Here is a look at some of the highlights from our November Fine and Rare Wine Auction Results.
Bordeaux vs Burgundy
Our November auction provided its regular Bordeaux vs. Burgundy battle for supremacy amongst our star lots last night; but with some truly stellar champions from both regions it was a tricky contest to call. Ultimately, though, great Chardonnay took the prize. Bottles from mythical winemaker Lalou Bize Leroy at Domaine d’Auvenay cause excitement whenever they appear: those who own them tend to drink them, so bottle 0736 (of 1210 produced) of 2004 Meursault Les Gouttes D’Or 1er Cru was a worthy winner – and the first time a white wine has taken our top spot – finishing at an impressive £4000, with furious bidding doubling the ultimate hammer price in the last half hour of the sale.
Coche-Dury too is truly a ‘be still my beating heart’ Chardonnay name to conjure with for wine fans, and provided multiple bidding opportunities last night with wines from Meursault and Puligny. Appropriately though, it was the steely magnificence of the Domaine’s 2008 Corton Charlemagne Grand Cru that claimed our runner-up spot at £2100.
Pinot Noir fans were not to be disappointed, with the marvellously-retro ‘illuminated’ labels from Domaine Armand Rousseau making a welcome appearance amongst an impressive selection of Grand Cru red Burgundies last night, with their Chambertin 2003 (a famously hot vintage which saw great winemakers and legendary terroirs come into their own) hitting a cool £1550. Arguably reaching the peak of its drinkability now, it promises to remain on thrilling form for decades to come.
Chambertin’s 13 hectare site was also well-represented by the low-yielding, intense winemaking style of Domaine Denis Mortet with a 2005 hitting £975 alongside a 2017 at £650. That would make for quite the Christmas comparison alongside the turkey.
Mouton Rothschild deserves special mention, with 8 vintages represented in our November line up, including a venerable 1924 (purchased directly from UK wine merchant Ronnie Avery by the seller in 1974) fetching £290 and pair of single bottle lots of the unique ‘etched ram’ label from the 2000 vintage, with hammer prices separated by a single bidding increment, with the top lot hitting an impressive £1150 – mint sauce not included.
Champagne was extremely well represented: we see lots of Dom Pérignon, but seldom jeroboams – this 1999 (a ‘real fruit-bomb’ according to Champagne writer Richard Juhlin) hit £1150. For those who prefer their large format fizz with a toastier, more Burgundian spin, there was a trio of opportunities to win Krug magnums from the millennium vintage – they each hit £575. Other Krugs included the 1949, 1973, 1979 and 1990, providing collectors with an opportunity to assess the house’s long-lived credentials across the years, although I for one always look out for older bottles of the multi-vintage ‘Grande Cuvée’ (we had five from the 1990s to 2000s last night) which is a special thing every time it’s cracked.
My last mention (too many to choose from!) goes to our ten 100 Pointers of the evening. I don’t for a second doubt the heft, potency and potential of 2001 Abreu Madrona Ranch, which hit £380, but my top picks – I genuinely couldn’t choose between them – would be 2009 Yquem 2009, whose superlative sweetness hit £290 and 1945 Vieux Chateau Certan which achieved £600. ‘VCC’ has one of my favourite labels in the world of wine, and who wouldn’t love the opportunity to try one of Pomerol‘s most lauded names from the most historical of heat-wave harvests.