S otheby’s Wine is delighted to present our first London sale of the Autumn season with Vine | The Rousseau Magnum Collection | Exclusive Releases from Eva Fricke | Finest & Rarest Wines. This auction encompasses a handful of truly top-drawer collections, containing some of the most exciting stock that the UK market has seen this year. The sale begins with a sublime collection of blue-chip Burgundy from the likes of Rousseau, Roumier and Coche-Dury, including a notable quantity of exceedingly rare Rousseau Chambertin magnums, all of which were acquired directly from the Domaine’s agent and come to market with impeccable provenance.
Following this turbo-charged start, the auction continues with an exclusive-to-Sotheby’s, direct release from the cellars of Weingut Eva Fricke. Including the first ever, miniscule quantities of Trockenbeerenausleses and Beerenauslese to be produced by this rising star of German wine, the entire production of each of these outstanding Rieslings is being offered exclusively through this sale. The auction therefore represents the only opportunity that collectors will have to secure these stunning (and painfully rare) wines on release.
Finally, the various-owner Finest & Rarest Wines sale comprising lot 121 onwards sees a handful of leading British collections brought to market. Displaying an impressive selection of pristine, perfectly mature stock from all of Europe’s most historic and desirable estates, the cellars offered here represent a lifetime of dedicated work on the part of these longstanding, eminent collectors. Especially remarkable throughout these collections is the breadth and depth of availability across all the First Growths, with more than four decades of flawlessly stored cases available from these giants of the wine world.
Excel Lot Listing
There are very few producers whose wines inspire as much excitement in Burgundy devotees as those of Domaine Armand Rousseau. One of the most coveted names in the wine world, this Domaine has been a trailblazer in Burgundy since its founding in the early twentieth century, and is now superbly overseen by Armand’s grandson Eric and his own daughter Cyrielle. Rousseau’s wines are truly amongst the most perfect and singular expressions of Pinot Noir that exist, and large formats of the Grand Crus are produced in such minimal quantities that the opportunity to experience such bottles remains an elusive dream for the vast majority of collectors worldwide. It is therefore a pleasure to be able to offer this beautifully assembled collection of sensational magnums.
Purchased from one of Rousseau’s UK agents and stored professionally ever since they were delivered directly from the Domaine, the provenance and condition of these spectacular bottles is truly perfect. They will form a beautiful centerpiece to any great wine collection. In this focused and wonderfully formed consignment, looking beyond Rousseau we find further Burgundian titans including Roumier’s superb Bonnes Mares, Musigny and Amoureuses, Coche-Dury’s Corton Charlemagne, whilst the Thienpont family’s St Emilion super-cuvee “L’If” flies the flag for Bordeaux.
Lots 44-120 represent a truly unique and exclusive release, direct from an outstanding winemaker who we are very excited to have been able to partner with for this sale. For fans of the world’s best Riesling, the name Eva Fricke may well already be familiar. For those who don’t yet know Eva’s wines, we were lucky to be able to interview the star herself. This wonderful profile provides a snapshot of the perspective, philosophy and dedication that undermines Eva’s meticulous approach in the vineyard and the winery, an approach that has won her numerous awards and plaudits in the last decade, not to mention a hugely loyal and devoted fan-base.
OriginsAfter an internship in South Africa at the age of 18, Eva Fricke trained at Geisenheim, before gaining winemaking experience with some of the world’s top producers, from Bordeaux to Spain, Australia and Piedmont. This wide exposure allowed her, very early in her career, to develop a strong idea of her own winemaking philosophy and sustainable principles.
EvolutionDrawn back to the Rheingau, Eva joined Weingut Leitz as a winemaker in 2004. In 2006, she began building her own domain from scratch, initially as a small project on the side of her main job at Leitz. What started with a tiny parcel of vines in Lorch blossomed over the following few years, with the purchase and leasing of further vineyards throughout Rheingau, until she was able to fully strike out on her own in 2011.
RecognitionIn a very short space of time, Eva has established a reputation as one of Europe’s foremost producers of Riesling. There is no doubt that Eva’s stunning, crystalline wines can be credited with helping to put this superb wine region, which 100 years ago was producing some of the world’s most expensive and sought-after wines, back on the global map. The recognition she rightly deserves has culminated in the first ever Wine Advocate 100-point score to be awarded to any Rheingau wine, the exclusive release of which we are delighted to preside over in this auction.
The phenomenal collection on offer here includes the first Trockenbeerenauslese and Beerenauslese wines ever to be made by Eva: 2019 Lorcher Krone TBA; 2019 Lorcher Kapellenberg TBA; and 2019 Lorcher Schlossberg BA. All 3 wines have received stunning critical praise, with the flagship 2019 Lorcher Krone TBA being awarded the first ever 100-point Wine Advocate score for any wine from the Rheingau. It will come as no surprise to existing fans of this inimitable winemaker that this world-first has been bestowed upon her estate.
