LONDON - Far from feeling sated after the prolonged festivities, I feel stimulated, raring to go and ready to embrace any tasting experience that comes my way. This (rash?) mindset was undoubtedly set on course by much cellar exploration over the holidays, resulting in jolly discoveries such as Latour 1947 and Léoville Lascases 1928. Rather than come down to earth with a thud and a glass of ‘gros rouge,’ we have put together a tremendous first 2013 sale in London on 30 January that should send everyone scurrying after exciting vinous gems from the best vineyards in the world. The sale leads with a truly Spectacular Collection that leaves us a mite jealous, I admit, that these wines cannot take a direct route into our own cellars. Fabulous Burgundies, especially, from great vintages and with the bottle age to make them accessible now, are a rare commodity due to their tiny quantities and subsequent limited allocations – one can only say, buy here and jump the queue. The Bordeaux is also glittering, with tip-top Champagne and Italian and Spanish reds.
Gevrey Chambertin, Clos Saint Jacques 2002 Rousseau, 12 bottles, ESTIMATE £3,000-3,600; Chambertin 1999 Rousseau, 12 bottles, ESTIMATE £8,000-12,000; Chambertin, Clos de Bèze 2005 Rousseau, 12 bottles, ESTIMATE £8,500-10,500.
Château Latour 1996, 12 bottles, ESTIMATE £4,400-5,000 & Château Mouton Rothschild, 12 bottles, ESTIMATE £2,400-3,200.
For those who seek historic liquids, there is a real show-stopper elsewhere in this sale, Lafite 1945, which remains one of the most nostalgic wines of my life – in fact, I last drank it at home to bring in the New Year 2010 so I am beginning to feel even more sentimental about it. I love the combination of sweetness and firmness in this 1945, the closest any wine has come to heather and honey.
I am coming round to the thought that 2013 should be the year for drinking for pleasure, to enhance and enrich our existence, to live for the present. Careful observation has told me that those who abide by this maxim invariably seem to be very happy souls who lighten all our days. Saving wonderful experiences ‘for the future’ suddenly seems a risky business at worst and rather ‘kill-joy’ at best. If we are lucky enough to have fine bottles within our reach, it almost seems like a crime to walk past them with our noses in the air, rather than in the glass. Spontaneity is the watch-word for 2013 – particularly when the wines are SPECTACULAR.
Below are some top lots of the sale:
Château Haut Brion 1989, 12 bottles, ESTIMATE £7,500-10,000 & Château La Mission Haut Brion 1989, 12 bottles, ESTIMATE £5,500-7,500.
Musigny, Cuvée Vieilles Vignes 1999 Comte Georges de Vogüé, 12 bottles, ESTIMATE £3,000-4,000 & Bonnes Mares 2005 Comte Georges de Vogüé, 6 bottles, ESTIMATE £1,500-1,800.
Bâtard Montrachet 2005 Domaine Leflaive, 12 bottles, ESTIMATE £1,700-2,200; Bienvenues Bâtard Montrachet 2005 Domaine Leflaive, 12 bottles, ESTIMATE £1,700-2,200; Chevalier Montrachet 2005 Domaine Leflaive, 6 bottles, ESTIMATE £1,600-2,200.
Caption: Château d’Yquem 2001, 12 half bottles, ESTIMATE £1,600-2,000.
Château Pétrus 2001, 3 bottles, ESTIMATE £2,600-3,400 & Château Cheval Blanc 2000, 12 bottles, ESTIMATE £4,200-5,200.