otheby’s Wine are delighted to present our latest online sale, Vine 3 Stellar Collections and More, showcasing three highly attractive collections, all kept in excellent conditions and with perfect provenance.
Between them, these feature show-stopping offerings from a large collection of First Growths and Petrus from the 1975 vintage, together with an impressive selection of large formats, parcels of young claret, Yquem from the 1990s, and finally a plethora of vintages from the vineyards of Domaine de la Romanée Conti. In contrast, there are many highly affordable lots, from regions beyond Bordeaux and Burgundy. The collectors behind these wines had different philosophies and preferences - but all have consigned wines that have been meticulously stored, are ready to drink, and in great condition.
Collection 1: Lots 1 – 294
A remarkable selection of Bordeaux, d’Yquem, Burgundy & Champagne including highly regarded large formats, parcels of young claret, d'Yquem and Louis Roederer Cristal 2004 together with a great selection of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti. Highlights include an imperial of Latour 1982 and Petrus 1983, bottles of Mouton 1996, 2000, 2003 and parcels of other first growths along with Domaine de la Romanée-Conti from the 1993 vintage up to 2010.
Please note that Lots 1 to 64 are duty paid only while lots 65-294 are duty paid with VAT payable on hammer.
Collection 2: Lots 295 – 369
An incredible collection of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti from a continental collector where the bottles were bought directly from the importer and stored professionally under perfect conditions. This magnificent collection of DRC is backed up by several superstars of Bordeaux including Mouton and Margaux 2000 and superb 1er cru Meursault from the consistently brilliant 2014 vintage.
Collection 3: Lots 370 – 567
A great collection, mostly of Bordeaux, with all the First Growths and Petrus, together with a tempting array at all price points, finishing with ready to drink Burgundy from Leflaive, Jadot and others.
From the high quality underground climate controlled cellar of a stunning continental estate. A few cases were found to be affected by woodworm. As a precaution, all wooden cases have been heat treated.
The Domaine, as it is known, is iconic. Much more important, it also produces the most extraordinary wines in Burgundy - and it has been doing so for a long time. The generations responsible for the Domaine change, but the terroir remains. And these are very special vineyard parcels indeed, married to meticulous care and philosophy leading to low yields and healthy, ripe grapes, at whatever cost. From the 1990s, vineyard policy has been organic, with co-owner Aubert de Villaine monitoring everything with his usual attention to detail. Domaine de la Romanée-Conti wines evolve and develop dimensions in a way that resembles a mosaic – points of bouquet and flavor making up a harmonious whole that becomes more beautiful as it unfolds in the glass. Yes, these are hedonistic wines and yes, they are not like any other. The trick is in capturing what these remarkable plots of vines can give and letting them express themselves through minimum intervention and enlightened nurturing.
Discover Six Vineyards from the Domaine
Estimate: £11,000 - £14,000
Rarity alone is not an explanation of the magical properties of Romanée-Conti - it has to be a combination of terroir and care, for mere marl and limestone is just the point of departure. Often slower to emerge than La Tâche, smoke and roses at first, then filigree laciness and piercing, intense flavour to finish, this is ultimate beauty.
Estimate: £1,200 - £1,600
The Domaine owns just over one-half of this vineyard which it purchased from the Marey-Monge family in 1988, having previously managed the vineyard for the family since 1966. The vineyard holdings were replanted over a number of years and the wines have greater concentration, less sharp tannins and more fat. They continue to set the highest standard for the appellation.
Estimate: £3,000 - £4,000
Since 1933, entirely owned by the Domaine and recognised as the appellation of La Tâche in 1936, there is real complexity of terroir here as it also includes Les Gaudichots de La Tâche, a strip of vineyard that stretches from top to bottom of the slope. Inevitably, and perhaps slightly pointlessly, it is often 'compared' to Romanée-Conti itself, far smaller in size but joining it at the pinnacle of Burgundy's vinous heights.
Estimate: £3500 - £4500
Le Montrachet always needs to mature in bottle for its full, glorious, voluptuous character to open out and stun you with its dimensions and complex fruit flavours. The richness and all-enveloping opulence of this wine reflects the sunlight and warmth of the vineyards here - this is impressive power, plumbing the depths of what Chardonnay can do in an unique and very precious setting.
Estimate: £1000 - £1400
Echézeaux has real flair and a dashing character to it, sometimes, but not always, coming to the fore earlier than the other DRC wines, with its enchanting brambly bouquet and creamy, redcurrant fruit - the tannic structure may seem soft, but it is very much there, as in all DRC wines. As always, the breed and purity indicate glorious, top Burgundy right from the outset.
Estimate: £1200 - £1600
Grands Echézeaux is usually less showy than Echézeaux at the start of its life, deploying its dual gifts of power and finesse, The 'hidden depths' metaphor can be applied here, but do not stay hidden for long, as the mouth-filling qualities impose themselves as time passes, although embarking upon bottles as one watches developments is always a temptation.
