London is to offer The Bordeaux Winebank Collection Part III in the sale of Finest and Rarest Wines on Wednesday, 25 May, 2011. This follows Sotheby's sale of Part I in New York in November 2010, and Part II in Hong Kong in January 2011. Bordeaux Winebank is a company set up by Norwegian businessman Henning Thoresen that specialises in offering Bordeaux with the "Five Star Provenance" system, which gives collectors absolute confidence in the origin of their wine. The 604-lot sale including further gems from Bordeaux and Burgundy is estimated to realise in excess of £1.6 million.
Serena Sutcliffe MW, Worldwide Head of Wine at Sotheby's, said: "This stunning collection is simply the best! The beauty of great Bordeaux is that it delivers, in terms of bouquet, flavour and depth. These are the wines that inspire confidence and guarantee huge enjoyment. When the very top châteaux are combined with the greatest years, those vintages where ideal weather conditions confer total quality and definition, these wines go into orbit. This selection is certainly starry, and acquiring some of these magnificently sourced and cellared wines is a chance to sample excellence."
The Bordeaux Winebank Collection Part III will comprise the first 115 lots in the sale, and they carry a combined estimate of £668,500 ‐ 855,000. All the First Growths are represented, and the auction will open with the ethereal Château Lafite. The wine has achieved a mythical status, and the extraordinary terroir and position in Pauillac have always been matched by the Rothschilds sense of quality and vision. The sale will offer three superb vintages from the last fifteen years, and the extra lustre of these wines is due to the wine‐making brilliance of Charles Chevallier, overseeing production from the 1990s to the present day. 12 bottles of Château Lafite 1996, Pauillac, 1er Cru Classé are estimated at £12,000‐16,000 per lot (lots 1‐5), 12 bottles of Château Lafite 2003, Pauillac, 1er Cru Classé are estimated at £10,500‐13,000 per lot (lots 6‐10), and 12 bottles of Château Lafite 2005, Pauillac, 1er Cru Classé are estimated at £10,000‐13,000 per lot (lots 11‐15).
Château Latour is renowned for its consistency, and its gravel soil, great situation near the Gironde and succession of inspired winemakers, have all played a part in achieving this reputation. As Serena Sutcliffe notes, it is a real reflection of the heart of Pauillac. Vintages from 1996, 2003 and 2005 all make an appearance in the sale, but it is the glorious 2000s that vie for attention. 12 bottles of Château Latour 2000, Pauillac, 1er Cru Classé, are estimated at £9,500‐13,000 per lot (lots 21‐25). In 2011, an absolutely classic Pauillac nose... Archetypal Latour that hits the spot. (SS) It was a historic year that produced such stupendous and exhilarating wines, with nature performing perfectly at critical times.
The glitteringly beautiful First Growth, Château Margaux, made by the brilliant Paul Pontallier, is very well represented. Vintages from 1996, 2003 and 2005 ‐ all classics in their own right ‐ will be offered alongside the great and noble 2000. 12 bottles of Château Margaux 2000, Margaux, 1er Cru Classé, are estimated at £8,000‐10,000 per lot (lots 41‐45).
Château Haut Brion, the connoisseurs First Growth, is, in its youth, delicious before the other Firsts emerge from the chrysalis. (SS) The sale features vintages from 1995, 2000 and 2005, and it is the latter offering that is considered by Serena Sutcliffe to be A world‐beater that will last forever. 12 bottles of Château Haut Brion 2005, Pessac‐Léognan (Graves), 1er Cru Classé, carry an estimate of £5,000‐6,000 per lot (lots 71‐75). These will be preceded by 12 bottles of the magnificent Château Haut Brion 1995, Pessac‐Léognan (Graves), 1er Cru Classé, estimated at £2,800‐3,600 per lot (lots 56‐60), and 6 bottles of Château Haut Brion 2000, Pessac‐Léognan (Graves), 1er Cru Classé, estimated at £3,000‐3,600 per lot (lots 61‐70).
Château Mouton Rothschild, or Mouton, as it is affectionately known by its devotees, is the most opulent and exuberant of all the Firsts. Two personalities have headed the Château since 1920, Baron Philippe and Baroness Philippine de Rothschild. 12 bottles of Château Mouton Rothschild 2000, Pauillac, 1er Cru Classé, will be offered with an estimate of £8,200‐10,000 per lot (lots 76‐80), while the more recent 2005s, produced under Philippe Dhalluin, Moutons Technical Director since the harvest of 2003, are represented with 12 bottles per lot estimated at £5,000‐6,000 (lots 81‐85). Serena Sutcliffe believes the 2005 vintage to be one of the greatest Clarets ever made.
Château Cheval Blanc delivers on many levels, stunning to drink when relatively young and with the guarantee of aging in an exotic multidimensional fashion. (SS) The Bordeaux Winebank Collection will feature vintages from 2000 and 2005. 12 bottles of Château Cheval Blanc 2000, St. Emilion, 1er Grand Cru Classé (A) come to sale with an estimate of £8,000‐11,000 per lot (lots 86‐90). Since 1991, Pierre Lurton has coaxed the maximum from this great terroir. The 2005s are considered possibly their best wine since 1998, in competition with the 2000s, and 12 bottles of Château Cheval Blanc 2005, St. Emilion, 1er Grand Cru Classé (A), carry an estimate of £5,000‐6,500 per lot (lots 91‐95).
