This new auction which closes on 4 October consists of a fantastic private collection put together by a collector for over 30 years. Fine wines from the greatest French and European terroirs await you. And so that you have a bit more information before placing your bids, we’ll take you through this catalogue of rare bottles by means of this article.
A catalogue of the greatest French wines
The collection illustrates the collector’s tastes; very eclectic at first glance, you’ll soon be able to spot their preferences. When they were starting out as a collector, they initially focused on Bordeaux. Lovers of this French region will be overjoyed to see that among the bottles bought over the span of 30 years, there is:
- A splendid selection of red wines from the 1855 classification:
- Château Lafite-Rothschild 1982
- Château Mouton-Rothschild 1975
- Château Margaux and others
- White wines with the 1975 vintage from Château d’Yquem as an example
- Wines from other great Bordeaux appellations: Petrus (1985), Smith Haut-Lafite (2000), Cheval Blanc (1990,2000,2015), and many others
Nowadays, Burgundy also takes centre stage in this seller’s collection. It’s joined there by Jura and Champagne, two regions where the terroir is allowed to shine through in the wines.
- The Burgundian catalogue is something to be admired! There are several wines from Domaine de la Romanée Conti (Richebourg, Echezeaux, La Tâche, and more with an impressive array of vintages from the past 40 years) as well as fantastic wines from the likes of Rouget, Arnoux-Lachaux, Sylvain Cathiard, and Bart.
- Other French regions aren’t left out either. Champagne (Roederer, Selosse), Jura (Domaine Ganevat, Buronfosse), the Rhône Valley (Rayas, Thierry Allemand), the Loire (Dagueneau) and Beaujolais (Yvon Métras), all show what excellent wines they produce.
Jewels from beyond the French borders
This interest in wines which echo their terroirs extended beyond France. Even though wines from North and South America, like those from some small producers in Napa Valley or bottles from non-grafted (pre-phylloxera) plots in Chile caught the collector’s eye, it’s the other European wines that really are extraordinary.
From Italy, Piedmont and Tuscany are, of course, represented with more weight given to wines from the northern region in the land of pasta, pizza and gelato. A treasure trove of legendary wines, the collection offers several regional delights:
- Barbera d’Alba and Langhe Nebbiolo from Rinaldi,
- Fine Barolos from Aleste Sandrone and Giuseppe Mascarello
- Amazing vintages of Barbaresco produced by Gaja (1958,1961,1967…)
In fact, mature vintages have a special place in the collector’s heart. “For me, it’s simple. These are wines that haven’t seen certain technology; they remain quite pure. Today, there are even some winemakers that are returning to these more traditional methods.”
That is why it is heartbreaking to separate the Spanish wines from Vega Sicilia in this auction. Captivated by the fascinating history of this estate, which is constantly reinventing itself, going from growing five grape varieties to two, the collector has never-ending love for these bottles. Other mature Spanish wines also stand out. The incredible Vinia Tondonia from 1920 (it’s nearly 100 years old) is just one example. Keep an eye out for the rare vintages, which are sometimes impossible to find, for wines that are always fantastic to taste no matter if they are young or old.
Where do you keep such a collection?
As you can imagine, it’s no mean feat storing all these wines, but the seller managed to fine a sizeable, underground cellar. It has everything they needed : space and optimal conditions where the temperature didn’t fluctuate very much. To assure that the conditions were still ideal for the wines, the collector would taste them from time to time. The most recent one to be uncorked was a Bordeaux that had spent its entire existence after leaving its producer in 1993 in this cellar. And it was absolutely superb.
It’s with a heavy heart that the collector parts with these wines but it gives them joy knowing that will soon have a new life.
Find the entire catalogue here