Vinous France: Tour the Wines of Bordeaux and Burgundy

Vinous France: Tour the Wines of Bordeaux and Burgundy

Traverse La Belle France's richest regions with Sotheby's wine expert and honorary chairman Serena Sutcliffe, who uncovers a selection of The Magnolia Collection: Old World Wines from a Southern Gentleman's auction highlights (7 September 2019, New York) below.
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Traverse La Belle France's richest regions with Sotheby's wine expert and honorary chairman Serena Sutcliffe, who uncovers a selection of The Magnolia Collection: Old World Wines from a Southern Gentleman's auction highlights (7 September 2019, New York) below.

Fabulous France

 
A s a committed francophile, for all things vinous as well as for French flair, brilliance and élan, a wine collection of this stature makes one want to sing for pure joy. The sheer excellence of the wines allied to the breadth of choice is rarely seen, an expression of knowledgeable selectivity and genuine appreciation of quality.

Bordeaux, Burgundy and the Rhône are shown in all their splendour and, such is the unerring judgement of the consignor, that you could buy from this collection with your eyes shut! For the sake of good administrative order, we would ask you to refrain from ‘buying blind’, but this is a very special array of the remarkable talents of France’s greatest winemakers and the unique character of their most prized vineyards.

Bordeaux

T he line-up of Bordeaux, naturally, includes the First Growths and the Super Seconds, but then there is all the tremendous diversity of the different regions and properties. Médocain classics vie with Right Bank gems and the stars of Pessac-Léognan and there are exquisite wines that are personal favourites, such as Pavie Macquin, Trotanoy, Hosanna and Tertre Rôteboeuf. The number of vintages of crus such as Pontet Canet, Ducru Beaucaillou, Pichon Lalande, Pichon Baron, the Léovilles (what fun to drink them together over an inspired dinner) and Montrose is breathtaking to behold and do not miss the splendid L’Evangile. The danger here is that you might not spot something!

Click the Red Dots to Discover the Wineries of Bordeaux
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  • Margaux

    CHATEAU MARGAUX

    Château Margaux is the most imposing building of all the First Growths, its neo-classical elegance reflected in the sheer aristocratic bearing of the wines. The superb scent of Margaux fascinates – so alluring, so complex and so giving. The Mentzelopoulos régime wines are unerringly consistent in quality, often topping the charts against the toughest opposition. There is weight and depth, added to the breed and class that come from this fabulous terroir. Modern vintages are giants, brilliant creations of the late, great Paul Pontallier, exuding richness and rewarding the drinker with undying memories.

    Château Margaux 2003
    Margaux, 1er Cru Classé
    Per lot: $5,500-8,000

    Château Margaux 2000
    Margaux, 1er Cru Classé
    Per lot: $3,500-5,000

    Château Margaux 1995
    Margaux, 1er Cru Classé
    Per lot: $4,800-7,000

    Château Margaux 1990
    Margaux, 1er Cru Classé
    Per lot: $5,500-7,000

    Château Margaux 1986
    Margaux, 1er Cru Classé
    Per lot: $400-600

    Château Margaux 1983
    Margaux, 1er Cru Classé
    Per lot: $4,200-6,000

    Château Margaux 1982
    Margaux, 1er Cru Classé
    Per lot: $1,200-1,800

    Château Margaux 1981
    Margaux, 1er Cru Classé
    Per lot: $1,800-2,400

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  • Pauillac

    CHATEAU LAFITE

    Throughout the centuries, Lafite has proved that this is a wine that ages in the most ethereal way. Lafite combines elegance, breed and scent with sustained power, a miracle of balance and nobility. The extraordinary terroir and position in Pauillac have always been matched by the Rothschilds' sense of quality and vision, resulting in a wine that has mythical status. Continuity is vital in producing a great wine and the wine-making brilliance of Charles Chevallier from the 1990s to early 2016 has added extra lustre to this exceptional liquid, with the fame of the property spreading further throughout the world. When serving Lafite, decant it well in advance of drinking as its bouquet and taste amplify to multi-faceted dimensions on contact with the air. At the Château itself, they double decant, back into the original bottle with its unchanging, instantly recognisable label. Lafite matures slowly, developing gloriously with bottle age, as historic tastings have shown. Collect Lafite for yourself and watch it grow!

