This is a true wine enthusiast and a discrete master in the art of tasting who has decided to sell part of his wonderful collection on iDealwine. Meetings and telephone conversations convinced us of his passion and his expertise. Here we tell you all about it, as well as revealing our favourites from the sale.
The birth of a passion
Any advice for putting together a wine collection? “Passion!” And this is a passion that we sense through the audible smile of our interviewee over the phone. In fact, since the beginning of his venture, our seller never built up his cellar with the view of investing in the sector, and it pains him to see his bottles go. “My passion is tasting. I’m not a collector. The wines I’m selling are memories of tasting and encounters.” Take note that he has participated in “a few” competitions and won “a few titles”. However, it was quite late and totally by chance that he discovered the world of wine. He owes this introduction to a former colleague who, in 1997, invited him to taste some wines that had a long-lasting effect on him: a Charmes-Chambertin, a Bâtard-Montrachet and a 1973 Château-Lafite-Rothschild. All three of these being quite old, this confirmed his penchant for mature vintages. After this, everything happened quite quickly. Starting by placing an order through his friend from some of the finest winemakers, he was then accompanied before flying the nest to discover some gems on his own. And then, of course, guides and reviews were of great help to him. At his bedside for many years now, the Robert Parker guide has aided him in his search for niche bottles, a refined palette and mastery of the art of tasting.
An ideal wine cellar
It’s no secret. To conserve bottles effectively, a good cellar is needed. His bottles had for a long time been kept in his father’s cellar. But with his collection growing, he had to look further afield, stocking bottles in the exceptional cellar owned by his aunt, which was at just the right temperature. Then, wishing to build his own house, our seller elaborated his plans, prioritising his ideal cellar – large, aerated and ventilated. Made with high-vaulted ceilings and a dirt floor, it benefits from a perfect hygrometry. “Cork is a natural material at the entry and exit point of oxidation. The cork must always be swollen.”
Building a collection
You only need to glance at this cellar to understand where our interviewer comes from: southern France. An incredible wine collection, and notably – a very rare occurrence – whites from Grange des Pères (a domain recommended to him by Ramonet himself), 147 bottles of Grange de Pères in total, is surrounded by the most beautiful domains of the Rhône Valley (Henri Bonneau, Château des Tours) and Languedoc (Mas de Daumas Gassac, Mas Jullien and Mas Cal Demoura).
This collection was not put together in a calculated fashion, we can assure you, but rather by chance meetings and ultimate favourites. And for this seasoned enthusiast, “when you love your bottles, you don’t count them”. The price of a bottle means nothing as long as the taste has the power to take you away. So it isn’t rare to discover certain icons here, from Bordeaux and Burgundy alike. Grands crus classés (Château d’Yquem, Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, Léoville Las Cases and L’Evangile) and Burgundy grands crus (Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, Denis Mortet, Gilles Jayer, Rapet and Groffier) are therefore numerous. From these exchanges we noted that his greatest pleasure is to open a bottle of Coche-Dury, which he considers to be one of the finest makers of white wine.
The iDealwine team’s favourites
Detailing this seller’s cellar let us enter into his universe and discover bottles that we adore. So here are our recommendations. There certainly are some gems, and we advise you to look to Jura to find such splendid mature vintages as Teppes Vieilles Vignes from Ganevat. In the south-west, take a look at the Cahors wines from Clos Triguedina, in the Loire the Chinon from Philippe Alliet and Richard Leroy’s Les Noels de Montbenault. As for Beaujolais, don’t miss out on Marcel Lapierre’s crus.
There are several magnums up for grabs, perfect for the upcoming winter festivities. Domain Jamet’s Côte-Rôtie, Auguste Clape’s Cornas, Léon Barral’s Faugères and François Chidaine’s Clos Habert are just a few examples.
A great lover of mature vintages, this seller is reluctantly parting ways with some truly beautiful wines, some of which were produced in 1929. If you’re looking for well-aged dessert wines, look no further…
As you can see, this collection, carefully crafted over the years by a passionate enthusiast turned expert taster is a unique opportunity to throw yourself into his exciting universe in order to discover the biggest names from Burgundy, Languedoc, and the Rhône Valley…ready to enjoy!