Burgundy’s Most Collectible Domaines

Burgundy’s Most Collectible Domaines

E very so often, a collection comes along that makes wine lovers at Sotheby’s and beyond sit up and take notice. We are certain that this is one of them; the kind of cellar that reveals itself once in a blue moon. Truly one of the finest and most focused Single Owner auctions that the London market has seen in several years, this outstanding collection reads like a checklist of the world’s greatest, most iconic and difficult-to-source names. We are deeply excited to act as custodians of such an exception sale! Collectors the world over search far and wide for these wines, stopping at nothing in their pursuit of greatness, and are very rarely able to find such a focused collection of only the best vintages, from the top producers’ best vineyard sites, with such impeccable provenance.

To shed some more light on this incredible collection of extraordinarily rare and sought-after wines, here we explore the region’s most collectible producers right now, all of whom are outstandingly represented in this auction:


Chambertin 2005 Domaine Armand Rousseau (12 BT). Estimate £32,000–45,000.

Charles Rousseau was not only one of the most engaging men you will ever find in Burgundy, he was also a fantastic wine-maker. His total respect for the raw material, plus a real gift for coaxing out superb scent and lovely flavour, have left us with decades of stunning Rousseau wines. Charles’ son Eric, and his own daughter Cyrielle, have followed in these illustrious footsteps and, not only maintained the quality, but taken the domaine to even greater new heights. When you taste in the Rousseau cellar, each and every characteristic of all the Premiers and Grands Crus sings out, even in cask. Without a doubt, some of my most lasting Burgundian memories centre on this domaine.

Serena Sutcliffe MW


Romanée St. Vivant 1997 Domaine Leroy (12 BT). Estimate: £26,000–£32,000.

Lalou Bize-Leroy is a force to be reckoned with in Burgundy. Brought up in wine, she developed firm principles and equally firm convictions. For her, reducing yields is a religion and biodynamic viticultural methods the route to quality and longevity. No destemming and long vattings add to the almost essence-like intensity of the wines. Their deep, emphatic style is a reflection of the commitment and personality of Lalou Bize-Leroy. These wines hardly seem to age - they stay suspended in time.

Serena Sutcliffe MW


Romanée St. Vivant 2005 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti (3 BT). Estimate: £7,500–£10,000.

The Domaine, as it is known, is iconic. Much more important, it also produces the most extraordinary wines in Burgundy - and it has been doing so for a long time. The generations responsible for the Domaine change, but the terroir remains. And these are very special vineyard parcels indeed, married to meticulous care and philosophy leading to low yields and healthy, ripe grapes, at whatever cost. From the 1990s, vineyard policy has been organic, with co-owner Aubert de Villaine monitoring everything with his usual attention to detail. Domaine de la Romanée-Conti wines evolve and develop dimensions in a way that resembles a mosaic - points of bouquet and flavour making up a harmonious whole that becomes more beautiful as it unfolds in the glass. Yes, these are hedonistic wines and yes, they are not like any other. The trick is in capturing what these remarkable plots of vines can give and letting them express themselves through minimum intervention and enlightened nurturing.

Serena Sutcliffe MW


Musigny, Cuvée Vieilles Vignes 2005 Comte Georges de Vogüé (6 BT). Estimate: £4,200–£5,500.

This aristocratic domaine has marvellous vineyards including nearly seventy per cent of Grand Cru Musigny. The 1990s confirmed the domaine's status as part of Burgundy's patrimony. Meticulous attention to detail and rigorous quality control are left in the capable hands of vineyard manager Eric Bourgogne while François Millet's winemaking is spot-on. It all starts with low yields and adaptability to the conditions of the year, although the proportion of new oak has not been higher than thirty or forty per cent since 1990. It ends with the excellent, classy wines we have been seeing over the last decades. François moved on from the domaine in 2021, with the reigns now handed over to Jean Lupatelli, but of course it was François brilliant hand that crafted the iconic 1990s and 2000s vintages that we find in abundance in this sale.

Serena Sutcliffe MW


La Romanée 2004 Domaine du Comte Liger-Belair (12 BT). Estimate: £20,000–£28,000.

The jewel in the crown of this exceptional domaine is of course the famous Grand Cru monopole that dates back to the time of the Roman occupation of France - hence the name "La Romanée". Since 1815, this climat has been owned by the Comte Liger-Belair, alongside a small number of other holdings throughout Vosne-Romanée and Nuits-Saint-Georges. Once one of the largest Grand Cru landowners on the Côte d’Or, including at one time La Tâche and La Grande Rue amongst others, a brush with some complicated inheritance issues resulted in the family’s domaine being auctioned in 1933, with only La Romanée and a handful of other vineyards able to be retained by Comte Michel Liger-Belair at the time. The domaine was reborn in the early 2000s with Vicomte Louis-Michel Liger-Belair at the helm, and over the last two decades it has once again become one of Burgundy’s most sought-after estates. With only tiny quantities produced annually across a small area of vineyards (the area of La Romanée is just 0.85 hectares, making it the smallest appellation in France!), competition for these wines is high, and plentiful mature examples such as those found in this auction are rare beasts indeed. These brilliant wines are exuberant and can show brilliantly when young, but given time to age they truly come into their own.


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