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bottles of fine wine

The epicurean consignor started collecting wine over 15 years ago. Today, his private collection is an eclectic range of names that traces his wine journey, from a penchant for top names to a flair for hunting the soon-to-be-top-names from the Rhone to Languedoc, and from Burgundy to the Loire.

Epicurean Dilemma: All-consuming passions for food and wine

The consignor of this private collection hails from Brittany, the north-west coast of France famous for its rugged coastline, striped jumpers, crêpes, and top-quality seafood. Obsessed with all things food and wine, the consigner amassed his collection over the past 15 years. The two passions obviously go hand in hand, and combined with his love for hosting, made for some epic dinner parties “When I would invite a few friends over, I would carefully select the bottles I would like to serve, and only then would I think about the menu go with them”.

Over the years, his cellar quickly filled with some of the most sought-after names from the Rhone Valley, Languedoc, Burgundy, and the Loire. Most bottles were bought from wine retailers and merchants with the intention of drinking them, but “over time, my preferences changed and my appreciation for different wines evolved” to the point where his all-encompassing passion meant his collection spilled over into several cellars and storage units including modern cellars, the cellar at his parents’ house, and in an old underground cellar (nonetheless ideal conditions of a naturally constant 13 degrees).

“During Covid, I was obviously entertaining a lot less at home, and decided to make an inventory of my collection. I soon realised that I couldn’t possibly drink 4,000-5000 bottles in my lifetime. My collection has a large quantity of specific vintages, but I would like to diversify what I drink [and taste less of the vintages I already know so well], so the time came to sell up. I hope the bottles in this collection are bought by people who love wine as much as myself.” That doesn’t mean he is hanging up his wine boots just yet – the consignor plans on “joyfully” continuing to expand his horizons and explore new regions and wines.

An ode to Syrah and the Rhone Valley

A huge fan of full-bodied red wines, our consignor was naturally very well-acquainted with the Rhône Valley and Syrah, his favourite grape variety. Starting with the northern Rhone, the collection includes appellations such as Côte-Rôtie, Crozes-Hermitage… enthusiasts will rejoice at the sight of Guigal’s three La-Las, all in 2010; more recent vintages of Jamet (2009, 2010, 2013…); and gems such as Gangloff including La Sereine Noire in various vintages.

“I love the southern Rhone almost as much as its northern counterpart, and particularly Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Obviously, we’re talking about Château Rayas, which is, according to our consigner, “the definition of a great, fine wine, probably the most interesting in my collection, and the wine that wine everyone over when you open it, whether you are into wine or not”. Of the incredible nine vintages from Rayas to go under the hammer from his collection, which was his favourite? ” 2008 Chateau Rayas was one of my fondest tasting memories, and it’s what I would bid on if I were looking. Tasting it was almost like meditation for me, although it’s best opened with a carefully prepared, delicate dish. Open it now or wait and promise you won’t be disappointed. I have been lucky enough to drink this vintage three times in the last few years, and each time was more memorable as the next. In another, warmer style, the 2003 vintage is also one of the greats, we paired it with seared duck and foie gras, at a reunion with friends. Last one, don’t miss the 2005 from Reynaud, particularly the 2005 Côtes-du-Rhône from Château de Fonsalette.

La Grange des Pères, Selosse…

There’s plenty to talk about from other French wine regions, and we share his enthusiasm for Languedoc’s Grange des Pères, with a preference for the 2012 vintage, which he says, was great to taste from day 1. Jacques Selosse’s champagnes also feature (brut Initial, extra brut grand cru blanc de blancs…) as do German wines, with stars such as Egon Müller leading the pack (the 2010 Scharzhofberger Kabinett Riesling is an absolutely remarkable). From Piedmont, bid on Barolo fromm Domaine Cappellano or Domaine Giuseppe Mascarello.


A discovery of Burgundy and Loire whites by his wife

“I love red wine, but my wife loves white”, hence the heavy presence of Burgundy Chardonnay and other regions that produce very fine white wine, especially the Loire”. The consignor travelled to Meursault to taste wines of Arnaud Ente, with many featuring in this auction. “When I liked the vintage, I seized the opportunity to buy bottles. For example, I am particularly fond of 2014 in white Burgundy“. Not stopping at white, red Burgundy grew on the consignor who snapped up bottles including a 2015 Gevrey-Chambertin Clos Saint Jacques from Armand Rousseau and 2014 Romanée-Saint-Vivant from the famous Domaine de la Romanée-Conti.

The same white-then-red principle applies to the Loire Valley, producers such as Clos Rougeard, Richard Leroy (especially with Les Noëls de Montbenault), Stéphane Bernaudeau “ Les Nourrissons or Les Onglés, I particularly like 2015 and 2016 for their incredible energy”…

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