S otheby’s Wine London is delighted to continue our Spring sale season with Vine A Leading Continental Collection Finest & Rarest Wines. This outstanding sale begins with a stellar European collection of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, Petrus and Le Pin, all of which were acquired by our consignor direct from the agents and respective producers. With all of DRC’s Grands Crus represented in their complete glory, alongside a wonderful selection of banded original cases from Pomerol’s top 2 estates, these lots (with their perfect provenance) represent a very exciting opportunity for collectors of the world’s foremost wines.
Following on from this strong start, the auction moves through a handful of other superb cellars that are focused on truly incredible mature stocks, incorporating the full gamut of European vinous royalty. These collections include all of the First Growths and Petrus from some of the last century’s most sought-after vintages (think 1945, 1955, 1959, 1982 and many more), in a range of exciting and extremely rare large formats as well as more wieldy bottles. Moving away from Bordeaux’s heavyweights, there are further considerably impressive aged stocks from Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, and we see a superb selection of back-vintage Champagne from Dom Pérignon and Krug as well as more than one hundred years of history from Château d’Yquem. Not to be outdone by France, the rest of the world is well-represented, with strong offerings from all the major Super Tuscans, and an especially wonderful vertical of Ridge Monte Bello incorporating vintages from between 1989 and 2007.
The stunning collection that kicks off our May sale and comprises lots 1-30 comes to us from the cellar of a very highly regarded European restaurant, one with direct links to many of the continent’s most prestigious wine addresses. For this auction, we focus on just three estates from their collection that represent the very pinnacle of fine wine: Domaine de la Romanee-Conti; Petrus; and Le Pin. Having been purchased directly from the producers and their agents, and stored perfectly in climate-controlled underground cellars ever since release, these three giants of fine wine are offered here with truly impeccable provenance.
Sumptuous Offerings from Petrus and Le Pin
The very word Petrus creates a "frisson" unlike any other wine name - and the liquid in the glass induces a dream-like silence in drinkers as its enormous, hedonistic flavour envelops the palate. The sheer exoticism of this revered vineyard, where clay combines with Merlot to create a truly heady concoction, needs to be experienced by every wine-lover 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 full-throttle product of the plateau of Pomerol and its famous clay, the Merlot grape, new oak, low yields and the skills and perfectionism of the Thienpont family. Best thought of as more of an essence than a wine, Le Pin’s thick, voluptuous character is quite unlike any other of its Pomerol stablemates. It has enormous, upfront appeal, black fruit and high glycerol impact. Demand for Le Pin runs to all four corners of the world, far outstripping supply and resulting in a wine with a truly international profile.
The Complete Grands Crus from The Domaine
The Domaine, as it is known, is iconic. Much more importantly, 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.
The brilliant wines comprising lots 31-502 have been sourced from a handful of extensive European and British cellars; deep collections that show a particularly impressive focus on some of the most notable and storied bottles of the last 100 years. From opulent Mouton, to stately Latour and grandiose Lafite, through a collection of Yquem going back more than a century, and the vast majority of France’s other bucket-list wine addresses, these cellars together contain a who’s who of the previous century’s vinous crown jewels. Of particular note, and sure to generate great excitement, are the stunning and wildly rare large formats of 1933 Mouton, 1945 Latour, 1959 Lafite, and 1982 Lafite and Petrus.
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. From Spain’s big names of Unico and Pingus, through the major Super Tuscans, to California’s outstanding Ridge Monte Bello, this selection offers the whole nine yards.