Auction Report | Top bids for Loire wines and non-French cuvées

No region escapes the attention of our keen-eyed bidders, with wine lovers on the hunt for top names from low-key spots and prestigious domains alike. Successful names are emerging from all directions, and some of our top results of late come from the Loire, northern Italy, and even Japan!

The brilliance of Bernaudeau

A new El Dorado for fine white wine, the Loire Valley is home to some top estates that we already know such as Dagueneau, Edmond Vatan, and Richard Leroy, with all of these seeing the value of their produce move steadily upwards. Another domain worth our attention is that of Stéphane Bernaudeau, who cultivates three hectares of vines organically and appears more and more frequently among the region’s best-sellers. His eco-conscious approach and rare production draw a certain amount of interest, as is proven by the successful auctioning of some very recent vintages. A collector from Hong Kong, for example, was the winning bidder on a double-magnum of the 2019 Les Nourrissons cuvée, for a final hammer price of €3,076 (+217%). Such an impressive result also demonstrates how the ‘vin de France’ label – a symbol of freedom from constraint for certain vintners – isn’t turning off any bidders. The lot in question was even rarer than usual, as it came straight from the estate and was signed by the vigneron himself, just one of seven like this! Another top performer from Domaine Bernaudeau was the 2019 Onglés cuvée which was bought by a French collector for €467 (+56%).

Wine from beyond France

Whilst iDealwine’s classic strength remains in the diversity of its fine French wine, bottles from beyond the Hexagon are increasingly finding their place in our auctions. Collectors from all over the place are interested in these wines, as the distinction between ‘old world’ and so-called ‘new world’ perhaps loses some of its pertinence.

Let’s start in the US, where the famous Napa Valley proudly flies the flag for American winemaking. Here, we’ve had some great results for the Dominus Estate as well as Opus One, the fusion of Mondavi and Château Mouton Rothschild. Opus One’s 2009 vintage went under the hammer for €344 a bottle at the start of this year, an increase of 81% on its estimated value. Santa Barbara is another American signature known for its range of earth, microclimates, and terroirs. The Sine Qua Non cuvée crafted by Austrian Manfred Krankl, a wine that was spotted by Robert Parker in its very first vintage, went under the hammer for €589 in its 2006 vintage, a jump of 52%.

Heading back to European ground, it’s northern Italy’s turn to shine, particularly the Barolo appellation according to our recent auction results. With its powerful Nebbiolo cuvées that are perfectly apt for aging, this winemaking region is positively bursting with finesse. Since the beginning of the year, we’ve had some wonderful cuvées from this part of the world, including the 1937 Barolo by Giacomo Conterno (€419) and a 1955 Riserva Cannubi from Bartolo Mascarello which sold for €737 (+44%).

A rather new addition to our auction catalogue comes all the way from Japan, the Beau Paysage domain located in the upper Yamanashi valley where the vinifications are natural. Last month, a bottle of the 2017 Tsugane Chardonnay went under the hammer for €798!

What about the classics?

For Bordeaux, Pomerol is performing particularly well with a two-bottle lot of 2007 Petrus selling for €5,526 (+45%). Unsurprisingly, Burgundy is still headed up by Domaine d’Auvenay (owned by Lalou Bize-Leroy of Domaine Leroy fame); a 2014 Puligny-Montrachet Les Enseignères was recently bought for €9,456, +199%) by a British collector. In the Rhône, Rayas and its satellite domains are causing a stir. A two-bottle lot of 2011 Châteauneuf-du-Pape from Rayas sold for €3,930 (+63%), and a three-bottle lot of 2006 Côtes-du-Rhône from Fonsalette reached a sum of €1,903 (+56%)!

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