Christophe Roumier makes the wines following the death of his father Jean-Marie, the third son of Georges. He favours a natural, organic approach in the vineyard as he wishes to encourage a diversity of natural yeasts. Low yields are also a fixture here, but via strict pruning, rather than green harvest later in the season. Fermentation temperature is not allowed to exceed 30 degrees Celsius, there are one to two pigeages a day, and the wines are aged in a maximum of one-third new oak. The Ruchottes and Charmes now appear under Christophe Roumier's own label. Wines of purity and great class and depth of flavour, with a long future ahead of them, made by a guardian of the Burgundian Grail.
1 IMP (6L)
Estimate: £2600 - £3500
The power and glory of Latour are undisputed. The consistency of Latour, due to its fabulous gravel soil, great situation near the Gironde and a succession of inspired winemakers, is unrivalled. It is a wine that can start slowly and then takes off like a rocket. It is always profound with many layers of taste, a real reflection of the heart of Pauillac. Latour is famous for producing impressive wine in more modest vintages, but it knows how to seize great vintages and make them monuments.
Estimate: £6500 - £8500
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 Mouton Rothschild
1 IMP (6L)
Estimate: £10000 - £13000
Mouton, as it is affectionately known by all its devotees, is the most opulent and exuberant of all the Firsts, a reflection of the two huge personalities that headed the Château since 1920, Baron Philippe and then Baroness Philippine de Rothschild, who sadly left us a few years ago. The great cassis depths of this wine seduce everyone who appreciates the finest Bordeaux. It is a gloriously forceful, flamboyant wine, voluptuous and powerful. The stunning beauty of the wines has been further strengthened by meticulous attention to detail in vineyard and cellar.
Estimate: £5000 - £6500
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. Lafite matures slowly, developing gloriously with bottle age, as historic tastings have shown.
Château Haut Brion
Estimate: £3000 - £4000
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. 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!
Sumptuous Offerings from the Right Bank
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.
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
Mouton, as it is affectionately known by all its devotees, is the most opulent and exuberant of all the Firsts, a reflection of the two huge personalities that headed the Château since 1920, Baron Philippe and then Baroness Philippine de Rothschild, who sadly left us a few years ago. The great cassis depths of this wine seduce everyone who appreciates the finest Bordeaux. It is a gloriously forceful, flamboyant wine, voluptuous and powerful. The stunning beauty of the wines has been further strengthened by meticulous attention to detail in vineyard and cellar. Many of my own greatest wine drinking experiences revolve around Mouton throughout this century and the last. Magnificent Mouton is a sensory photo on the mind that stays with one for life.
The vast majority of Sotheby's Wine auctions focus on the well known names from Bordeaux and Burgundy where our expertise and experience has helped us find some of the most exciting collections ever seen for sale. But our passion for wine extends way beyond these two stalwarts of the fine wine market and it is exciting to see wines and growers from other regions infiltrating the pack.
Bodega Contador is a relative newcomer to Rioja, founded in 1995 by Benjamin Romeo but and has rapidly become one of the most highly respected wineries in the region. With a vast number of different vineyard plots (50+), meticulous attention to detail in the vineyards and winery and eschewing American oak in favour of French Barriques for ageing, the entire Contador range reflect the forward thinking and respectful winemaking that has propelled this passionate winemaker to the top of the Rioja pile.
A group of five top Douro estates: Quinta do Vallado, Niepoort, Quinta do Crasto, Quinta Vale D. Maria and Quinta do Vale Meão who have set out to raise the quality and profile of still red and white wines of the Douro Valley. As the wines on offer here will attest, it is proving to be a successful mission.
Look out for the Douro Boys Cuvee 2005 and 2011 a blend of the best barrels from each Quinta, produced in magnum only (500 in 2005, 750 in 2011). Highly prized and rarely seen since their original Douro Boys Auctions in 2007 and 2013 respectively.
We also have 3 magnums of the Douro Boys 2011 Vintage Port. Only 250 were produced from this magnificent vintage
Quinta do Vale Meão
The finest estate from the Upper Douro, founded in 1877 by Dona Antónia Adelaide Ferreira who was responsible for the evolution of Port production in the 19th century. The estate remains in family hands to this day. Blending traditional Douro varietals and winemaking methods (including foot tredding in lagares) with modern temperature controlled fermentation and new French oak, these powerful yet elegant wines are at the forefront of modern Portugese wine production.
The 2011 is a blend of 60% Touriga Franca, 20% Touriga Naçional, 5% Tinta Barroca, 5% Tinta Roriz, 5% Sousão and 5% of other varieties.
Quinta do Vallado
Another estate owned by Dona Antónia Adelaide Ferreira, established in 1716 and now run by three of her great-great-great grandsons!
The 2011 Reserva Field Blend is a mixture of Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinta Roriz, Tinta Amarela, and Tinta Barroca from 60 to 100-year-old vines, foot-trodden in lagares then 18 months in 70% new French oak.
Away from their still wine, we also have a bottle of the Quinta's famed Adelaide Tributa Very Old Port (only 1300 were produced from pre-phylloxera vines). Believed to be an 1866 Colheita, this highly sought-after bottle was produced in celebration of Dona Antónia Adelaide Ferreira's 200th anniversary.