Burgundy sale

Fine wine news roundup: 13-19 July


Burgundy steals the spotlight at Sotheby’s £1.8m sale

Sotheby’s last fine wine sale of the summer saw strong bidding for a range of Burgundy, driving its total to £1.8 million.

The best lots from top Burgundy producers included 12 bottles of Domaine Armand Rousseau's 1999 Chambertin and 12 bottles of Domaine de la Romanee-Conti’s 1998 La Tache, which sold for £42,350 each.

Other highlights included further lots of DRC's 1996, 1992 and 1998 La Tache, assorted cases from the 1997 vintage and magnums of 2002 and 2003 Romanee-Conti.

Stephen Mould, head of Sotheby’s Wine, Europe, said: “So we finish the summer season with Sotheby’s Wine totalling a global record-breaking $67 million (£54 million) at auction this year, and look forward to our next season of sales starting in September in New York and London, followed by Hong Kong in October.”


Italy named world’s best wine country

Italy has been crowned the best country in the world for wine lovers, according to a survey conducted by Lastminute.com.

Italy beat the likes of France and Spain – which came second and third respectively – thanks to the abundance of wine tasting experiences available throughout its 21 wine regions.

The survey compared a number of criteria, such as the quality of wine output, availability of vineyard visits and wine tastings, and the cost of travel and accommodation.

South Africa came fourth, Australia placed 15th and the USA ranked 27th. Despite the UK’s continued push as a global name for sparkling wine, it placed just 30th on the list.


DRC, Leflaive and Comtes Lafon collaborate on one-off Montrachet

Seven owners of Montrachet Grand Cru vineyard plots have joined forces to create a one-off blend that combines all of their 2016 harvests.

The wine, called ‘L’Exceptionnelle Vendange des 7 Domaines’ (‘The Exceptional Harvest of 7 Domains) includes grapes from Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, Domaine Leflaive and Domaines Comtes Lafon.

The wine, which was aged for 18 months and produced by Domaine Leflaive, was sold by each property for £5,550 per bottle in bond. Very few bottles were produced, with some 600 sold to buyers, 16 set aside for an as-yet undetermined charity and 100 to be kept by the estates for special tastings or their own collections.

The other producers included Domaine Guy Amiot, Domaine Fleurot-Larose, Domaine Lamy-Pillot and Claudine Petijean.

The collaboration came about after Burgundy’s worst frost for decades meant that none of the seven producers had enough grapes to individually make Montrachet Grand Cru in the 2016 vintage.

“We tasted it last month and it is really excellent,” said Brice de la Morandiere, director at Domaine Leflaive. However, he added, “We hope however to never have to do this again.”


Henri Jayer tops London auction

Six magnums of Henri Jayer’s 1996 Vosne-Romanee Cros Parantoux stole the show at Bonhams’ latest London wine sale.

Selling for £97,600 – just shy of its £100,000 high estimate – the lot led the way in what was a strong offering of classic claret and Burgundy.

Other auction highlights included: a case of 1989 Petrus, which sold for £39,040; two bottles of Henri Jayer’s 1990 Echezeaux, which sold for £10,370; seven bottles of 1986 Petrus, which went for £10,004; a single bottle of Henri Jayer’s 1985 Cros Parantoux, which sold for £9,150; and 11 bottles of Chateau La Mission Haut Brion 1982, which went for £7,930.


World wine supplies on the rebound following historic low

Wine lovers can breathe a sigh of relief – global wine production has hit its second highest total since 2000, quashing fears from some organisations that the world was likely to face “dramatically tightened” supplies after production fell to a historic low.

It seems that bumper 2018 harvests throughout Europe have helped figures to recover, with 292 million hectolitres produced last year – up 17% on 2017. This is the equivalent of 38.9 billion bottles, and reflects a strong rebound for countries such as Italy, France and Spain, which were hit by severe weather conditions during the 2017 growing and harvesting season.

According to the Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV), Italy topped the wine production league for the fourth year in a row, with France coming second and Spain third. Meanwhile, Chile and Argentina saw their 2018 harvests increase by 36% and 23% respectively.

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