This is a gem of a collection, from a wine lover who has wide and eclectic tastes, true knowledge and a very sure touch when buying. These are wines that I either adore and see often, or bottles that I am just dying to encounter again. Unfortunately, I cannot dip into this cellar, but you can! I also love the all-encompassing array of bottle sizes that are on offer, enabling buyers to plan for special occasions in the future – sooner rather than later I would think, given the temptations on display.
“There are landmark treasures lurking amongst Bordeaux’s biggest names - think La Mission Haut Brion 1975 and Trotanoy 1998 for starters.”
Serena Sutcliffe, MW
We are preparing this sale in deep winter, so it is opportune, and very mouth-watering, to gaze longingly at the line-up of Northern and Southern Rhône wines from this cellar. From magisterial Syrah in the North, to the mosaic of grape varieties in the South, these are the wines that cry out for game, casseroles and cassoulets – and, incidentally, they are not averse to a marriage with black truffles. The wonderful, rich California Cabernets here are also ‘contenders’ for these dishes, while the Tuscan and Piedmontese top wines lend themselves to pasta with a hare, or wild boar, sauce – and the odd white truffle if it comes to hand.
Amongst the Burgundy, de Vogué, Dugat-Py and Roty are prominent and the joy in this sale is that so many of the vintages in the collection are ready to drink. I have just been broaching a number of 2002s, a year that I love for its charm, style and accessibility. There is nothing quite like the way the Pinot Noir in a relatively northern climate ‘sings’ its vintage characteristics and the span of years here offers enticing opportunities for comparison.
This diverting way of making a dinner go with a swing is also, of course, possible with the range of grand Bordeaux in the sale. Unusually, you can also play this game even when dining as a couple, as there is a remarkable choice of half bottles in this collection. To balance, there are fabulous large formats, for graduations, weddings and those anniversaries that just have to be marked. There are landmark treasures lurking amongst Bordeaux’s biggest names – think La Mission Haut Brion 1975 and Trotanoy 1998 for starters.
My family at Christmas always drank Châteauneuf du Pape – it was one of those traditions, like going out to collect mistletoe, whatever the weather. So, as we worked on this catalogue, it was particularly nostalgic for me to hover over the stunning examples from this historic appellation, even finding some precious Clos des Papes from the Avril family, my absolute favourite and not only because of its splendid embossed bottle that just embodies ‘celebration.’
Now, we are heralding the New Year and we hope that these glorious wines will bring you enjoyment and happiness.