Legendary Vintages: An Important American Cellar
Live Auction: 16 October 2021 • 10:00 AM EDT • New York

Legendary Vintages: An Important American Cellar 16 October 2021 • 10:00 AM EDT • New York

I t is the rarest of occurrences when a collection comes to market that showcases the most iconic wines from the top producers. Sotheby’s is honored to present LEGENDARY VINTAGES: An Important American Cellar, representing the clear vision of a connoisseur who hunted for the most prized treasures of the wine world with a discerning commitment to quality and showstopping rarity. This once-in-a-lifetime sale presents the unrivalled opportunity to follow in the footsteps of an impeccable collector.

There is a special focus for the wines of Bordeaux. All the top Châteaux are represented in the collection and each Château includes a comprehensive offering of top vintages and large format bottles. Two of the most legendary wines made in Bordeaux are offered in this sale: Château Mouton Rothschild 1945 and Château Cheval Blanc 1947.


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The singular wines from Petrus, spanning seven decades, are the heart and soul of this curated collection. While there are only distinguished wines made at this Château, the truly rarest are offered in this sale, including 1959, 1961, 1971, 1975, 1982, 1989, 1990, 1998, and 2000. Other notable highlights include a vertical offering of the cult Pomerol, Le Pin, case quantities of modern legends like Château Haut Brion 1961 and 1989, Lafite 1982, Latour 1959 and 1961, Margaux 2009, and rare large format bottles including Mouton 1982, 1986 and 2000. The collection further features the coveted wines of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti spanning five decades. Top lots include a very rare Jeroboam of Romanée-Conti 2004, Romanée-Conti 2002, and La Tâche 1990. Finally, the jaw-dropping legends from Rhône with Jaboulet’s Hermitage La Chapelle 1961; from Tuscany: Sassicaia 1985 in magnums; and from Napa Valley: Screaming Eagle in bottles, magnums, and the extraordinary, rarely seen double-magnum.

It is Sotheby’s honor and privilege to bring this history-making collection to the forefront of the Fall auction calendar. The legacy of this cellar of historic wines will undoubtedly inspire and educate collectors for generations to come.

Provenence
The great majority of wines in this collection were acquired over many years from established wine merchants and auction houses.
Inspection, Packing and Shipping
All wines in this sale were packed and inspected in June this year by Sotheby’s specialists. Shipment to the Sotheby’s East Coast warehouse was via dedicated, temperature-controlled trailer.
Celler Conditions
After purchase, the wines were stored in a purpose-built residential cellar, whose ideal cellar conditions were meticulously maintained. The cellar conditions were constantly monitored by a state-of-the-art alarm system.

Legendary Wines, in a Variety of Formats
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  • Screaming Eagle, Cabernet Sauvignon 2002 (1 DM). Estimate $10,000-$15,000

    Jean Phillips’ microscopic venture hit the road running, one might say, screaming with the 1992 vintage which is now almost impossible to find. We shall have to wait and see what effect the March 2006 sale of this winery has on future wines. No one tastes these often, especially since phylloxera took its toll, making their rarity even more acute. But my few “sightings” of Screaming Eagle have totally won me over - they have a glossy richness and glycerol to them that I find nowhere else. Serena Sutcliffe, MW
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  • Petrus 2000 (12 BT). Estimate $40,000-$60,000

    In 2011, an incredible ‘Christmas pudding’ bouquet of great richness and density. Plums and cloves, in that inimitable Petrus way. Total, wrap-around, fleshy flavours and texture on the palate. Lush and plush. An absolute, outright star and a rarity in every way. If ever there were a wine that enfolds you, this is it. Serena Sutcliffe, MW
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  • Le Pin 2000 (6 BT). Estimate $18,000-$20,000

    A phenomenon since it burst upon the scene in 1979, Le Pin is a product of the plateau of Pomerol, predominantly clay soil, the Merlot grape, new oak, low yields and the skills and perfectionism of the Thienpont family. I sometimes think Le Pin is more of an essence than a wine and its thick, voluptuous character is unlike any other, more classic, Pomerol. It has enormous, upfront appeal, black fruit and high glycerol impact. Demand for Le Pin runs to all four corners of the world, a wine with a truly international profile. Serena Sutcliffe, MW
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  • Romanée-Conti 2004, Domaine de la Romanée-Conti (1 JM30). Estimate $80,000-$120,000

    Amazing persistence on the nose, with spicy smokiness. Incredible flavour and length with the silky seduction that marks out this unique vineyard. You could call this weightless density. There is even a touch of nuttiness on the finish which I sometimes see in Romanée-Conti. This wine has a very far horizon of development. Serena Sutcliffe, MW
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  • Romanée-Conti 2002, Domaine de la Romanée-Conti (1 MAG). Estimate $35,000-$55,000.

    Without a doubt, this is the Domaine’s top wine in this vintage, packing more depth into it than the very attractive La Tâche. It is the spiciness together with the breed that win the day, with underlying mineral elements and structure that I think will take it further into the future than La Tâche. However, with these two wines, I am always ready to review my opinion! Serena Sutcliffe, MW
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  • Corton-Charlemagne 2004, Domaine Leroy (12 BT). Estimate $28,000-$42,000.