    Château Lafite 2003
    Pauillac, 1er Cru Classé
    Per lot: $8,500-12,000

    Château Lafite 2000
    Pauillac, 1er Cru Classé
    Per lot: $6,000-8,500

    Château Lafite 1996
    Pauillac, 1er Cru Classé
    Per lot: $9,000-12,000

    Château Lafite 1995
    Pauillac, 1er Cru Classé
    Per lot: $7,000-11,000

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  • St. Julien

    CHATEAU DUCRU BEAUCAILLOU

    A silky sip of Château Ducru Beaucaillou is a total evocation of St. Julien. The scent, fruit and depth of this great second growth oozes class, a liquid tribute to terroir and the winemaking intelligence and integrity of the Borie family, the late Jean Eugène, François-Xavier and, since 2003, Bruno Borie. When the wines are young, they have huge, black-fruit impact that is almost edible and this quality enables Ducru vintages from the Seventies, Sixties and Fifties to show with such grace. The sleek texture and alluring layers of taste on a mature bottle of Beaucaillou is difficult to beat, as those of us who know the 1961 can attest. The 1966 is marvelously exciting, the 1970 legendary, the 1975 quite brilliant and the 1982 immensely breedy and seductive. The wines from 1995 onwards have impressive definition and great style and no-one should be without the 2003 and 2004, two fabulous wines of dramatically different character, as dictated by two wildly differing climatic conditions. The essence of Bordeaux is all here.

    Château Ducru Beaucaillou 2010
    St. Julien, 2ème Cru Classé
    Per lot: $2,000-3,000

    Château Ducru Beaucaillou 2009
    St. Julien, 2ème Cru Classé
    Per lot: $2,000-2,800

    Château Ducru Beaucaillou 2003
    St. Julien, 2ème Cru Classé
    Per lot: $1,400-2,000

    Château Ducru Beaucaillou 2000
    St. Julien, 2ème Cru Classé
    Per lot: $1,300-1,800
    lot 294-296 – Per lot: $1,800-2,400

    Château Ducru Beaucaillou 1995
    St. Julien, 2ème Cru Classé
    Per lot: $1,200-1,800

    Château Ducru Beaucaillou 1989
    St. Julien, 2ème Cru Classé
    Per lot: $1,200-1,800

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  • St. Estephe

    CHATEAU COS D'ESTOURNEL

    The sheer expression of St. Estèphe comes to us from this great property, just over a little stream from Lafite and Pauillac. As the ground rises, you see the wonderfully exotic architecture of Cos, a landmark in the Médoc and one of the most distinctive of all its labels. The wines of Cos possess that real St. Estèphe flavour and 'bite', dense and indubitably long-lived. They are monuments of minerality and impact, with a great, long sign-off on the palate.

    Château Cos d'Estournel 2010
    Cos d’estournel
    St. Estèphe, 2ème Cru Classé
    Per lot: $1,600-2,200

    Château Cos d'Estournel 2009
    St. Estèphe, 2ème Cru Classé
    Per lot: $2,200-3,000

    Château Cos d'Estournel 2005
    St. Estèphe, 2ème Cru Classé
    Per lot: $900-1,300

    Château Cos d'Estournel 2003
    St. Estèphe, 2ème Cru Classé
    Per lot: $1,400-2,000

    Château Cos d'Estournel 1996
    St. Estèphe, 2ème Cru Classé
    Per lot: $1,400-2,200

    Château Cos d'Estournel 1995
    St. Estèphe, 2ème Cru Classé
    Per lot: $1,300-1,900

    Château Cos d'Estournel 1986
    St. Estèphe, 2ème Cru Classé
    Per lot: $1,400-1,900

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  • Pessac-Leognan

    CHATEAU HAUT BRION

    My overriding impression of this stunning First Growth is that it is the silkiest, most perfumed, most fine-grained of all the legendary top châteaux of Bordeaux. Haut Brion has an inner 'spirituality' to it, a haunting quality that lingers long on the senses. Its unique position on the edge of the city of Bordeaux gives it a micro-climate that fosters ripeness and generosity – there is a velvety warmth to the wine. The extra 'plus' to the property is the family ownership and its long-standing link with three generations of another family, the Delmas, on the managing side, which has provided a totally beneficial continuity to the estate. Haut Brion often blooms early among the First Growths but, unlike human beings, it continues to grow more beautiful in middle age and retains the bone structure and elegance of a very distinguished old age!

