Top auction picks | Pure brilliance from Burgundy

Legendary names

Let’s start, as promised, with the very finest bottles, the stars of the vineyard that enthusiasts all want to taste at least once in their lives. At the top of the list, as a matter of course, is the Domaine de la Romanée-Conti!  The Romanée-Saint-Vivant is available in various vintages from 1989 to 2015. This 9.43-hectare parcel offers some of the deepest and most complex wines in all of Burgundy; a dream parcel managed and vinified by the world’s most renowned estate.

Let’s take the road that leads to the top of the appellation. Just before arriving in the woods, don’t miss the hairpin on the left of the road, which will lead you to Richebourg and just above, at the edge of the woods, to the 1er cru Au Cros Parentoux. This prestigious parcel is none other than the work of Henri Jayer, the only one to show interest in buying this plot of land back in 1950. After blasting the bedrock, he planted Pinot Noir vines there, and the resulting wine is a true marvel, mysterious and sometimes austere in its early years, but later bursting with concentration and depth. Today, this tiny parcel of land, which has a rightful place in the pantheon of great wines, is two-thirds owned by Henri Jayer’s nephew, Emmanuel Rouget, while the few remaining rows are tended like a French garden by the Méo-Camuzet estate. Here it is Emmanuel Rouget’s interpretation that is up for auction, in the 2017 vintage.

Vosne-Romanée wines are also to be found in two of the domains that have caused a stir on the market in recent months, Domaine Bizot and Arnoux-Lachaux. The latter seems to have entered a new era since the arrival of Charles Lachaux at the helm, a vintner who has taken a 180-degree turn, notably by adopting high trellising for his vines and low intervention vinification.

A little further north, in Gevrey-Chambertin, the village with nine grands crus, an incredible selection from the Clos de Bèze climat is available: 1996, 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2013 and 2014. These are the wines of Domaine Armand Rousseau, the undisputed master of the appellation, no less!

Pleasing prices

Let’s start this selection of (very) good deals with Jean-Marc Pillot’s Chassagne-Montrachet, in the villages and 1er cru Les Morgeots and Les Vergers cuvées. Estimated at between 45 and 60 euros, these great Chardonnays have a much higher intrinsic value. Fat, full-bodied, taut and balanced, they are very fine expressions of this beautiful village in the Côte de Beaune.

The Pouilly-Fuissé En Chatenay of the Bret Brothers and their Domaine de la Soufrandière are proposed in the 2018 vintage, great wines with purity and freshness that express southern Burgundy beautifully.

We’d also like to mention Domaine Bertagna. You can’t miss it if you’re coming from Dijon, at the entrance of the village of Vougeot. The property produces wines of a high quality at prices that have remained reasonable. Old vintages of Vougeot 1er cru in white and in red are available. An opportunity to taste the wines of the estate at their peak.

Another gem not to be missed is the rare Grand Cru Grenouille from the Jean-Paul and Benoit Droin estate; a prominent English journalist specialising in Burgundy recently categorised the estate as one of the appellation’s greatest wines. The Grenouille parcel produces deep, complex wines, available in the 1998 and 2016 vintages, promising great tasting moments.

You can browse the full auction here – happy bidding!

 

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