On 16 and 17 December, The Exceptional Cellar of a Connoisseur brought the 2015 wine auction season to a close with a total of £2,515,967. The top lot was a 6-magnum case of Pétrus 1989 which sold for £30,550.
Stephen Mould, Head of Sotheby’s Wine, Europe, commented: “We are delighted to finish the year on a high with the best result for a London wine sale this year. The total is the highest Single Owner total we have achieved in over a decade and is a fitting tribute to a collection of this magnitude. The Exceptional Cellar of a Connoisseur featured some of the finest gems from Bordeaux, Burgundy and the Rhône, and the prices were reflective of its quality. Rare Bordeaux was hotly contested, such as La Mission 1961, which saw 6 bottles bring £14,688, well over the £6,500 high estimate. Collectors also clamoured for vintages of top red Burgundy while bidding reached a crescendo on the lots of Grand Cru white Burgundy, especially Leflaive. The Rhône section included some outstanding Côte Rôtie from Guigal, and La Mouline 1978 soared above estimate to claim the second highest price at £22,325 for a case of 12 bottles.”
This collection is both classic and exciting, a reflection of a man who was passionate about art and gastronomy, as well as being an oenophile of great distinction. The cellar was assembled over many years with infinite care and knowledge, and stored in perfectly temperature-controlled conditions.
The range of majestic Bordeaux is impressive. First and Second Growths abound, in great vintages and in various formats. Both Right and Left Banks are here in force, many in original wooden cases. Landmark vintages such as 1945, 1959 and 1961, and more recent standout vintages such as 1982, 1996 and 2000, have a phenomenal presence. The owner’s ‘penchant’ for Sauternes is evident in this breath-taking selection that encompasses all the great Châteaux in vintages spanning 1899 through to 2009.
The list of Burgundy growers is show-stopping, from DRC to Rousseau, Leflaive to Leroy, de Vogüé to Prieuré-Roch. The Rhône wines are a catalogue of gems, from Chave to Rayas to Guigal. Veuve Clicquot Brut 1929 and Krug Clos du Mesnil 1979 are highlights from Champagne.
The aristocrats from Italy and Spain are not forgotten, with legendary vintages of the ultra-complex Vega Sicilia, while Piedmont is represented strongly amongst the Italian wines.