Auction Manager Jeremy Lee takes a look at the highlights from our May Fine & Rare Wine auction.
Roederer Cristal regularly provides us with many of our auction Champagne highlights, so it was fitting that our top lot in last night’s Fine & Rare Wine Auction was a 6 litre Methuselah (or Mathusalem if you’re French) selling for £3700. From the fabled 1990 vintage, it was released in the year 2000 after nine years on its lees to mark the new millennium, with appropriately only 2000 of these show stopping party starters released to market.
Other Champagne highlights last night included a dozen bottles of the lauded Dom Pérignon 2010 selling for £1450, and a trio of regular sized bottles of Cristal 1999 fetching £825, both of which making for glorious drinking now, and for many years to come, or perhaps offering the winning bidders the opportunity to drink some and keep the others for investment to fund their future bubble habit. Shrewd Champagne connoisseurs also hooked in to a six bottle lot of Pommery’s Prestige Cuvée Louise Brut 2002 , fetching £440, demonstrating that the very top wines from Grande Marque Champagne houses in excellent, mature, vintages can still be a relative bargain. A big mention must also go to the ultra rare two-magnum lot of Moët & Chandon’s ‘Ultra-Prestige Cuvée’ MCIII 001.14, fetching £1000, a mind-boggling blend of seven top vintage wines fermented together in bottle for around 10 years prior to disgorgement in 2014.
Our Burgundy highlights last night were appropriately epic, La Tache 1992 from the most fabled Pinot Noir producer of them all, the Domaine De La Romanée-Conti, being our most successful regular-sized bottle highlight of the night, fetching £3400, whilst a trio of magnums of 2002 Corton-Charlemagne from one of Burgundy’s most celebrated Chardonnay vineyards from Domaine Bonneau du Martray, the most significant producer on the slope, providing one lucky connoisseur with some exceptionally memorable drinking from the ‘Chablis of the Cote d’Or’ fetching £700.
Our Bordeaux highlight was a worthy winner, in the form of one of the great Pomerols of the 1960s, Pétrus 1964, with the hammer falling at £2100. ‘Only’ a Parker 99 pointer, but a beautifully preserved bottle of a fabulously potent, mature vintage. Spectacular stuff indeed! A variety of great Clarets from other communes also featured prominently, with two single-bottle lots of 100 point ‘wine of the vintage’, 1989 Château Haut-Brion from Péssac-Leognan fetching £1700 and £1600 a piece, and another perfect 100, the magnificent Châteaux Margaux 1990 hitting £725. A word too about a six bottle lot of Château Latour 1984 from Pauillac, well within our top-ten lots, which demonstrated the collectability of arguably the world’s most long-lived Cabernet Sauvignon producer even in lighter vintages; it fetched £1750.
Other auction highlights included Napa Cabernet superstar Harlan Estate 1998, a worthy ‘New World’ winner, and another possible wine of the vintage, which fetched £625, whilst Tignanello, as is so often the case, ruled the roost for Italy, with several multiple bottle lots performing well from its recent, wonderful 2018 vintage; the top trio hitting £330.