Cuvées from the Beau Paysage estate stood out in recent auctions, with three bottles going under the hammer for around €200 each. The 2017 Tsugane Pinot Noir went for €264, whilst the 2017 A Hum reached a price of €221, and the 2018 La Bois got a hammer price of €196.

What do we know about the estate that has so intrigued clients this November? Well, covering just three hectares, the winegrowing land has belonged to Eishi Okamoto since 1999. Found in the upper Yamanashi valley with Mount Fuji as the most picturesque of backdrops, the vineyards are planted with Merlot, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc. The land is cultivated organically and permaculture is de rigueur; in line with the latest understandings in eco-friendly agriculture, the soils are not tilled in order to keep their microbial diversity. In the winery, the grapes are destemmed by hand, no sulphur is added to the wine, and the cuvées are matured in casks. Artisanal methods are prioritised throughout, demonstrating a profound respect for the produce.

Production at Beau Paysage is minuscule and the bottles are reserved before they set foot out of the winery. Only a dozen are imported into France every year, for example. It’s no great surprise, then, that the wines finding themselves onto the European market – and our site – should be so highly prized! We have a feeling this is one to follow very closely…

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