Top 20 of Burgundy wines

Our Tour de France of the most expensive wines is coming to an end. But we still haven’t spoken of Burgundy and its grands crus, although at auction, it represents 31% in volume and 46% in value.

Our series of rankings ends on a grand final with one of the most fantasised regions during this first half-year: Burgundy, of course, the kingdom of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. As a reminder, in order to establish this first half-year ranking, we decided to keep only the most expensive wine of each property, auctioned on iDealwine. Moreover, if the wine was sold in a magnum, its price is converted to its bottle equivalent to allow a fair comparison between the different wines.

Côte-de-Nuits, a very prestigious wine-growing region of Burgundy, dominates the ranking (15 cuvées in the TOP 20). The first and grands crus such as Romanée-Conti, Vosne-Romanée, Chambertin, Bonnes-Mares, Richebourg and Musigny have obviously a place of honour. Côte de Beaune is represented by its exceptional Chardonnay wines, produced in the Montrachet appellations – with those from Ramonet and Comte Lafon – in Criot-Bâtard-Montrachet and Corton-Charlemagne.

Contrary to other rankings, like Bordeaux or Champagne, the vintages were not the most decisive criteria. The range oscillates from 1971 to 2014 featuring iconic vintages from the last decades, such as 1995, 2005 and 2009. This peculiarity is a logical consequence to the wines scarcity. These bottles, produced in minute quantities, become rare before becoming mature, and even before leaving the domain. In this TOP 20, we find a grand cru from the smallest appellation in France, La Romanée (#5), a monopoly cru owned by the Liger-Belair family, whose vines do not even cover one hectare! It is also – and perhaps even more – the case of the grand cru Griotte-Chambertin from Domaine Claude Dugat, a legendary wine from a tiny terroir: located between Clos de Bèze and Charmes, spreads over less than 2 hectares. Domaine Dugat, which exploits only about 1600 square metres, produces only about 300 bottles of Griotte-Chambertin per year. It also uses a special made-to-measure container for maturing!

Unsurprisingly, the TOP 20 concentrates all domains long considered as emblems by wine lovers. In red, the podium is occupied by a mythical trio with Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, Henri Jayer and Armand Rousseau. Auctioned at €12,700 (i.e €15,240 tax and fees incl.), a bottle of Romanée-Conti 1990 is the star of this ranking. Henri Jayer Vosne-Romanée Cros Parantoux 1995 reached €5,640 and Armand Rousseau Chambertin grand cru 1971 sold for €4,080, followed closely by the domains Georges Roumier, Liger-Belair and cult names such as Leroy or Ponsot.

White wines figure with names like Auvenay, Coche-Dury, Ramonet and Comte Lafon, and the unforgettable Domaine Leflaive. By the way, we made the choice of keeping the white wine from   Domaine d’Auvenay, separately, even if it belongs to Lalou Bize-Leroy (Domaine Leroy), because both entities have a distinct identity.

Another striking fact is that almost all the cuvées are classified grand cru. Only three lots from Vosne-Romanée are not grand cru, but first cru, the appellation does not have grand cru, but the wines are still memorable! Indeed, in this TOP 20, you’ll find the mythical Cros Parantoux 1995 from Henri Jayer (€5,640, #2). Domaine Méo-Camuzet now producing in this appellation also figures in this ranking, in the 2009 vintage (€1,140, #14). Domaine Charles Noëllat Les Beaux-Monts from Vosne-Romanée ends the TOP 20 with its 1959 vintage (€792, #20).

If you look at prices, this TOP 20 is the one with the most expensive wines on the market: 16 out of 20 lots exceed €1,000! Apart from the strictly financial criterion, the origin of the buyers also proves to what extent Burgundy bottles glow all over the world. Bidders, mainly private individuals, come from Asia (Hong Kong, China), the United States, Europe (France, United Kingdom) and even from Qatar. However, France, proud of this region, remains the biggest buyer.

Thus, in this region, it is above all the emblematic domains located on small appellations with exceptional terroirs that attract amateurs. The notion of “terroir”, or more precisely of “climat”, as the Burgundians call it, was the spearhead of the battle led by Aubert de Villaine to obtain its inscription to the UNESCO World Heritage in 2015. A beautiful recognition for this mysterious mosaic of land, first identified by the monks of Citeaux more than 1000 years ago…

# Wine Vintage Hammer price Buyer Country
1 Romanée-Conti Grand Cru Domaine de la Romanée-Conti 1990 €15,240 Private Ind. HONG KONG
2 Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru Cros Parantoux Domaine Henri Jayer 1995 €5,640 Trade FRANCE
3 Chambertin Grand Cru Domaine Armand Rousseau 1971 €4,080 Private Ind. UNITED STATES
4 Bonnes-Mares Grand Cru Domaine Georges Roumier 1971 €3,900 Trade UNITED KINGDOM
5 La Romanée Grand Cru Domaine du Comte Liger-Belair 2010 €3,000 Private Ind. FRANCE
6 Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet Grand Cru Domaine d’Auvenay 1999 €2,940 Private Ind. FRANCE
7 Richebourg Grand Cru Domaine Leroy 1999 €2,880 Trade FRANCE
8 Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru Domaine Coche Dury 2005 €2,640 Private Ind. HONG KONG
9 Clos de la Roche Grand Cru Vieilles Vignes Domaine Ponsot 1985 €2,640 Trade FRANCE
10 Montrachet Grand Cru André Ramonet 1979 €1,800 Trade FRANCE
11 Chambertin Grand Cru Bernard Dugat-Py 2002 €1,560 Trade CHINA
12 Montrachet Grand Cru Domaine des Comtes Lafon 2014 €1,380 Private Ind. FRANCE
13 Musigny Grand Cru Domaine Jacques-Frédéric Mugnier 1999 €1,200 Private Ind. FRANCE
14 Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru Au Cros Parantoux Domaine Méo-Camuzet 2009 €1,140 Private Ind. QATAR
15 Romanée-Saint-Vivant Grand Cru Sylvain Cathiard & Fils 2014 €1,140 Trade FRANCE
16 Chevalier-Montrachet Grand Cru Domaine Leflaive 1971 €960 Private Ind. UNITED STATES
17 Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru Vieilles Vignes Jacky Truchot 2005 €960 Trade LUXEMBOURG
18 Griotte-Chambertin Grand Cru Claude Dugat 2002 €960 Private Ind. FRANCE
19 Echézeaux Grand Cru Emmanuel Rouget 1988 €900 Private Ind. HONG KONG
20 Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru Les Beaux-Monts Domaine Charles Noëllat 1959 €792 Trade FRANCE


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