Here are some of my highlights from our January 2023 Fine & Rare Wine auction.
The prize for biggest bottle of the evening was the 1500cl Nebuchadnezzar of Moet & Chandon Brut Imperial Champagne which sold for a hammer price of £1,400. Large format wines and Champagnes are prized by enthusiasts for their long slow aging potential and at the same auction a sextet of Krug 1990 magnums (150cl) fetched between £1,050 and £1,100. A magnum of 1973 Dom Perignon sold for £725 and a 2000 Dom Perignon Rose in magnum sold for £750.
Keen eyed bidders also spotted Bordeaux magnums on offer, anything from 2000 Chateau Figeac to 2003 Chateau Lagrange to 2000 Chateau Sociando-Mallet.
Vintage Krug from three different decades generated plenty of interest. 1973 Krug fetched £825, 1985 Krug sold for £550 and the excellent 1990 Krug sold for £525. Collectors with an interest in truly historic vintages, were bidding enthusiastically on vintages going back as far as this 1945 Moet & Chandon Dry Imperial which sold for £490.
From the rich and complex 1973 Bollinger RD (recently Disgorged) which achieved £210 and 1982 Dom Perignon which sold for £280 to the finesse of the 1990 Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill reached £270 and 1970 Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Rose (£370), every style of great Champagne was represented.
As ever it was the wines from Bordeaux that saw the most competitive bidding on historic bottles such as this a well-preserved 1955 Chateau Latour, which sold for £725, and 1982 Chateau Haut Brion which sold for £600 (it was described by wine critic James Suckling as ‘phenomenal’).
The left bank 2001 Chateau Angelus, described as an under rated ‘sleeper of the vintage’ by Robert Parker, sold for £230, and first growth 1983 Chateau Lafite Rothschild had a hammer price of £460.
Excellent red and white Burgundies featured in the auction with the chance to pick up cases as well as single bottles. Among the standout bottles was this 2009 Clos de Tart Monopole Grand Cru, Famille Mommessin from an exceptional vintage that should have many years left to mature, which sold for £380, and this 2011 Musigny Grand Cru from Domaine Jacques Prieur that fetched £350.
Connoisseurs of rich burgundy Chardonnay were bidding on this three bottle case of 2004 Batard Montrachet, Grand Cru Henri Darnat, Reserve Francois Labet. It eventually sold for £550.
Great value was also to be found in some larger parcels of wine from the Darnat catalogue, such as this case of 12 bottles of 2004 Meursault Clos Du Domaine (sold for £250) and a six bottle case of 2004 Meursault Premier Cru Clos Richemont (£140).
Rest of the World
Now some highlights from around the rest of the globe. 2012 Opus One which sold for £400, a clutch of 2003 Bolgheri Sassicaia which sold for £190 to £200 each, and a 1994 Guigal Cote Rotie, La Landonne from the steep slopes of the tiny Northern Rhone appellation that fetched £290.
There were two bottles of the highly rated Termanthia from the Numanthia winery in north western Spain from the 2006 and 2007 vintages. Produced from fruit from 120 to 200 year old vines, these sold for £100 and £120 respectively. Among the fortified wines the top lots went to a pair of 1950s Niepoort Colheita Ports with a bottle of 1952 fetching £210 and 1957 selling for £160.