    Château Haut Brion 2003
    Pessac-Léognan (Graves), 1er Cru Classé
    Per lot: $3,500-4,500

    Château Haut Brion 2000
    Pessac-Léognan (Graves), 1er Cru Classé
    Per lot: $3,000-4,200

    Château Haut Brion 1998
    Pessac-Léognan (Graves), 1er Cru Classé
    Per lot: $3,500-4,800

    Château Haut Brion 1996
    Pessac-Léognan (Graves), 1er Cru Classé
    Per lot: $3,000-4,200

    Château Haut Brion 1989
    Pessac-Léognan (Graves), 1er Cru Classé
    Per lot: $13,000-18,000

    Château Haut Brion 1982
    Pessac-Léognan (Graves), 1er Cru Classé
    Per lot: $4,000-6,000

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  • Pomerol

    PETRUS

    The very word Petrus creates a "frisson" unlike any other wine name – and the liquid in the glass induces a dream – like silence as its enormous, almost roasted flavour envelops the palate. The sheer exoticism of this revered vineyard, where clay combines with Merlot to make something wildly heady, needs to be experienced by everyone once in their life (preferably many more times!). Petrus does not taste like other Bordeaux – it is not "classic" but stupendously original, full of oriental spice box flavours which unfold endlessly. A one-off wine that inhabits a world of its own and, of course, a rarity due to its small (11.5 hectares) size.

    Petrus 1989
    Pomerol
    Per lot: $38,000-55,000

    Petrus 1975
    Pomero
    Per lot: $15,000-20,000

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  • St. Emilion

    CHATEAU CHEVAL BLANC

    Under Jacques Hébrard and, since 1991, Pierre Lurton, Cheval Blanc continues to dazzle. The brilliant technical team at the property coaxes the maximum from this plateau just over the road from Pomerol, where gravel ridges bestow class to the wine and the high percentage of Cabernet Franc gives such scent. And the voluptuous character? That is the magic ingredient, which can be perceived throughout. Cheval Blanc is stunning drunk when it is relatively young, but it also ages in exotic multi-dimensional fashion.

    Château Cheval Blanc 2000
    St. Emilion, 1er Grand Cru Classé (A)
    Per lot: $7,000-11,000

    Château Cheval Blanc 1996
    St. Emilion, 1er Grand Cru Classé (A)
    Per lot: $3,500-6,000

    Château Cheval Blanc 1995
    St. Emilion, 1er Grand Cru Classé (A)
    Per lot: $3,500-6,000

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  • Sauternes

    CHATEAU D'YQUEM

    Experiencing Yquem is a journey into flawless excellence, into the heart of endless layers of richness, profundity and exotic flavours. Tasting Yquem is awe-inspiring, both for its beauty and also because of the constant awareness that this degree of opulence and concentration can only be achieved at the cost of immense skill, care and financial sacrifice. Making Sauternes, with its elements of botrytis and extreme ripeness, forever at the mercy of the weather, is always a fiendish pursuit, but making Yquem goes into new realms of endeavour – it is a world unto itself.

    Château d'Yquem 1983
    Sauternes, 1er Grand Cru Classé
    Per lot: $1,800-3,000

    Château d'Yquem 1975
    Sauternes, 1er Grand Cru Classé
    Per lot: $4,800-6,500

    Château Rieussec 1988
    Sauternes, 1er Cru Classé
    Per lot: $500-700

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Burgundy

B urgundy then beckons, not in the quantity of Bordeaux (that would be worrying!), but with the whole range of the most gifted producers and the most treasured ‘climats’, with a plethora of Grands Crus. It is almost invidious to pick out names here, for everyone has their favourites, but this is a veritable Bible of the Best. Just look at the Mugnier, Mongeard-Mugneret, Sylvain Cathiard and Dujac wines for a start – and then keep looking. No one needs to be told that these bottles are in short supply and in ever-increasing demand – when you taste them, you see why. There is also a selection of White Burgundy to whet the appetite.

Click the Red Dots to Discover the Wineries of Burgundy
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  • Morey-St-Denis

    DOMAINE DUJAC

    Jacques Seysses bought this domaine in 1968 and built it up to be one of the most notable on the Côte de Nuits through a combination of hard work and intelligent winemaking. Harvesting is immensely careful here and there is no destalking, a rarity nowadays. The Grands and Premiers Crus are matured in fûts that have been used only once. The wines are fined with whites of egg and bottled after fifteen months, without filtration. There is great character here in each appellation and each "climat", with both purity and clarity in the wines, plus breed. The Seysses sons, Jeremy and Alec, are in charge now and are having a real impact.

