Sotheby’s Tasting Note on the French Top Growth

Launch Slideshow

Whether seeking a magnum to share in celebration of the New Year or an iconic wine to take pride of place in the cellar, collectors will discover the offerings they seek at a range of price points in Sotheby’s Hong Kong’s upcoming wine sale, Finest and Rarest Wines Featuring the Connoisseur’s Cellar Part II. Click through the slideshow to explore the incredible line-up of reds and whites with Sotheby’s exclusive tasting notes from Serena Sutcliffe, the Master of Wine.

Finest and Rarest Wines Featuring the Connoisseur’s Cellar Part II

21 January 2017 | Hong Kong

Sotheby’s Tasting Note on the French Top Growth

  • Château Lafite 1996 (Lot 1109-1111)
    At a 2009 dinner in Hong Kong, a glorious spicy nose, like the smell of Christmas pudding cooking! Huge black cherries and liquorice taste. Perfect composition, bursting with fruit and health. Big impact wine. In 2012, as deeply concentrated as ever, just flexing its muscles. Serena Sutcliffe, MW 

  • Château Lafite
    Château Lafite 1986 (Lot 1107)
    69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Cabernet Franc, 15% Merlot. I have always been passionate about this wine. A great Cabernet Sauvignon year in the Médoc, giving density and depth. The exceptional concentration is its 'leitmotif', its flavour dark chocolate and mint. In 2016, it is deep, complex, oozing black fruit and dimension, with formidable structure and nobility. Serena Sutcliffe, MW 

  • Château Lafite
    Château Lafite 2000 (Lot 1112-1114)
    Great scent, dominated by loganberries when it was young. Superb, juicy black fruit on the palate. Such a ripe finish, mouthwatering all the way through. That real, total super-healthy 2000 nose to it. One now senses the opulence of this wine, with all its layers. Such a vivid taste of plums. Such fresh acidity - still a baby. This will last a century if desired, so think two generations on. Serena Sutcliffe, MW 

  • Château Mouton Rothschild 1945 (Lot 1264)
    What more can be said about this wine other than it is extraordinary and not very much was made! Incredibly haunting bouquet of flavoured coffee, cloves and cinnamon. Raspberries (utterly surprising), gingerbread, blackcurrants and mint all battle on the palate with coffee and chocolate lining up to get in on the act. It finishes in such elegant fashion - so silky and so seamless. This is not a banal, huge wine, it is just a totally complete Claret, perhaps the greatest ever. Serena Sutcliffe, MW

    (Label Artist: Victory Year/Philippe Julian)

  • Château Cheval Blanc
    Cheval Blanc 1947 (Lot 1361)
    Vintage from 15 September to 4 October. 14.4% alcohol. We all know about the difficult fermentations (ice in the vats!), extremely high residual sugar and volatile acidity. It can shout blackcurrants and sweetness, as well as coffee and chocolate, something of a Bailey's Cream of a wine! I have seen bottles of perfect provenance that have a thick Portiness unlike any other wine plus fireworks on the finish, truly overwhelming. I would always take the 1949 and 1948 over it, but that is a personal stylistic preference! In 2011 at the Château, a great nose of dark chocolate and vanilla pod, almost vanilla bourbon. Such incredible depth and persistence of bouquet. Like a beautiful, soft liqueur, so dense and yet now so palate-caressing. Cocoa powder at the end. Serena Sutcliffe, MW 

  • Petrus 2009 (Lot 1063-1076)
    40 hl/hectare made this year. A wonderful exuberance right from the beginning. So complete, opulent and with classic structure. The skins were as thick as in 1975 (remember that impressive wine), but here mixed with the beauty of 1990. Velvety violets on the palate with a finish of liquorice. Pretty stunning. Serena Sutcliffe, MW  

  • Château Petrus
    Petrus 2010 (Lot 1077-1086)
    Lovely big, bloomy nose - one immediately knows this is a Bordeaux Great. Ripeness, power and beautiful acidity. Glossy liquorice and glycerol. Fabulous aromatic quality. This is a giant wine. Serena Sutcliffe, MW 

  • Château Mouton Rothschild 2009 (Lot 1051-1055)
    88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot. In 2015, incredible red and black fruits on the nose - what a scent. Succulent cedarwood flavours, with real sweetness and silky seduction. All the stars were aligned in this vintage. Serena Sutcliffe, MW

    (Label Artist: Anish Kapoor )

  • Château Margaux
    Château Margaux 2010 (Lot 1042-1046)
    90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot, 1.5% Cabernet Franc, 1.5% Petit Verdot. 38% of the total crop went into the Grand Vin. In 2014, a great classy scent, really at the pinnacle of its appellation. Incredible blackberries taste, luscious and mouth-coating. Tip-top Margaux, with great length and harmony. Serena Sutcliffe, MW 

  • Château Palmer 1961 (Lot 1295)
    Lovely complex, mature nose of real class. Layers and dimension, really soft and plump now, with the long finish of the vintage . Serena Sutcliffe, MW

  • Château Mouton Rothschild 1982 (Lot 1265)
    The ultimate come-hither First Growth. In 2011, a deep, plummy nose and luscious, mouth-filling, liquid velvet on the palate. Still tannic. Imposing wine. Like sinking into cushions. In 2013, from magnum, absolutely stunning, opulent and classy. Serena Sutcliffe, MW

    (Label Artist: John Huston)

  • Château Haut Brion Blanc 2011 (Lot 1433)
    57.9% Sémillon, 42.1% Sauvignon Blanc. Picked on 18 August! There is more grapefruit here on the nose as there is more Sauvignon in the blend. Rich grapefruit and cinnamon on the palate. The alcohol is totally absorbed. A real pomegranates taste and finish. In 2015, a hawthorn and honey nose and a full, rich, lanolin taste of lemon and cloves. Opulent. Serena Sutcliffe, MW 

  • Château La Mission Haut-Brion
    Château La Mission Haut-Brion Blanc 2011 (Lot 1438)
    72.9% Sémillon, 27.1% Sauvignon Blanc. Quite closed on the nose when very young, which is normal for a wine with high Sémillon content. Lovely richness on the palate with that super-sec Sémillon taste. This reminds me of wonderful old Hunter Valley Sémillons! In 2014, minerality on the nose and a vanillin taste. Such a lovely 'stony' finish. The Clos Ste.Hune of Bordeaux! In 2015, apple blossom on the nose and a lovely, flinty, sweet hawthorn wine. Serena Sutcliffe, MW 


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