May 2023’s Fine & Rare Wine Auction had a generous helping of iconic wines and legendary producers, here we take a look at some of the highlights.
There were plenty of large format bottles in the auction. A magnum of 2001 Grands Echezeaux from Burgundy’s legendary Domaine De La Romanee Conti sold for a hammer price of £4,500. A 1970 Echezeaux Grand Cru from the same producer fetched £600 while a 1982 Grands Echezeaux Grand Cru from Mongeard-Mugneret sold for £525.
A bottle of 2002 Richebourg Grand Cru from Domaine Jean Grivot, one of the nine producers that own a piece of this eight hectare vineyard, sold for £825.
Among the top white Burgundy lots was a case of 12 half bottles of 2020 Clos Des Mouches Premier Cru from Joseph Drouhin (sold for £460) and a trio of 2004 Batard-Montrachet Grand Cru produced by Henri Darnat from one of Burgundy’s most celebrated white wine vineyards, fetching £210.
Australia was well represented in this auction with particular interest created by wines from the feted Penfolds and Henschke. There were two bottles of 1998 Henschke Hill Of Grace, a Shiraz hailing from Australia’s most celebrated single vineyard, containing vines planted in the 1860s from pre-phylloxera rootstocks and known as ‘The Grandfathers’. These bottles sold for £370 each.
From Australia’s other superstar producer Penfolds, there were three bottles of Penfolds Grange Bin 95, first produced in 1952 and probably the most collectible of Australian wines. Two 1981 Penfolds Grange Bin 95 sold for £320 and £290 each and a 1982 Penfolds Grange sold for £270.
For those on the hunt for rarities, the 2013 Duck Muck Shiraz from Heathcote winery Wild Duck Creek from the 8th release of this small batch produced wine, was one of only 2,117 bottles released from the 2013 vintage. It sold for £150.
There were plenty of big hitters from Bordeaux attracting bidders attention.
The great 1982 Chateau Petrus, awarded 19/20 by Jancis Robinson MW who described it as ‘very, very easy to like‘, fetched £2,400.
A 1990 Chateau Cheval Blanc, awarded 100 points by Jane Anson, fetched £750 while this 1998 Chateau Lafite Rothschild sold for £470. Wine connoisseurs’ favourites Chateau Haut Brion and Chateau Margaux both featured with a range of vintages. The 2010 Chateau Haut Brion and 1989 Chateau Margaux the top sellers fetching £370 a piece.
Famous names also featured in the Champagne category. These magnums from the Dom Perignon Luminous Collection, a 2006 Dom Perignon Rose and a 2008 Dom Perignon, sold for £775 and £575 respectively. Vintages from the iconic producer ranged across four decades, this 1970 Dom Perignon sold for £380 and this 2008 Dom Perignon that fetched £260.
Among other bubbly highlights, this 1990 Perrier Jouet Belle Epoque sold for £300, a bottle of 1989 Taittinger Comtes De Champagne fetched £290, and from a range of vintages available, the top bid for a Cristal went to this bottle of 1983 Louis Roederer Cristal at £280.
This month’s auction had an abundance of Ports, Madeira and dessert wines. A delicious looking 1993 Pajzos Tokaji Essenzia sold for £160. Two bottles of 1952 Graham’s Single Harvest Tawny Port, released for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations in 2012 sold for £675 and £625. A 1970s bottle of Porto VV Niepoort was just behind on a winning bid of £600.
Enticing vintage Madeiras included a 1934 Henriques & Henriques Verdelho Madeira which sold for £210, and this 1954 Blandy’s Bual Madeira that fetched £150. A variety of 1960s and 1970s vintages of Verdelho, Sercial and Terrantez provided plenty of opportunities for Madeira fans to pick up a bottle.