Fine wine news roundup: 22-28 August
Zachys announces first London sale
US auctioneer Zachys is heading to Europe for the first time with a fine wine sale in London this September.
Taking place on 12 September, the single owner sale will feature more than 800 lots from the cellar of the Michelin-starred Italian restaurant Enoteca Pinchiorri. Bidders can expect a wealth of blue chip Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne and Italian wines from producers such as Coche-Dury, Jayer, Liger-Belair, Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, Lafite, Latour, Petrus, Yquem, Ornellaia and Krug.
The live auction will take place at London’s Cabotte wine bar and restaurant, using technology to enable bidding from around the world.
The restaurant’s founder, Giorgio Pinchiorri, said: “I’m delighted to be partnering with Zachys for such an historic auction. Each of these bottles means a lot to me, and indeed I said goodbye to every single one as they went into the Zachys boxes. I always try to keep in mind that wine bottles, if not opened, cannot be truly appreciated.
“My advice to buyers is as follows; before opening a bottle of wine you’ve won in this auction, give it a little caress, and a little kiss. Celebrate its producer, who has put a lot of sweat and effort into bringing a great vintage into the cellar. And enjoy it. That’s why I bought them, and why I want you to have them!”
Penfolds releases 2020 collection in China
Australian wine brand Penfolds has launched its 2020 collection in China, unveiling it to the world at a specially curated exhibition at One Xintiandi in Shanghai.
The collection comprises 16 wines, including multi-region and multi-vineyard blends, plus single-region and single-vineyard wines that span five vintages. Among them is the 2016 vintage of the brand’s flagship label, Grange, which chief winemaker Peter Gago says is “on par” with the great 2004 and 2010 vintages.
China is one of the first markets to receive the new releases. Indeed, this is the first time that Penfolds has held such an event in China, despite it being one of the most recognisable brands in the country. The exhibition involves an immersive interactive experience that details the history of the brand and its most iconic wines.
The exhibition free to the public but reservation via the brand’s official WeChat public account is required.
Collectors gear up for Place de Bordeaux releases
Bordeaux’s negociant system is getting ready for the launch of multiple new vintages of top wines from around the world.
September will see the release of Opus One 2017, Masseto 2017, Solaia 2017 and vintages from Bodega Catena Zapata in Argentina, among others.
Prices are not yet known, but the forthcoming launches emphasise how September is a key fixture in the calendar of fine wine releases – as several top producers look to harness the international sales network of Bordeaux’s negociants.
Other rumoured releases include Almaviva 2018 and Chateau de Beaucastel’s Hommage a Jacques Perrin 2018. Meanwhile, we can likely expect activity from Chateau Latour, which has previously chosen September to release back-vintages from its cellars.
First China-focused En Primeur report released
China’s first female MW, Lin Liu, has released the first En Primeur report geared specifically towards Chinese drinkers and collectors.
The report was originally created for a select number of Chinese buyers in mainland China who were unable to attend this year’s tastings due to COVID-19. However, 20,000 copies have since been printed, and a full report with detailed tasting notes will be available to purchase soon.
Liu tasted some 500 wines for the report, with 230 achieving 90 points or more. Vieux Chateau Certan was named her top wine of the vintage.
In the report, Liu also points out that many Chinese consumers do not react fast enough to price releases due to their tendency for price comparison once wines are released. This leads to missed opportunities, she said.
While China is a key market for fine wine, the sector is missing a strong voice from a critic with a Chinese background. Looking ahead, Liu hopes to continue providing valuable commentary for China’s fine wine investors, using a writing style tailored towards Chinese speakers within their cultural context. For example, her tasting notes and descriptors will comprise those commonly understand by Chinese readers, rather than the usual European terms and phrases.