The Cellar of the Intrepid Sam Lieber

The Cellar of the Intrepid Sam Lieber

THE INTREPID COLLECTOR

“After drinking a ‘75 Scharzhofberger Kabinett in the summer of ‘79, I became interested in how wine was influenced by geography, geology, topography, botany, horticulture and agriculture while mixing with food, travel, socializing, and at times, serious discussion. I’ve been tasting, buying, sharing and storing wines since then, and still find it fascinating and fun.”
Sam Lieber



S am Lieber was a portfolio manager, philanthropist, competitive blue-water sailor, hi-fi enthusiast, and dedicated wine collector. His concurrent passions were all nurtured by his vibrant curiosity, genuine openness, and diverse tastes. This is true especially with respect to wine, which Sam collected for cellaring and for enjoyment.

Pictured above, father and son, Stephen and Sam Lieber, and crew, aboard their 39-foot "Conamor" sailboat, which took 'Class E' honors at the premier, blue-water 1982 Newport Bermuda Race.

Visiting Sam’s cellar leaves an impression. You are immediately transported to an insider’s wine sanctum filled with bottles that were, for years, known only to a small circle of cognoscenti. The fascinating selection of maturing bottles in the racks invites the opportunity to participate in Sam’s decades-long exploration of wine, the cellar a monument to his thoughtful logic around the vintages, regions, and producers that express the very soul of their respective appellations. Among Sam’s favorites were Burgundy, Bordeaux, Champagne, the Northern Rhône, and Barolo.

Sam began collecting wine in the early ‘80s, after discovering the magic of an Egon Müller Riesling from the filigreed 1975 vintage. His palate and collecting were informed early on by the classics — Roulot, Rousseau, Cantemerle, Canon, and Giacosa, to name a few. And he turned to the long-form wine newsletters of critic Steve Tanzer and the writing of Jancis Robinson, MW as his early guides.

Sam ultimately developed a unique point of view, which is on display throughout the cellar. While the collection is multifaceted and dynamic, its most notable feature is its dimensionality. It is an explorer’s collection of nearly unparalleled eclecticism. However, there is a driving ethos: a commitment to wines of purity, finesse, time-honored traditions, and sense of place. Among Sam’s favorite wines were Chevillon, Dauvissat, Gouges, and Roty.

THE INTREPID COLLECTION

Assembled over decades, The Intrepid Collection reflects Sam Lieber’s fascination with the world’s great winemaking cultures. Sam’s cellar is filled with wines that chart the high points of their respective appellations, Chablis to Champagne, Barolo to Burgundy. The collection is punctuated by the icons — DRC, Rousseau, and Roumier in Burgundy; Lafite and Mouton Rothschild in Bordeaux; Guigal and Chave in the Rhône, for example.

Sam Lieber on a site visit in Brazil.

But what makes this collection unique is its reflection of Sam’s inquisitive mind. This is no more evident than in the Northern Rhône, where one finds the wines, from the ‘70s and ‘80s, of Jamet, Jasmin, Albert Dervieux-Thaize, and Emile Champet, and, in Cornas, Noël Verset, Auguste Clape, and Juge from the ‘80s. Today, these wines have been re-discovered by a new generation of wine lovers, but these wines had been in Sam’s cellar for decades. In other words, Sam was buying them at a time when they were well-kept secrets.

As an investor, Sam was guided by a sustained and strategic focus on undervalued real estate companies in the U.S., Brazil, India, Southeast Asia, and Europe. As a collector, this guiding principle also informed Sam’s search for emerging regions or winemakers, rather than following trends. His eye for transcendent talent is evident in the cellar, where one finds the likes of Jayer and Rayas next to some of the wines that have become ultimate cult sensations — for example, the revered Clos Rougeard, whose wines have become exceedingly scarce, as well as the dry Rieslings of Keller, or the masterful Sancerres of Edmond Vatan.

It is with great pleasure that we invite you to join us in celebrating The Cellar of The Intrepid Sam Lieber.

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