    Lalou Bize-Leroy is a force to be reckoned with in Burgundy. Brought up in wine, she developed firm principles and equally firm convictions. For her, reducing yields is a religion and biodynamic viticultural methods the route to quality and longevity. No destemming and long vattings add to the almost essence-like intensity of the wines. Their deep, emphatic style is a reflection of the commitment and personality of Lalou Bize-Leroy. These wines hardly seem to age - they stay suspended in time. Serena Sutcliffe, MW
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  • Le Pin 2004 (3 MAG). Estimate $12,000-$18,000.

    A phenomenon since it burst upon the scene in 1979, Le Pin is a product of the plateau of Pomerol, predominantly clay soil, the Merlot grape, new oak, low yields and the skills and perfectionism of the Thienpont family. I sometimes think Le Pin is more of an essence than a wine and its thick, voluptuous character is unlike any other, more classic, Pomerol. It has enormous, upfront appeal, black fruit and high glycerol impact. Demand for Le Pin runs to all four corners of the world, a wine with a truly international profile. Serena Sutcliffe, MW
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  • Château Mouton Rothschild 2000 (1 JM50). Estimate $10,000-$15,000

    In 2014, a wonderful, fresh, brambly nose, with huge, vivacious projection. Tremendous youthful fruit on the palate, all blackberries and cedarwood. Archetypal First Growth Pauillac, with a cassis signature on the finish. Pair it with the 2001, a revelation in vintage contrast. Serena Sutcliffe, MW
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Legendary Vintages

Romanée-Conti, Spanning Five Decades
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  • Romanée Conti 1991 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti (2 BT) Estimate: 24,000 - 35,000 USD

    A fraction paler than the very deep La Tâche. Immense refinement and breed on the nose, with a sweet, ripe violetty bouquet. Wild strawberries on the palate. Cherry kernels. Maraschino. Nutty. Fine silk and elegance. La Tâche 1991 is more massive, but this is pure harmony. Serena Sutcliffe, MW
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  • Romanée Conti 2000 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti (5 BT) Estimate: 65,000 - 95,000 USD

    The Millennium vintage exploded on to the horizon with this beautifully balanced wine, so ripe and with such fresh acidity - those wonderful old vines immensely contributed here. Opulent, complex, refined and intricate, with a huge dollop of 2000 charm. It lingers on the palate in a very filigree, lacy way. Serena Sutcliffe, MW
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  • Romanée Conti 1995 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti (1 BT) Estimate: 12,000 - 18,000 USD

    A piercingly beautiful scent that is pure Romanée Conti. Violets, liquorice, both wild cherries (griottes) and black cherries - the kind you get in Swiss jam. Multi-layered, many splendoured taste. Super-charged red and black fruit, a touch of vanilla and a real dollop of concentrated intensity. Above all, the supreme intensity of Romanée Conti. This is breed “personified” in a wine. Will keep for longer than anyone reading this. Serena Sutcliffe, MW
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  • Romanée Conti 2004 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti (1 JM30)Estimate: 80,000 - 120,000 USD

    Amazing persistence on the nose, with spicy smokiness. Incredible flavour and length with the silky seduction that marks out this unique vineyard. You could call this weightless density. There is even a touch of nuttiness on the finish which I sometimes see in Romanée-Conti. This wine has a very far horizon of development. Serena Sutcliffe, MW
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  • Romanée Conti 2002 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti (1 MAG)Estimate: 35,000 - 55,000 USD

    Without a doubt, this is the Domaine’s top wine in this vintage, packing more depth into it than the very attractive La Tâche. It is the spiciness together with the breed that win the day, with underlying mineral elements and structure that I think will take it further into the future than La Tâche. However, with these two wines, I am always ready to review my opinion! Serena Sutcliffe, MW
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  • Romanée Conti 1992 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti (2 BT)Estimate: 22,000 - 32,000 USD
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  • Romanée Conti 1990 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti (1 BT) Estimate: 16,000 - 24,000 USD

    Vintage started 22nd September (32 hl/ha) A very great wine, the epitome of that Romanée Conti silkiness. The full aristocratic dimension of the wine is in full flower here, packed with concentration and fruit to the maximum degree. Serena Sutcliffe, MW
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The care lavished on Romanée-Conti is shown to all the wines of the Domaine, but the breed and refinement in the taste of Romanée-Conti would point to an indefinable “something extra” in this 1.80 ha plot. Tradition is respected (Romanée-Conti is always vinified in wooden vat number 17 which dates from 1862), but not blindly revered for its own sake. Short pruning, organic fertilizer, low yields, high average age of vines, late picking, selection of grapes, long fermentation with natural yeasts, 70-100% vin de presse added to give quality tannins and good acidity, new Tronçais oak barrels from wood the Domaine dries itself, almost no racking (and then only by gravity), fining with 3-4 egg whites per cask only in some years according to the character of the vintage, no filtration - all this is taken for granted. But Romanée-Conti is more than the total of a mass of intricate manoeuvres - it is the pure silk and intoxicating aromas and flavours that appear, as if by magic, from mere marl and limestone. Serena Sutcliffe, MW

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