Wine news v3

Fine wine news roundup: 19-25 September


Sotheby’s announces trio of ‘exceptional’ wine sales for Hong Kong

Auction house Sotheby’s has announced the line-up for three fine wine sales taking place in Hong Kong next month. Consignments from two private collections will go under the hammer on the 3rd October, while a general ‘fine and rare’ sale will take place on the 4th. Combined, the three sales will feature more than 1,000 lots worth more than HK$58 million.

The first private collection – valued at more than HK$12 million – includes iconic Burgundian names such as Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, Domaine Leroy, Jayer and Rousseau, as well as Bordeaux from Chateau Haut Brion and Petrus.

The second private collection comes from entrepreneur and art collector Joseph Lau, and is particularly notable for its remarkable selection of Domaine de la Romanee-Conti. Highlights include a Methuselah of 1996 Romanee-Conti from DRC, 1982 Chateau Lafite, magnums of 1961 and 1982 Petrus and magnums 1985 and 1999 Vosne-Romanée, Cros Parantoux and Richebourg from Henri Jayer. This sale – spanning 110 lots – is valued at upwards of HK$25.7 million.

The final sale, meanwhile, features 700 lots with a pre-sale estimate of HK$20 million. Bidders can expect bottles and cases of greats such as Mouton Rothschild, Haut Brion, Latour and Harlan Estate.


Champagne readies itself for vintage hat-trick

After a challenging year for Champagne’s growers and houses, producers are hopeful for the quality of this year’s vintage, which could mark a rare trilogy of success for the region.

Speaking to Decanter, Champagne Lanson’s chef de cave, Herve Dantan, said: “After an amazing 2018 and 2019, we are blessed to bottle another great year. Of course, we have to be patient and see how the wines will evolve, but we are very optimistic it will be another famous trilogy with three very good consecutive vintages.”

Demand for the 2020 is likely to be high anyway, since supplies will be limited. Producers were already facing a smaller-than-usual harvest due to hot weather and drought, then the region’s wine council, Comite Champagne, negotiated reduced yields to mitigate the sales fall-out of the COVID-19 crisis.

Sebastien Le Golvet, chef de cave at Champagne house Henri Giraud, said: “[There are] not big yields this year but exceptional quality; when tasting the juices you could already sense extraordinary potential.”

The situation has been compared to the last ‘hat-trick’ run of quality vintages from the region, which took place across the years 1988, 1989 and 1990.


Pouilly-Fuisse vineyards get premier cru status after 10-year wait

Twenty-two vineyards in the French region of Pouilly-Fuisse have been granted premier cru status after a decade-long endeavour.

The Institut National de l’Origine et de la Qualite (INAO) has approved 22 sites covering 194 hectares across the communes of Chaintre, Fuissé, Solutre-Pouilly and Vergisson, marking 24% of the total surface area of the Pouilly-Fuisse AOC.

The request was first made back in 2010 by the management body of Pouilly-Fuisse AOC, with the last ten years involving thorough research and examination into each site’s reputation and characteristics. The decree is yet to be signed by the French Minister of Agriculture, but even if there is a delay producers with vines in the new climats will be able to label their wines as premier cru from the 2020 vintage.

The 22 premier cru sites are: Au Vignerais, Aux Chailloux, Aux Bouthieres, Aux Quarts, En France, En Servy, La Frerie, La Marechaude, Le Clos de Monsieur Noly, Le Clos Reyssier, Les Chevrieres, Le Clos, Le Clos de Solutre, Les Brules, Les Crays, Les Menetrieres, Les Perrieres, Les Reisses, Les Vignes Blanches, Pouilly, Sur La Roche and Vers Cras.


67 Pall Mall launches first wine book

Exclusive fine wine club 67 Pall Mall has launched its inaugural book, Wine and Food. The Perfect Match.

Featuring expertise from the club’s head of wine Ronan Sayburn MS and executive chef Marcus Verberne, the book offers a comprehensive study of the world’s greatest wines, how to drink them and what to pair them with.

The book is split into two halves. The first is dedicated to wine, with Sayburn offering expert insight into the mysteries of grapes, terroir and tasting. The second is food-focused and features 100 dishes created by Verberne, including classics such as Cassoulet de Toulouse as well as more unusual offerings, such as Saffron-poached Apricot & Almond Tart with Roquefort Ice Cream. 

Throughout, Sayburn suggests a selection of wines to complement each recipe, ensuring that “the perfect bottle is chosen to go with a mouth-watering dish”.

The book is available to purchase by the club’s members and non-members alike, priced at £40.

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