It is especially rewarding for us at Sotheby’s when a valued and long-standing client, who bought from us at some of our most important sales, turns to us again when he decides to sell some of his acquisitions. Circumstances change and a buyer can become a seller, but we are always appreciative when a relationship of confidence and trust is established between ourselves and our knowledgeable wine-loving friends. The continuity is based on the tastes and wishes of our clients, linked to what we can contribute in terms of wine and market expertise, a symbiosis that results in the mouth-watering collection that we are so happy to present here. This is a truly impeccable array of wine, classically composed at the same time as being tremendously exciting in terms of show-stopping beauty. I admit that I found myself gasping with delight as I roamed around the countries and regions that produce the aristocrats of the wine world – in these times of less travel, we visit these vineyards in liquid form and it certainly more than compensates for a more sedentary life when we can sip wines like these.
Collectors such as this have an unerring feel for absolute top quality and this is reflected in every wine in this sale. Whether it is France, Italy, Spain or California, if it is a wine made to the highest possible standard, from stunning terroir exploited to its maximum potential, then it has a place in this auction. These wines have earned their position at the pinnacle of vinous achievement. We wander from Champagne to Burgundy, the Rhône and then over to Bordeaux, and Gallic Glory is the order of the day. From Dom Pérignon Rosé to Krug, DRC to de Vogüé, the Gems of Guigal and then, finally, on to a line-up of First Growths, the choice is yours, be it one of discovery or re-aquaintance. Suitably dazzled, I would not know where to start, although I might be tempted by Jeroboams (yes, in the plural!) of Clos de Tart 2005. I could, admittedly, be blown off course by Cheval Blanc 1982, large format Moutons, an assortment of Liger-Belair La Romanée vintages, or a Double Magnum of Haut Brion 2005 – there is just so much room for manoeuvre, and magic, in this sale.
I have been lucky enough to follow the creation and meteoric rise of Ornellaia, the great Tuscan oenological ornament, and we are delighted to bring to you here an amazing vertical line-up of vintages from Ornellaia’s Archivio Storico, enabling wine lovers to see changes in style and maturity. Vega Sicilia comes in for Spain and Araujo Eisele Vineyard, Harlan Estate and Opus One lead for California.
This is a collection of great promise and attraction, that delivers on every possible count, and we know that it will bring much pleasure to all who add these wines to their own cellars.