    Clos de la Roche 1997 Domaine Dujac
    Côte de Nuits, Grand Cru
    per lot: $900-1,300

    Clos Saint Denis 2002 Domaine Dujac
    Côte de Nuits, Grand Cru
    per lot: $1,800-2,600
    per lot: $3,500-5,000

    Clos Saint Denis 1999 Domaine Dujac
    Côte de Nuits, Grand Cru
    per lot: $2,000-3,000

    Clos Saint Denis 1997 Domaine Dujac
    Côte de Nuits, Grand Cru
    per lot: $1,500-2,400

    Clos Saint Denis 1995 Domaine Dujac
    Côte de Nuits, Grand Cru
    per lot: $1,200-1,800

    Charmes Chambertin 2002 Domaine Dujac
    Côte de Nuits, Grand Cru
    per lot: $4,200-6,000

    Bonnes Mares 1996 Domaine Dujac
    Côte de Nuits, Grand Cru
    per lot: $1,100-1,500

    Echézeaux 2005 Domaine Dujac
    Côte de Nuits, Grand Cru
    per lot: $900-1,500

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  • Chambolle-Musigny

    JACQUES-FREDERIC MUGNIER

    Frédéric Mugnier stopped moonlighting as an airline pilot to give the vines his full attention. These are wines at the top of the ladder, made in a style which brings out all that is best in Chambolle: scent, subtlety, laciness of texture, and great persistence.

    Chambolle Musigny 2005
    Jacques-Frédéric Mugnier
    Côte de Nuits
    per lot: $700-1,000

    Chambolle Musigny, Les Fuées 2005
    Jacques-Frédéric Mugnier
    Côte de Nuits, 1er Cru
    per lot: $2,200-3,000

    Chambolle Musigny, Les Amoureuses 2005
    Jacques-Frédéric Mugnier
    Côte de Nuits, 1er Cru
    per lot: $2,400-$3,500

    Musigny 2005 Jacques-Frederic Mugnier
    Côte de Nuits, Grand Cru
    per lot: $13,000-19,000

    Musigny 1996 Jacques-Frédéric Mugnier
    Côte de Nuits, Grand Cru
    per lot: $6,500-9,000

    Musigny 1990 Jacques-Frédéric Mugnier
    Côte de Nuits, Grand Cru
    per lot: $12,000-18,000

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  • Gevrey-Chambertin

    DOMAINE ARMAND ROUSSEAU

    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. Now, Eric Rousseau follows in these illustrious footsteps. 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.

    Chambertin, Clos de Bèze 1996 Domaine Armand Rousseau
    Côte de Nuits, Grand Cru
    per lot: $9,500-13,000

    Chambertin, Clos de Bèze 1990 Domaine Armand Rousseau
    Côte de Nuits, Grand Cru
    per lot: $2,200-3,200

    Chambertin 2002 Domaine Armand Rousseau
    Côte de Nuits, Grand Cru
    per lot: $2,000-3,000

    Gevrey Chambertin, Vieilles Vignes 2005 Domaine Bachelet
    Côte de Nuits
    per lot: $400-600

    Gevrey Chambertin, Les Corbeaux Vieilles Vignes 2005 Domaine Bachelet
    Côte de Nuits, 1er Cru
    per lot: $400-600

    Charmes Chambertin, Vieilles Vignes Domaine Bachelet
    Côte de Nuits, Grand Cru
    2004 (3 bts)
    2005 (2 bts)
    per lot: $1,600-2,200

    Charmes Chambertin, Vieilles Vignes 1996 Domaine Bachelet
    Côte de Nuits, Grand Cru
    per lot: $1,200-2,000

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  • Vosne-Romanee

    MEO-CAMUZET

    This is a domain with excellent vineyards and a stellar reputation. Henri Jayer was long a consultant after spending much of his career leasing vines from the estate. Jean-Nicolas Méo attaches great importance to low yields which accounts for the concentration of his wines. He also uses, as Jayer did, 100% new oak, except for Bourgogne Rouge (50%) and Passe-Tout- Grains (second year oak). There is no filtering and bottling is from each cask. I place this domain at the pinnacle of Burgundy's achievements, making wines that really express their "climats". You will never see better Clos de Vougeot than from Méo Camuzet

    Vosne Romanée, Aux Brûlées 1990
    Méo-Camuzet
    Côte de Nuits, 1er Cru
    Per lot: $1,000-1,400

