A Look Ahead at Fall with Sotheby's Wine

By Nicholas Jackson

NEW YORK – As the calendar flips over to September, we all go back to our usual routines – so too with our drinking. I always find at this time of year that with a renewed appetite for great wine, the old classics taste better than ever. The talk of the wine world in fall 2017 will undoubtedly be the arrival of the great 2015 Burgundies, which among the red wines should be a vintage for the ages. Allocations are tight and demand high, so contact us to express your interest. But I’ve chosen to focus on two different regions and two different vintages in this price list: 2014 white Burgundy and 2012 red Bordeaux. Both offer very attractive value propositions, albeit for different reasons.

Amid the hoopla surrounding the 2015 reds, we should not forget just how excellent the 2014 Burgundy whites are. Tastings indicate that the slightly cooler 2014 season has yielded more mineral, elegant whites than the warmer 2015 vintage. For that reason I’ve purchased a lot of 2014s for the store, not only for drinking now, but also for the next five to seven years. These are wines with an outstanding backbone of acidity, good structure for aging and an intense mineral expression. 


In particular, I’ve been very impressed at the lower end by F&D Clair’s 2014s: the Hautes Cotes, St. Aubin and St. Aubin Premiers Crus are all outstanding at their respective levels, and all below $50/bottle. Moving up the ladder, I am in love with the JN Gagnard’s Chassagne-Montrachet wines. These are just pitch-perfect Chassagne: coiled, tense, mineral but with ample fruit. Irresistible. Finally, Leflaive 2014s are everything you hope they will be, and should become legends in their own lifetimes. Grab them while you still can.

Meanwhile, 2012 red Bordeaux offers a different opportunity. While no one is claiming 2012 is a great vintage, it is a great vintage for 1) trying now, and 2) not requiring a second mortgage. We bought widely in this vintage, because the wines are generously fruited, mid weight, with rather soft tannins enabling the drinker to enjoy them already. And for much smaller prices than more recent vintages such as 2015 and 2016, there is a lot of pleasure here. Some highlights: Angelus, Calon Segur, Domaine de Chevalier Rouge, Ducru Beaucaillou, Figeac, Lynch Bages, Montrose, Mouton Rothschild, Pichon Lalande, Rauzan Segla and Vieux Chateau Certan. Something for everyone!

As ever, we like talking about wine almost as much as we do drinking it, so please don’t hesitate to be in contact for additional recommendations.

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