This private collection is something of a first on iDealwine, and maybe even a world-first… The selection offers the most incredible variety of natural wines that have been stored in perfect conditions and in many cases are available in ready-to-drink vintages. The catalogue features everything from iconic, already renowned producers to the stars of tomorrow, such new names that even we have never heard of them!
The collector parting with his collection is a lover of natural wines, an avant-garde enthusiast with who we at iDealwine are always delighted to speak; we know that every time, we are bound to learn bucketloads, and come away with a list of delicious wines to try that we’d never heard about before.
This wine enthusiast is selling his cellar for family reasons and, as you can imagine, it’s not without a certain amount of regret. “I’m neither a collector nor an investor, I built up this collection with the intention of drinking the wines. That’s why with many of the references, there is only one bottle, at times two or three: I generally buy three bottles of each wine so that I can taste them at different ages, one bottle young, another in the mid-term and finally one after an extended period of aging. I chose only natural wines made for cellaring; many of these wines are now impossible to find,” he explains.
When scrolling through the auction catalogues, you will notice that this collection is made up of an overwhelming majority of natural wines. Why such radical choices? His decisions were far from simply influenced by the vagaries of fashion, rather this enophile is one of the greatest natural wine specialists we’ve ever met. “I first got into wine in the 1990s, and soon became interested in natural wines. I was guided by the precursors of the movement, especially some of the founders of the wine magazine Le Rouge et Le Blanc. It was they who introduced me to the best natural wines. From there, I started going to natural wine tastings and buying lots more wines from different domains. I would also often go to themed tastings organized by wine shops, where at the time you had access to the elite of natural wines (Overnoy, Richard Leroy, JM Stephan…). Of course, all that happened progressively, over the course of 15 years,” he told us. “Now natural wines represent 99% of what I drink. My body is no longer used to additives and doesn’t tolerate them at all. I enjoy natural wines for their beneficial qualities. When you taste them, it does you good! It’s good for mind and body! I find that well-made natural wines are infinitely more complex and flavourful than wines with additives. These days, I can’t tolerate other wines, both physically and aromatically.”
One of the most interesting things about this wine cellar is that it was built up over the course of more than 10 years: this is an enthusiast with years of experience in tasting natural wines, with astounding knowledge of the best domains in France and abroad. He points out that, contrary to what many think, good natural wines are made for cellaring and gain a lot of complexity with some bottle age (in good storage conditions of course). He recommends drinking them after at least 5 years of aging. “Like with the best conventional wines: great natural wines improve with age, yet it’s even more the case with natural wines as they stabilize and develop stunning complexity. The optimum age to drink a natural wine is often between 5 and 15 years, when they have been stored in perfect conditions. L’Anglore is the perfect example: after a few years of aging, time attenuates the expression of carbonic maceration and the intensity of the fruit, evolving into more aromatic complexity, a velvety texture and great depth.”
Flagship natural wines
This cellar is unique for several reasons. First of all, it boasts the top names in the natural wine world, the most iconic and well-known natural producers, including Overnoy, Ganevat, Clos Rougeard, Selosse, Ulysse Collin, Yvon Métras, Prieuré-Roch, Mugnier, Thierry Allemand, Jean-Michel Stephan, Giuseppe Rinaldi, as well as what we could call the “second wave” of natural wines that are particularly sought after at the moment, such as Domaine de l’Anglore, le Clos des Grillons, Bénetière, Souhaut, Bernaudeau, Domaine du Collier, Cédric Bouchard, Pacalet, Clos du Rouge-Gorge, Clos des Grillons, Gramenon, Labet, La Porte Saint-Jean, Domaine de Jaugaret, Chartogne-Taillet… Finally – and this is rare enough to be worth mentioning – it also presents a superb range of what we could call the third generation, the natural wine icons of tomorrow: “often young producers who benefited from the pioneering work of those before them and who don’t hesitate to go even further”. This is the case for domains such as La maison en Belles Lies, domains de la Cras and Dandelion in Burgundy (Côte de Beaune), or domains Aurélien Lurquin, Brochet and Rupert-Leroy in Champagne; La Grapperie, Marula and Corbineau in the Loire; Domaine des Murmures in the Jura; Domaine Pedres-Blanques in the Roussillon… We’ll be writing an article entirely dedicated to these domains next week.
This auction is also exceptional in that it offers a wide variety of vintages, with many ready to drink, mature wines. Wines such as Yvon Métras’ Fleurie 2009, Saumur-Champigny Les Poyeux 2010 from Clos Rougeard, Vosne-Romanée Vieilles Vignes 2006 from Domaine Bizot, Barolo Brunate-San Reserva 2005 from domain Giuseppe Rinaldi or a 1999 vin jaune from Pierre Overnoy-Houillon are just a handful of examples of perfectly mature wines.
Another striking characteristic of this sale is the number of magnums – for instance from Domaine Bénetière, Chablis from De Moor and certain cuvées from Ganevat. “Magnums are ideal for aging and great in terms of conviviality. Especially given that they’re good natural wines, they’re very easy to drink!”
Now that you know more about this wine enthusiast, his cellar and his wines, why not have a look through the catalogues yourself?
23/10/2019 – 11H00 : CP – Etranger 1972-2018
23/10/2019 – 11H30 : CP – Misc. French Wines 1944-2018
23/10/2019 – 12H00 : CP – Alsace Jura 1989-2018
23/10/2019 – 12H30 : CP – Champagne 1995-2016
23/10/2019 – 13H00 : CP – Loire 1990-2018 – Red
23/10/2019 – 13H30 : CP – Loire 1983-2017 – White
23/10/2019 – 14H00 : CP – Rhône 2000-2018
23/10/2019 – 14H30 : CP – Burgundy 2002-2018 – White
23/10/2019 – 15H00 : CP – Burgundy 2001-2017 – Red