Our mid-January auctions saw an unprecedented private collection consisting solely of natural wines. The natural wine trend has been gaining momentum in recent years, and among the wines in the collection were many rare signatures which captured our bidders’ interest.
Even in traditional regions, natural wines are on the rise
In Burgundy, the tendency for natural wines has been emerging in the past few years. Frédéric Cossard, who began his career as a wine broker, pays no heed to organic or biodynamic labels, but rather simply produces wine in the most natural way possible. He also advises Eric Pfifferling (Domaine de l’Anglore) to the same end. These Côte-de-Nuits wines charmed enophiles, as shown by the Nuits Saint-Georges Les Damodes (2010, +73%), his Vosne-Romanée Champs Perdrix (2015, +104%), as well as a bottle of Morey Saint-Denis 1er Cru 2010 (+27%). This also holds true for the wines of Philippe Pacalet, Marcel Lapierre’s nephew, who trained at Domaine Prieuré Roch. Two of his Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru in the 2010 vintage thus did very well at auction (€438, +50%), as did his Echezeaux Grand Cru 2009 (+33%) and 2012 (+34%).
The Rhone valley is not immune to the phenomenon
Thierry Allemand is one of the region’s most well-known signatures when it comes to natural wines. This committed vigneron refuses certification and crafts his famed Cornas from vines grown on steep hillsides. His single-parcel cuvée Chaillot showed an increase of 45% with the 2009 vintage selling for €584. Brothers Pierre and Jean Gonon are known for their excellently-made Saint-Josephs, which gain significantly in value even in just a few years: the 2015s saw an increase of 30%.
Icons of the Loire
When talking about natural wines, mentioning the Loire is unavoidable. These eccentric wines, sometimes demoted to Vin de France, appealed to wine enthusiasts who were inclined to look beyond preconceptions and labels. Stéphane Bernaudeau and Richard Leroy’s wines had the most striking results in these auctions. Leroy lost the Anjou appellation in 2008, but his cuvées are nonetheless very much sought-after, as shown with his original cuvée Les Noëls de Montbenault (2008 +40%; 2014 +28%) and his most recent cuvée Les Rouliers (2014, +114%). Loire appellations are performing well, for instance the Saumurs from Domaine du Collier. Antoine Foucault, son of one of the three founders of Clos Rougeard, is particularly well-known for his white Saumur produced from vines growing on the fantastic terroir of the Côtes de Brézé. He produces wines which are perfectly balanced between freshness and unctuosity (2012, +40%).
In the Jura, Overnoy’s wines achieve the highest bids. His Arbois Pupillin performed well: +52% for a Savagnin ouillé 2000, +49% for a Chardonnay Savagnin 1999. The most recent vintages did very well, as the 2011 100% Savagnin cuvée illustrates (€669, +38%). Adeline Houillon & Pierre Bruyère are also high in the rankings; a magnum of their cuvée Les Trouillons achieved a record in the 2014 vintage (€236 +329%). The same holds true for Jean-François Ganevat’s wines, with the 2004 and 2006 vintages of Les Vignes de mon Père selling for €420 (+26%) and €462 (+27%) respectively.