The Pristine Burgundy Collection

The Pristine Burgundy Collection

WHY PRISTINE?

The wines in this sale were all purchased directly from Sherry-Lehmann, the venerable wine and spirits merchant that has been an Upper East Side, New York institution since it was founded by Jack Aaron in 1934, three months after the Repeal of Prohibition. In turn, Sherry-Lehmann purchased the wines directly from each producer’s appointed agent in New York, so they are as “direct from the producer’s cellar” that the New York regulations allow.

Due to this unique and impeccable provenance, for each wine where the packaging was as it was when it left the winery, we have kept each original case (both cardboard and wood) intact and unopened. As a result, you will see full original cartons and wood cases, many with bands, directly as they left the winery. It is exceptionally rare to see this quantity and value of wine, from the greatest Burgundy producers, in this condition: pristine. To underline that point, this is the first time that the Sotheby’s Wine team in New York has not opened every case in a sale.

To illustrate this more precisely, of the 450+ lots in the sale, there are:

Over 100 lots in original cartons
Over 110 lots in original wooden cases, of which just under 50% are banded

An additional feature is the incredible range of magnums, jeroboams and methuselahs, highlighted by the 3 Methuselahs (6L) of Romanée-Conti from 2005, 2006 & 2007 (pictured above), each being bottle #2 out of a total production of 8 in 2005, and 15 in 2006. DRC stopped offering any bottles larger than a magnum for commercial sale after the 2008 vintage, so these large-format bottles are exceptionally rare.

WHY BURGUNDY?

At over $3 million, Burgundy represents more than 95% of the value of the sale, featuring the greatest producers, including: DRC, Roumier, Rousseau, Leroy, Mugnier, Dujac, de Vogüé and more. To illustrate this more clearly, there are:

DRC: Over 110 lots with a value of over $2 million
Roumier: Over 80 lots with a value of over $600,000
Mugnier: Over 25 lots with a value of over $200,000
Leroy: Over 10 lots with a value of over $200,000
Dujac: Over 30 lots with a value of over $100,000

And, there are few other regions featured, most notably some truly great Champagnes from both Krug and Dom Perignon, that can provide the perfect introduction to great Champagne. These lots include 6 magnums of the excellent Krug Collection 1981, mentioned below.

WHICH VINTAGES?

The collection features every Burgundy vintage from 1999 to 2015, but more than 200 lots, which is well over half of the sale, is concentrated on three great vintages:

2005: Over 90 lots
2009: Over 50 lots
2010: 60 lots

WHOSE COLLECTION?

This pristine collection was amassed over the last fifteen years by a very knowledgeable collector whose two great wine passions are Champagne and Burgundy. This is a collection that has been actively enjoyed, with corks being pulled on many great bottles. Just a few days before the New York lockdown, we enjoyed together a magnum of Krug Collection 1981: one of the greatest Champagnes I have tasted.

Provenance

All wines in this sale were purchased from Sherry-Lehmann, who purchased them from each producer’s appointed agent in New York. The wines have been stored in two locations with ideal conditions: at Wine Caves, the storage business affiliated with Sherry-Lehmann; and a purpose-built home cellar with ideal temperature and humidity controlled conditions on Long Island; before being delivered to Sotheby’s warehouse. Pristine storage, along with pristine condition.

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