Fine wine news roundup: 4-10 July
Sotheby’s Hong Kong spring sale rockets past high estimates
A series of wine auctions held across three days as part of Sotheby’s Hong Kong spring sale has realised an above-estimate total of HK$177 million, making it the third highest-valued wine sale ever to take place in Asia.
The sale’s top lot was a six-litre Methuselah of DRC Romanee-Conti 1999, which doubled its pre-sale estimate at HK$2,108,000.
The first sale, ‘The Summit: A Complete Cellar’, realised a total HK$123 million, with lots from DRC and Rhone attracting competitive bidding. A case of Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Ermitage Cuvee Cathelin 1990 achieved HK$992,000, for example.
The second sale, which focused on the private collection of renowned businessman Sir Dickson Poon, raised HK$19 million, with a 12-bottle case of Petrus 1970 going for HK$297,600. Meanwhile, a 12-bottle offering of Haut Brion 1961 exceeded its high estimate to bring HK$235,600.
Lastly, the final sale – with a focus on rare wines – achieved HK$35 million, with an eight-bottle offering of DRC Romanée Conti 2007 selling for HK$1,054,000.
Commenting on the success of the sale, worldwide head of Sotheby’s Wine Jamie Ritchie said: “Whether live or online, out of Hong Kong, New York or London, our sales this year have proven that the appetite for wine transcends geographical boundaries, as collectors across different time zones are prepared to place their winning bids by any means.”
Related link: The Drinks Business
Dom Perignon releases 2010 vintage
Champagne Dom Perignon has launched its 2010 vintage, describing the year as a “daunting challenge” following a severe attack of botrytis.
During the launch event – which took place over Zoom – cellar master Vincent Chaperon explained that the Champagne house had been expecting the freshness seen in previous years after a particularly sunny decade, but in mid-August things changed when the equivalent of two months’ worth of rain fell in just two days, resulting in fast maturation and then botrytis.
“It became a race against the clock. The grapes were not yet fully ripe, so we put all our resources into mapping the vineyards by the health and maturity of each parcel,” Chaperon said. “This meant we could clearly evaluate the situation and work to save the excellent plots of Pinot Noir that we did have. But every minute counted.”
However, Chaperon said that the grapes that were rescued were “absolutely glorious”, showing “richness, concentration and balance, and were actually the best in the last 30 years.” Chaperon described the Champagne – on sale now for £152 – as having “generous fruitiness”, as well as “plenty of body, acidity and salinity. It is a very physical wine”.
Related link: Harpers
Bollinger adds first new Champagne in 12 years to its line-up
Bollinger has launched a pure Pinot Noir Champagne, representing the first new permanent addition to its range in 12 years. Named Bollinger PN, the Champagne follows the launch of Bollinger Rosé back in 2008.
Made exclusively from Pinot Noir, the focus of the first edition in the new collection is VZ15, a Pinot Noir from the village Verzenay in the 2015 vintage. However, the new cuvee is a non-vintage blend with reserve wine going back to the 2009 harvest, along with wines from other Pinot Noir crus in Champagne.
The launch edition of Bollinger PN will be followed by new versions that will incorporate different Pinot Noir expressions. Each edition will feature a different cru from the base year, meaning every new version will represent a ‘reinvention’ of the original cuvee.
Related link: The Drinks Business