“This collection is the fruit of 10 years of curiosity shared with my wife.” It’s difficult to believe that the young voice heard over the telephone could already be selling on such a collection. This cellar is a treasure trove of Barolos, vintage Champagne by Anselme Selosse, rare Burgundian crus, and icons from the Loire and the Rhône. Where have these jewels come from? We got in touch with the seller to find out.
This aficionado has been putting together their cellar for ten years through meeting wine makers and other enthusiastic collectors. Their strategy? Simply to be guided by their own instinct and tastes. “I’ve never really understood the museum-like approach to collecting wine, we’ve always enjoyed drinking it, knowing that we’re sharing a piece of History marked by the personality of its producer. Far from the tight-lipped haughtiness of self-professed savants, we took a more organic route.”
The seller tells us how their cellar was built up in two main stages. Originally from Burgundy, the first step was to make a collection of Chardonnay and Pinot noir thanks to allocations obtained for domains that are now largely inaccessible. Then, one day, paths crossed with a great fan of Piedmont wines who, as well as introducing contacts with local producers, agents, and restaurants, accepted to exchange a selection of his Italian crus for a handful of Burgundies. So, this is an enthusiast with a cellar rich in prestigious, non-French wines that are ready to enjoy.
And here we get to the third stage. After having refined his palate with the savoir-faire of Grande Botte, our seller began to seek more accessible wines, bottles that can be opened with a little less pressure. The idea is to avoid taking the trodden path with a more novel approach. The hope is to build up a further collection of vibrant, lively wines. Today, it’s less a region or a specific terroir that they covet, but rather the imprint of a producer who integrates a certain amount of “humanity” in their wine. This is a real moment of reflection for a collector who humbly admits that they are questioning what they’ve valued in their collection thus far. In short, they are now more open to being surprised.
The crème de la crème of Italian and French wines
Here are some of the top picks from this private collection, a love-at-first-sight cellar for many of us at iDealwine. To begin with, the owner is selling his vertical of Anselme Selosse blanc de blancs. The winning bidder for this selection of 1988 to 2007 vintages will be a lucky one, especially since there is a 2003 bottle included, a notably exceptional vintage in Champagne.
Luckily, there are plenty of Burgundian bottles still in the collection, and the region is well-represented by an array of iconic bottles. A Volnay 1er cru Santenots du Milieu from Arnaud Ente, Meursaults by Coche-Dury, Gevrey-Chambertin by Armand Rousseau, Chapelle-Chambertin by Cécile Tremblay, Clos-Saint-Denis by Dujac, Chassagne-Montrachet by Ramonet, and Bonnes-Mares by Roumier…this is just a flavour of the regional treasures available.
Fans of Nebbiolo will be thrilled with this selection of superstar Barolos from the likes of Accomasso, Bruno Giacosa, Mascarello, Cappellano, Rinaldi, and Giacomo Conterno. Verticals and many mature vintages await those without the patience to wait for these superb single-varietals to reach their peak. Other prestigious crus include Dolcetto by Accomasso, Brunello di Montalcino by Azienda Agricola Cerbaiona, Burlotto in the Langhe region, Miani from Friuli, Roagna’s Barberesco cuvées, and Valentini’s Montepulciano.
And for those among you who are thinking of buying from outside the EU, good news: the VAT on sales from this auction is recoverable!