Never before have we had the honour of presenting such an exceptional Private Collection. The stunning lots up for auction come from the cellar of a single wine collector, and there are fine bottles from every French region and beyond. This really is a cellar for the senses, and a chance for unforgettable tasting moments.
A real wine lover
You only have to glance at the contents of this cellar to understand that we’re dealing with a seasoned wine collector with eclectic tastes. Our consignor had their first wine revelation when tasting a 1961 Château Sigalas Rabaud with a friend. Completely besotted with this new discovery, he quickly set up a tasting club and didn’t waste a second learning all that he could. He started classic, tasting cuvées from Bordeaux and Burgundy, before branching out to the Loire and even the Napa Valley. With wine becoming a bigger and bigger part of his life, our consignor consecrated a lot of time to this passion, including visiting estates where he would buy bottles directly. As his enthusiasm developed and his knowledge deepened, he found that he had a particular penchant for wines from Burgundy and the northern Rhône, whilst always remaining curious about new wines to discover. “I’m first and foremost a Burgundy lover, I’m really quite sensitive to the emotions that these wines provoke in me. This is especially for the red wines, though I do enjoy the region’s whites, too. I know the Côte de Nuits by heart. For example, I got the chance to taste Les Amoureuses at a time when the climat was unknown to most. Plus, I’ve got to meet many of the region’s wine makers.”
So why would such an impassioned wine lover part with his collection? Well, he simply got carried away with himself. There are too many bottles for one person to enjoy. “I’ve realised that, when I look at my cellar, I have more bottles than I could ever uncork. It looks more like a restaurant cellar than a private one! It doesn’t make sense to keep so much, and I’d like to have a more ‘normal’-sized collection. It’ll still be too much for me to drink on my own, but I hope it’ll be better.” Having never sold any of his bottles before now, our consignor admits to feeling a certain twinge at the thought. But we can assure him that these wines will have a good second life in the hands of our trusty wine lovers.
Ideal storage conditions
These wines have been stored across several, perfectly-adapted cellars that keep the bottles at temperature and humidity levels that are just right. The main space is a large underground clay cellar. “The temperature there is pretty much constant throughout the year, with only some very small variations. When I open bottles from the 1990s, I’m always surprised by how well they’ve kept, and that’s including mature Burgundy wines.”
As for where the wines came from initially, some are allocations directly from the estate. Most of them come from different wine merchants that our consignor has built strong relationships with since his first forays into the mondovino.
The selection of wines from Burgundy is a dream come true and includes some of the most sought-after names of the moment. This is the case with Domaine d’Auvenay, whose Aligotés Sous Chatelet can be found here, notably in the 2009 and 2000 vintages. Let’s stay with the same winemaker, Lalou Bize-Leroy, but this time with her Côtes-de-Nuits domain (Leroy), where you can find wines such as the 2014 Pommard Les Vignots. Many bottles from the Bizot estate are also up for auction in this collection, such as the Hautes-Côtes-de-Nuits and the Vosne-Romanée. Meursaults from Arnaud Ente are also featured and worth your consideration.
Interest in alternative methods
Bizot, Overnoy, Domaine des Miroirs, Ganevat, Bruyère-Houillon, Richard Leroy, Bernaudeau, Thierry Allemand and Yvon Métras are just some of the eco-conscious wines you’ll find in this collection. And for good reason: the seller admits to having a bit of a weakness for natural cuvées! He has been exploring this side of viticulture for more than 10 years, in particular thanks to the wines of Richard Leroy.
However, this enthusiast does not limit his choices to natural producers, looking above all for wines made with as little intervention as possible. What he seeks is « the sensation of having more direct contact with the fruit and the feeling of better recognising the nuances in the terroirs”.
The seller’s top picks
We don’t blame you if you find this collection a little overwhelming in scope. So here are some ideas from the consignor himself.
“The first wine that comes to mind is a 1961 Latour Pomerol. It’s almost indescribable, an example of how Bordeaux wines used to be made: it’s much lighter with a fruitier profile and a finesse not unlike fine Burgundies like Bizot.” Sadly, there isn’t a 1961 in this sale, but there is a 1995 from the same estate.
“I’d also recommend Domaine Hubert Lignier, an estate I’ve followed for a long time. Since I have plenty of bottles from here, I’ve been able to include some in the auction. Lastly, each bottle from Domaine Bizot has been exceptional. I’m surprised by the winemaker’s personality – endearing and authentic – compared with the madness that his bottles bring about on the wine market!”