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Fine wine news roundup: 11-17 September


Sotheby’s to auction second most expensive single-owned collection in Asia

Auction house Sotheby’s will present ‘The Art of Living: Legendary Wines from the Cellar of Pierre Chen’ in Hong Kong next month, in what will be the second most expensive single-owner collection to ever go under the hammer in Asia.

The 360-lot collection, amassed over 30 years by art collector Pierre Chen, features fine wine from Bordeaux, Burgundy and beyond, and is estimated to fetch a total of more than HK$88 million.

The sale will feature all the expressions of Dom Perignon, including Dom Perignon Oenotheque vintages and Dom Perignon P3, as well as red and white Burgundy featuring an array of Grands Crus from the most revered producers such as Leroy, Faiveley, Dujac, Ponsot and Jayer.

The auction will also include Magnums of Faiveley Musigny in vintages spanning 2015 to 2017, produced from Chen’s own vineyard in Burgundy.

Speaking of the sale, which will take place on 9 October, Pierre Chen said: “I sincerely hope that this collaboration with an industry giant like Sotheby’s can further pique the interests and bring more people to the wonderful world of winemaking. Sharing is the most important process of wine appreciation. Here, I would like to share with all of you an intimate part of my wine collection, and encourage you to start the art of living by living with the arts of your choice – in this case, wine.”


Chateau Mouton Rothschild Nebuchadnezzar breaks new auction record

A Nebuchadnezzar of 2000 Chateau Mouton Rothschild sold for HK$1,091,200 in Hong Kong at Bonhams’ latest fine wine sale.

The sale of the 15-litre bottle sets a new record for a Chateau Mouton Rothschild Nebuchadnezzar, eclipsing the previous record of HK$918,750.

Elsewhere in the sale, highlights included: six bottles of Chateau Petrus 2010, which sold for HK$198,400; six bottles of Chateau Petrus 1998, which sold for HK$173,600; and 10 bottles of Chateau Mouton Rothschild 2000, which sold for HK$198,400.

Daniel Lam, Bonhams Director of Wine and Spirits Asia, commented: “We are delighted to set a new auction record the first time we sold this iconic bottle in the Asia market and to an Asian collector. This testifies to the maturity and diversity of the wine market in the region.”


Chateau Angelus releases new wine, Hommage a Elisabeth Bouchet

Chateau Angelus has released a new wine under the label Hommage a Elisabeth Bouchet label – a tiny-production cuvee that will only be made in the greatest vintages. The wine honours Elisabeth Bouchet, great-grandmother of Stephanie de Bouard-Rivoal, co-owner and CEO of the chateau.

The inaugural release comes from the 2016 vintage, and was made from Cabernet (or Bouchet as it is known on the Right Bank) vines up to 80 years old before being aged for 22 months in carefully-selected new oak from the Vosges forest.

Just 1,200 bottles and few larger format bottlings of the 2016 will be available, each presented in individual wooden cases, and offered to selected clients for £860 per standard-sized bottle in bond.

An even smaller quantity is expected for the 2018 vintage, and no 2017 will be produced due to frost damage.


Tim Atkin MW reveals South Africa’s ‘best red grape’

Critic Tim Atkin has released his highly-anticipated 2021 South Africa report, in which he highlights Syrah as the Cape’s stand-out grape and awards just one wine a perfect 100-point score.

The wine, the Rhone-style 2019 Sadie Family Columella, is the second top-scorer for the Sadie Family, as its 2019 Skurfberg Chenin Blanc also scored a perfect 100 points in Atkins’ 2020 report.

The report is the culmination of Atkins tasting 1,783 wines from more than 310 wineries. “Syrah was responsible for 17 of my 161 wines of the year,” says Atkin, who cites Darling, Elgin, Greyton, Stellenbosch and the Swartland as being ideally suited for producing top Syrahs. Of the 23 total wines that scored at least 97 points in the report, Syrah expressions accounted for five of the top spots.

As the report notes, Syrah holds 10% of the total area under vine in South Africa and is the second-largest red variety in the region, after Cabernet Sauvignon.


Brits consume twice as much wine as Americans, research finds

Brits drank twice as much wine as Americans per capita in 2020, according to new research.

Using data from the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV), found that as a nation we drank more than 1.7 billion bottles of wine, making us the fifth largest consumer of wine in the world.

However, when it comes to consumption per person – which worked out at 31.8 bottles each – the UK falls behind Portugal (69.2), Italy (62.1) and France (61.3), but is considerably ahead of the US (16.3).

Salman Haqqi, consumer spending expert at said: “While we may not consume as much wine as those on the continent, the UK’s love affair with grapes is bucking the worldwide trend and continuing to grow.

“Not only this, Britain is now home to over 700 vineyards and in 2020 exported wine to over 100 countries with a value of over half a billion dollars. The UK is unlikely to ever take the largest market share of wine consumption or production, but it does potentially present an exciting opportunity for producers and investors.”

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