Top auction picks | A match of must-haves

To the question ‘Bordeaux or Burgundy?’ we’d like to say ‘both!’…but that would be too easy. There are now almost 4,000 bottles waiting in our latest auction, so let the battle begin!

For out first look at Bordeaux, there are some 1,384 wines up for bidding. Some of them caught our attention straight away with their strong performance: Château Carbonnieux, Château Chasse-Spleen, Château Haut-Marbuzet with 61 bottles available, as well as Ducru Beaucaillou.

Those that will surely make a habitual appearance in the final round of the tournament are Château Haut-Brion, Lafite-Rothschild, Mouton Rothschild, Latour and Margaux. These châteaux have been top of the table since 1855! And the second wines aren’t far behind, joining the game with strong entries like Carruades from Lafite-Rothschild, Pavillon Rouge and Les Forts from Latour.

In a league of its own we have Château d’Yquem, a property that isn’t ready to give up its top spot to any other Sauternes, especially in the case of its 1988 and 1989 vintages which remain uncontested stars.

For Burgundy’s first round, there aren’t quite as many bottles as we saw for Bordeaux, with exactly 1,000 bottles available. 1-0 to Bordeaux then? Well, we know that quantity doesn’t always beat quality…

Let’s start with some premiers crus: Beaune (vintages 1973 to 2016), Chambolle-Musigny, Puligny-Montrachet (from Michel Bouzereau et Fils and Etienne Sauzet) all qualify.

As for the grand cru selection, here are some wines with a renown that needn’t be restated: Corton grand cru, Corton-Charlemagne grand cru from Domaine Bonneau du Martray, Latricières-Chambertin grand cru from Simon Bize & Fils (20 bottles), and Pernand-Vergelesses (17 bottles). The star of the sale is also a Burgundian bottle: Clos de Tart’s grand cru Mommessin. We might have to call it a draw…

In the Rhône valley, they’ve got their own local tournament, north vs south. If autumn has arrived where you are – our transition to the new season has been quite brutal… – this Côte-Rôtie from Domaine Jamet (with the exceptional 2015 vintage) is sure to delight you. And for a classic from the southern Rhône, we have to point you in the direction of Rayas’ Châteauneuf-du-Pape.

Along the Loire valley, two gems have been saved for us: a Chinon Coteau de Noiré by Philippe Alliet in seven vintages between 2001 and 2010, and the Sancerre Les Monts Damnés from François Cotat (10 bottles).

In the mountainous region of the Jura, beautiful vines and superb producers have certainly delivered. Notably, we have a 2014 Arbois (Savagnin) by Jacques Puffeney and a Côtes du Jura Les Chalasses (vieilles vignes) by Jean-François Ganevat in its 2013 and 2014 vintages.

And if you’re already missing the Mediterranean climate (I know we are), you might be pleased to know that we have a large selection of Barolo from the 1952 to 2015 vintages.

The final score has to be a draw…We couldn’t possibly choose between Burgundy and Bordeaux, and clearly there are many other regions worthy of a spot at the top, too. The match is far from over!

See the whole sale here

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