T he astounding beauty of this wine collection is matched by its breathtaking width and depth. It is a tribute to taste and connoisseurship, a witness to palate and selection. It also reflects many of my own absolute preferences in the wine world, which makes perusal of this collection’s contents particularly awe-inspiring.
Nowhere is this more evident than in the sublime line-up of Champagne’s greatest wines, an astonishing array of the most brilliant examples of the genre ever made. I survey this remarkable collection having just contributed to a recently-published compendium on Champagne with my experiences of Vintage Glamour. It comes as no surprise that so many of my landmark memories of the finest Champagnes exist here in reality. The only surprise here is in the quantity, for stellar examples such as Salon, Dom Pérignon Oenothèque and Rosé, as well as Krug Clos du Mesnil, are all here in abundance. And the span of vintages and formats is truly exciting. My days have to end with Champagne, and my dinners start with it, and many of the world’s most distinguished wine lovers are of the same opinion.
Sotheby’s Presents: The Ethereal Cellar | Pinnacle of Provenance and Connoisseurship
The theme of rarity, linked in this collection with actual accessibility, is echoed in the superlative choice of both red and white Burgundy, with its utter concentration on Grands Crus and on the most celebrated producers from this comparatively tiny vineyard area. This is what sets this stupendous selection apart. DRC, Rousseau, Dujac, Faiveley and de Vogüé form the backbone of the red Burgundies, with vintages to drink now and over the coming years. Who knows how we shall acquire some of these gems in the future, given world-wide demand. Pinot Noir has never been as glorious as in these wines and the joy of sharing them with fellow devotees is a temptation that is difficult to resist. And where DRC is concerned, comparisons between these precious plots of vines would be both a learning curve and a celestial moment in a wine-drinking life. Another aspect to this collection is the generous distribution of large formats, relatively rare in Burgundy.
The white Burgundy follows the same pattern – a plethora of Grands Crus from the producers who possess the greatest holdings and the most enduring reputations. So, naturally, DRC, Leflaive, Drouhin, Bouchard Père et Fils and Lafon feature in this category, in vintages that offer outright pleasure. If ever one gave thought to the subtle differences between Montrachet and Chevalier Montrachet, this would be the time to test one’s views, in the nicest possible way.
This knowledgeable collector also recognises the splendour of the finest Rhône wines and thus you find a select group of treasures such as Domaine du Pegau’s superb Cuvée da Capo 2007 in magnum, and Paul Jaboulet’s Hermitage La Chapelle in two stand-out vintages.
It is a great honour to bring this one-off collection to the attention of the world’s most discerning wine lovers.