February 2024 Fine & Rare Wine Auction Results

Take a look at the results from our February Fine & Rare Wine Auction.

February 2024 Fine & Rare Wine Auction Results

Auction Manager Jeremy Lee guides us through the vinous highlights of our February Fine & Rare Wine Auction results.

European Classics

Our February wine auction results featured sales of some fascinating bottles almost exclusively from Europe’s classic wine regions this time. Fabulous ‘mini-verticals’ were to be had in Bordeaux, with wines including some of the century’s most iconic and desirable vintages dating back to the 1940s,  in addition to more than 50 fascinating mature Barolos from vintages largely focussed from the decades of the 1950s to 1970s.

We started the evening off, however, in suave Spanish style with a lot featuring a trio of bottles of the country’s most celebrated winery, in the form of Vega Sicilia Unico 2004, which achieved a hammer price of £700. A ‘really stunning’ Unico from a textbook vintage according to Jancis Robinson MW, a critic not known for hyperbole.

From Burgundy, 1998 Puligny Montrachet Domaine Leflaive hit £210, impressive for a ‘village’ wine, and demonstrating the lure of the pedigree of the producer, even below the Grand and Premier Cru level. The undoubted Côte d’Or highlight, however, was a six-bottle original wooden case of 2015 Clos De La Roche Grand Cru Louis Jadot, which hit £675. The Clos de la Roche Grand Cru is situated in the commune of Morey-Saint-Denis in Burgundy’s Côte-d’Or, bordering Gevrey-Chambertin in the north and the Grand Cru vineyard of Clos Saint-Denis in the south. Technical director Frédéric Barnier at the Domaine Louis Jadot described 2015 to Allen ‘Burghound’ Meadows as ‘great vintage. The wines have everything they need to rival the best that we have made in a very long time.’ This is the kind of Burgundy to rival top-flight Bordeaux in terms of power and longevity, not to mention desirability.

Italy provided us with interest beyond Nebbiolo in the form of a variety of mature and recent vintages from Tuscan legend Tignanello, including the 1971, the first ‘stand-alone’ vintage of the brand, which looked like a relative snip at £55, doubtless due to its mid-shoulder fill level.  It was outpaced by the 1988 and 2013 which both hit £110, but the elegant 1985 ruled the roost, hitting £180, cheek-by-jowl with 1970 Sassicaia, the second commercial release from the estate, which topped out at £160. The fun, however, came in the late bidding for a pair of lots from Campania, from the late Antonio Mastroberardino, a famous advocate of the Aglianico grape variety. The 1978 Piano D’Angelo, a  single vineyard planting, prevailed in the end, hitting an impressive £140.

Bordeaux

It was, as it is so often, Bordeaux that provided the bulk of our vinous highlights, with all five First Growths very well represented, and the ‘utterly sublime’ (according to Neal Martin) 1945 Château Lafite Rothschild from one of the famed heat-wave 20th century harvests taking our Claret top spot at £875. Also vying for supremacy were a trio of greats from the 1980s: 1982 Mouton Rothschild’s Cabernet Sauvignon potency just a neck ahead of the world’s foremost Cabernet Franc blend, Cheval Blanc, from the same vintage at £650. Lafite-Rothschild 1986 wasn’t far behind, topping out at £600 (and holds a special place in this wine-lover’s heart as up there with the greatest liquids to have touched my lips!).

Fantastic Fizz

Our top lot for the night, however, was  a double-magnum of Louis Roederer Cristal 2006, which hit £1050. The label had seen better days, though the contents promised the eventual lucky drinker with a celebration worthy of a Tsar whenever they may choose to broach it. Great to see that interest remains in Taittinger Comtes de Champagne too, one of the world’s classiest Chardonnays, this one from the heatwave 1976 vintage, hitting £330.

Sweet Treats

And finally, to dessert! Two of our absolute favourite lots attained hammer prices (almost) worthy of their beauty: D’Oliveira’s near indestructible turn-of-the-century 1900 Malvazia promising both thrilling complexity and a snapshot of a bygone era for a hammer price of £450. Personally, though, I would be looking to drink it after the 7% ABV Mosel legend that is Egon Muller’s 2005 Scharzhofberger Auslese Riesling from one of the world’s great white wine vineyards. Unparalleled delicacy for £210.

See the full auction results here.

See previous auction results here.