Introduction to the Wine Hunter’s Cellar

By Serena Sutcliffe, M.W.

T his is a remarkable wine collection and, if you are a Burgundy lover, I would say that the hunt is over! One very rarely sees such a line-up of the region’s very best producers, often with frustratingly limited quantities with which to supply the entire world of those people to whom Burgundy means so much. It represents over 20 years of collecting, meticulously searching out allocations, often when the wines are first offered. This takes care and persistence, but the result is a selection of simply exhilarating wines, with a mass of Grands Crus made by revered Burgundians. Every style and slope is represented and simply savouring the list in print is an exploration, jolting the memory of extraordinary bottles. The span of vintages is breathtaking and the vast majority could be drunk from now, depending on personal taste and inclination. It is almost insidious to pick out names, but when I see DRC, Rousseau, Mugnier and Fourrier, the scene is set. One could create memorable vertical tastings, or dinners, comparing the Cros Parantoux of Méo-Camuzet and Emmanuel Rouget, or invite your very best friends to share some of the all-too-rare Sylvain Cathiard gems. The flamboyance of the Côte de Nuits’ greatest vineyards is on full display here and they are to be treasured. Take time to study what is on offer as there are unique opportunities at every turn, from revelling in the Jean Grivot Echézeaux vintages, to ‘combing through’ to finding the Leroy and Ponsot offerings – watch out for the magnums of the latter.

And, when enough red Burgundy has been obtained, perhaps there is need for the glorious whites that enhance all our lives, as well as the very best fish dishes we can source. Having enjoyed Henri Boillot’s Pulignys at lunch yesterday, I know that these wines have almost magical properties. Coche-Dury, Leroy, Roulot, Colin-Morey, Lafon and Ramonet - there is delectable choice here.

Bordeaux is not forgotten – only the best will do. There is a particularly impressive line-up from Pomerol, including L’Eglise Clinet, from the late, great Denis Durantou, Vieux Château Certan, Trotanoy and La Fleur Pétrus. And the Champagne is stellar – how about putting two fabulous Blanc de Blancs on the table together, Krug Clos du Mesnil and Taittinger’s entrancing Comtes de Champagne.

I think this consignor would agree with me that drinking wine is all about, or nearly all, deepening one’s knowledge and this one can do in this exciting sale, whether concentrating on France, or wandering over to Germany and Italy, and a little further into California. And it would be a pity to miss the Quinta do Noval Nacional – you have been warned!

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