Château dYquem completes the tremendous selection from Bordeaux Winebank. Experiencing Yquem has been described by Serena Sutcliffe as a journey into flawless excellence. Making the wine demands new realms of endeavour, and the richness, profundity and exotic flavours achieved never disappoint. 6 bottles of Château dYquem 2001, Sauternes, 1er Grand Cru Classé, are estimated at £1,800‐2,400 per lot (lots 96‐105). Blended by Pierre Lurton, the vintage has provoked rapturous praise for the complexity of aromas and flavours. 6 bottles of Château dYquem 2005, Sauternes, 1er Grand Cru Classé, are estimated at £1,300‐1,700 per lot (lots 106‐115).
Following the Bordeaux Winebank Collection Part III, the sale continues with a very fine selection of Château Lafite from a magnificent private collection, recently removed from impeccable purpose‐built underground cellars (lots 116‐180). The vintages range from 1945 to 2003, with estimates from £150‐200 per lot to £17,000‐24,000 per lot. Combined, the 64 lots are estimated to realise in excess of £270,000. Stand‐out vintages include:
1 bottle of Château Lafite 1945, Pauillac, 1er Cru Classé, estimated at £1,000‐
1,500 (lot 116)
4 bottles of Château Lafite 1982, Pauillac, 1er Cru Classé, estimated at £10,000‐
14,000 per lot (lot 131)
4 bottles of Château Lafite 1996, Pauillac, 1er Cru Classé, estimated at £4,000‐
5,000 per lot (lot 155)
12 bottles of Château Lafite 2000, Pauillac, 1er Cru Classé, estimated at
£17,000‐24,000 per lot (lots 172‐173)
Connoisseurs of Château Pétrus will be spoilt for choice with a range of formats of two vintages from consecutive years, 1989 and 1990. Château Pétrus 1989, Pomerol, benefited from heat that came earlier than in 1990, and these weather conditions imbued the wine with an exotic scent that can be classified as inimitable Pétrus. In 2011, the aroma seduces with its roasted raisins and liquorice nose. (SS) 12 bottles are estimated at £22,000‐28,000 per lot (lot 181), two magnums at£7,200‐8,500 per lot (lot 182), and three double magnums at £22,000‐30,000 per lot (lot 183). Château Pétrus 1990, Pomerol, provides a great comparison with the 1989, and three double magnums come to sale with an estimate of £26,000‐34,000 per lot (lot 184).
Session Two of the May sale features a wonderful array of Burgundy and offers the opportunity to acquire quantities of highly sought‐after wines. Lovers of red Burgundy will be drawn to lot 419, 6 bottles of La Tâche 2005, Domaine de la Romanée Conti, Côte de Nuits, Grand Cru, estimated at £12,000‐16,000; lot 416, 10 bottles of Chambertin, Clos de Bèze 2005, Armand Rousseau, Côte de Nuits, Grand Cru, estimated at £4,400‐5,500; lot 417, 12 bottles of the same vintage, estimated at £5,500‐7,500; lots 426‐428, 6 bottles of Bonnes Mares 2006, Comte Georges de Vogüé, Côte de Nuits, Grand Cru, estimated at £620‐880 per lot; and lot 458, 6 bottles of Musigny 2007, Domaine Comte Georges Vogüé, Côte de Nuits, Grand Cru, estimated at £820‐1,100. Musigny makes a another stellar appearance with a 2002 vintage: 12 bottles of Musigny, Cuvée Vieilles Vignes 2002, Domaine Comte Georges de Vogüé, Côte de Nuits, Grand Cru, estimated at £3,600‐4,400 (lot 602); and for those who wish to purchase this seminal wine in a smaller volume, the preceding lot (601) offers 7 bottles at £2,000‐2,800.
As summer approaches, white wines for the cellar are a must the range on offer of white Burgundy provides the perfect source. A single bottle of Montrachet 2003, Domaine Leflaive, Côte de Beaune, Grand Cru, is estimated at £700‐1,100 (lot 533); two bottles of the same vintage command an estimate of £1,400‐2,200 per lot (lot 534). Six bottles of Montrachet 2006, Domaine des Comtes Lafon, Côte de Beaune, Grand Cru, are estimated at £2,800‐3,800 per lot (lot 538). A parcel of Corton Charlemagne 2008, Bonneau du Martray, Côte de Beaune, Grand Cru, will be offered in lots of 12 bottles, estimated at £380‐500 per lot (lots 552‐561). There is also some top Chablis from Domaine Raveneau in magnum format: Chablis, Grand Cru, Les Clos 2004, estimate £1,600‐2,200 per 6 magnums (lot 263) and Chablis 1er Cru, Montée de Tonnerre 2005, estimate £750‐950 per 6 magnums (lots 264‐265).
Moving away from Bordeaux and Burgundy, superb Châteauneuf du Pape and Napa wines come to the fore, including Château de Beaucastel Rouge 1989, estimated at £800‐1,000 per 12 bottles (lots 355‐357), and 6‐bottle parcels of Dominus 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004 (lots 195‐213).
* Pre‐sale estimates do not include buyers premium