    Vosne Romanée, Les Chaumes 2005
    Méo-Camuzet
    Côte de Nuits, 1er Cru
    Per lot: $750-1,000

    Vosne Romanée, Cros Parantoux 1990
    Méo-Camuzet
    Côte de Nuits, 1er Cru

    Echézeaux les Rouges du Bas 2005
    Méo-Camuzet
    Côte de Nuits, Grand Cru
    Per lot: $1,000-1,400

    Richebourg 1996
    Méo-Camuzet
    Côte de Nuits, Grand Cru
    Per lot: $4,000-5,500

    Nuits St. Georges, Aux Boudots
    Méo-Camuzet
    Côte de Nuits, 1er Cru
    Per lot: $750-1,000

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  • Meursault & Puligny Montrachet: White Burgundy

    DOMAINE LEFLAIVE

    This is a great, if not the great, old family Domaine for white Burgundy. It demonstrates what a white wine can be, given the right soil, the right vines and the right combination of tradition and sense of enquiry. It is also the springboard for the whole region's move towards organic grape farming. The Domaine was managed by Anne-Claude Leflaive, until her untimely death in 2015, a worthy successor to the legendary Vincent Leflaive who died in 1993 (and I pay tribute to his skill, integrity, and unmatched joie de vivre). Anne-Claude began the conversion to biodynamics, complete by 1998, and worked with Pierre Morey, her winemaker until 2008, when Eric Rémy took over. The wines are bottled after about eighteen months following an élevage in oak pièces and small stainless steel vats. Let yourself be seduced by their honeyed smoothness – if you have not already succumbed to the heady bouquet. I have been both thrilled and uplifted by countless bottles, in all their aristocratic and multi-dimensional glory. These are wines that have highlights and energy.

    Puligny Montrachet, Les Pucelles 1996
    Domaine Leflaive
    Côte de Beaune, 1er Cru
    Per lot: $1,200-1,800

    Puligny Montrachet, Les Folatières 1995
    Domaine Leflaive (1 bt)
    Per lot: $450-650

    Puligny Montrachet, Clavoillon 1995 Domaine Leflaive
    Per lot: $450-650

    Domaine Roulot
    Meursault, Charmes 1996
    Domaine Roulot
    Côte de Beaune, 1er Cru
    Per lot: $2,200-3,500

    Meursault, Perrières 1995
    Domaine Roulot
    Côte de Beaune, 1er Cru
    Per lot: $300-500

    Vincent Dauvissat
    Chablis, Les Vaillons 1997
    Vincent Dauvissat
    Chablis, 1er Cru
    Per lot: $250-350

    Chablis, Preuses 1997 Vincent Dauvissat
    Per lot: $900-1,300

    Chablis, Preuses 1997 Dauvissat-Camus (1 bt)
    Per lot: $900-1,300

    DOMAINE ROULOT

    Jean-Marc's late father Guy Roulot was among the first growers in Meursault to vinify the different lieux- dits separately. For me, these are wines of fi nesse and breed. Pressing is rapid and vinififcation is in oak barrels with a proportion of new wood: between one third and one quarter for the Meursaults. Bottling is, on average, after ten to eleven months. The results have silky texture and length on palate, giving real joy to the taster.

    VINCENT DAUVISSAT

    Vincent Dauvissat, with his two children now working with him, is a master winemaker who succeeds in making fabulous Chablis without quite revealing how he does it! Tasting with him down in the small cellars (tall people beware....), all the charms and complexities of the different vineyards are made manifest. Stainless steel and wood are used, but with a very limited number of new barrels. The wines are built to last. The Dauvissat Camus wines, from vineyards owned by other family members but made by the same hand, can spend a few more months in oak. La Forest is the signature vineyard here, displaying complexity, energy and depth, plus honied caramel and greengages with bottle age. Vaillons is so welcoming and balanced, while Preuses is all candied lemon zests and very satisfying. Les Clossits at the summit, classy and with fullness and intensity, depth and dimension. Chez Dauvissat, terroir meets tradition and the finest crus of Chablis reign supreme.

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T he Rhône round-up concentrates on the giants of the Northern Rhône, with Rayas to represent the South. This is connoisseurs’ corner.

It is a real privilege to present and bring to the market a collection of this beauty and we wish our wine-loving clients everywhere all luck in finding those wines with which they will fall in love – if they are not already converted!

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