With miniscule total production volumes of between just 18 and 36 half-bottles, this auction represents a genuine once-in-a-lifetime opportunity; the entire production of each of these 3 cuvees is being released exclusively through this sale. In addition, we have a limited selection of Eva’s highly sought-after dry styles including the winery’s only remaining magnum of her first ever release, the 2006 Lorcher Krone Auslese Trocken. The hammer price for the first bottle of 2019 Lorcher Krone TBA will be donated toShare The Meal, an organistion empowering people to end global hunger and a cause very dear to Eva's heart. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to offer these extremely limited bottles to our global network of highly knowledgeable collectors, as well as bringing Eva's wines to an audience that may not yet be familiar with her prodigious talent.
From the cellars of a group of true connoisseurs, the main body of this outstanding auction contains a veritable embarrassment of riches. There is particularly incredible breadth and depth across the First Growths and Right Bank superstars, covering all the great vintages between 1982 and the present day, with an extensive offering of rare double-magnums and other large formats, and a striking sequence of wonderful original cases of Mouton-Rothschild from the 1980 to 1985 vintages. Outside Bordeaux there are even more aged stocks from Domaine Armand Rousseau, alongside other shining Burgundian lights, and superb Champagne at the peak of its powers. Not to be outdone by France, the rest of the world is well-represented, with strong offerings from all the major Super Tuscans, rare magnums of Harlan Estate and a wonderful selection of Vintage Port from the superb 1966 vintage.
These collections represent a lifetime of work, and are offered with impeccable provenance having been perfectly cared for. The top-drawer cellars on display were assembled painstakingly over the course of more than four decades, and the amazingly high volume of First Growths contained herein is testament to the generosity of these collectors, and their philosophy of wanting to open and share the world’s greatest wines with friends and family, far and wide. The scale and quality of vintages on offer mean that there is truly something for everyone, whether your search is for bottles perfectly at their peak now, cases to be laid down for decades more, or to build a complete collection that can be gradually enjoyed as each wine reaches its plenitude.
Read on for details of the glorious treasures that make up each of these marvelous cellars.
There is good reason for the enduring presence of Bordeaux’s great names within cellars of the foremost collectors worldwide. The consistency with which the Bordelais, over centuries, have been able to produce wines that continue to find themselves at the pinnacle of global wine appreciation is truly astonishing. Icons of both the Left and Right Banks have an ability to gain complexity and character as they age, which is almost unrivalled in the rest of the fine wine world. The region’s wines have occupied a space at the top table for centuries, and the enjoyment of these wines has been a constant for countless significant characters, alongside myriad major events, throughout at least 500 years of recent history.
It is therefore a delight to be able to present such a treasure trove of pristine, ready-to-drink superstars here, alongside various younger vintages that are all but certain to become future legends with cellaring. The wines on offer here will therefore suit the gourmand who wishes to drink the world’s greatest wines right away, just as much as the collector looking to amass a cellar for the future.
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.
Winemaking occupies a space right on the liminal boundary between Art and Science, and never is that more clear than in the wares of Burgundy’s leading addresses. If art is the expression of the human soul in terms of a tangible, worldly product, then the wines highlighted here are at once works of art and perfect snapshots of their creators’ philosophies. Part of the romantic allure of Pinot Noir is its capricious nature, and Burgundy’s winemakers all the way down the Côte d’Or are at the mercy of this grape variety’s temperament, the elements and, of course, their terroir.
Harnessing the potential of all these variables is no small feat, and those who are able to achieve this year in, year out, are rightly revered as Burgundian royalty. When great Burgundy is on song, there is nothing quite like it for its exquisite purity and paradoxical power. These are truly the world’s most harmonious wines.
Perfectly stored mature Champagne is one of the wine world’s great hedonistic experiences; all too often these wines are popped and consumed early in their life, but give them the chance to age, as the examples on offer here have been, and they assume otherworldly levels of complexity and character. With the range of vintages, formats and houses on offer across these collections, whether your taste is for Dom Pérignon or Krug, Bollinger or Pol Roger, Cristal or Taittinger, there are myriad bottles and rare large formats of interest here. The selection on offer from these esteemed producers starts in 1988 and runs right through to 2013.
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 the truly iconic Spanish estates of Vega Sicilia and Pingus, through Piedmont’s leading growers, all the major Super Tuscans, an amazing selection of top value aged Italian gems, to California’s outstanding Harlan Estate and the wonderful 1966 Dow and Quinta do Noval, this selection offers the whole nine yards.