The auction on Saturday 9 November realised over US$2 million and saw the majority of its top-selling lots go to US buyers.
Some 58% of buyers came from the US, Canada and Mexico, while a further 9% came from Brazil in a faint confirmation of where experts have long said the next wave of fine wine buyers will emerge from.
US private buyers snapped up the two top lots, assorted cases of 1990 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti for US$49,000 apiece, while other another buyer picked up another assorted case of the 1985 for $45,937 and a trade buyer scooped a case of 1982 Lafite for $42,875.
Duncan Sterling, Head of New York Wine Auctions at Sotheby’s said: “Our November auction heralded the return of the American market with North and South America accounting for 14 out of the top 20 buyers including the top buyer of the sale. Online bidding was also important, buying 24% of the lots.
“We now look ahead to our 7 December single owner sale of ‘A Superb Private Cellar Featuring the Great Domaines of Burgundy’.”
For centuries, the Douro Valley was known for one thing: port. Then Dirk Niepoort decided to make table wine, changing the Douro forever.
Hot drop: researchers microwave red wine to improve quality
A Tasmanian wine researcher has become the first to use microwaves to improve the quality of pinot noir.
Cheers! Airlines strive to select perfect wines
Three times a year, James Cluer, one of about 300 masters of wine in the world, flies to Frankfurt from Napa Valley for a blind tasting of as many as 100 wines.
Over three days, he and other wine experts drink and debate and eventually narrow the list down to three wines. “Sometimes it’s surprising who wins,” he says. “It’s not always the big brand name that comes up on top, but it’s the quality.”
Those wines eventually end up on Qatar Airways flights, where first and business class passengers have a choice of as many as 12 wines and economy class passengers can choose from five.
At a time when airlines are complaining of high jet fuel prices and charging for any service, there’s one amenity they won’t cut back on: wine. Airlines across the world buy millions of gallons of wine each year and hire sommeliers and masters of wine to craft elaborate menus.
The Future of Wine Is in High-Tech Robotics
The Optical Sorter requires no labour to sort through bunches of grapes and weed out the unwanted lot.
THE YOLKS ON CRU
This label takes a playful shot at the fascination in China with Premier Grand Cru. It depicts egg splattered on images of the chateaux of Lafite Rothschild, Latour, Margaux, Haut-Brion and Mouton Rothschild. Imported to China by Label France, and spotted at The Loop, it’s a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah.
Except from Jim Boyce’s ‘Grape Wall of China’ blog. Follow it here.
The pleasures of intimacy. The virtues of staying put.
Familiarity Breeds Content
—Frank Bruni, Former Restaurant Critic, on the Joys of Repeat Visits
Intensity, Power, Balance
Numanthia brings back the history and culture of Spanish winemaking. The town 2000 years ago resisted the siege of the Roman legions who conquered the whole of Europe. Drawing a parallel to the history of the lands, these vineyards in Toro resisted the phylloxera outbreak that affected vines all around the region.
What Wine Means in Mad Men
If one were to think of drinking and Mad Men, you’d think booze. But there’s another side to the drinking too: wine.
Over the course of six seasons, wine has made inroads into Mad Men's cocktail culture, and Alyssa Vitrano has been tracking it along the way. Vitrano is the proprietor of Grapefriend.com, which tries “to teach people a little bit about wine through what they're seeing in pop culture,” by tracking everything from what Justin Timberlake served at his wedding to the number of bottles that appear in each season of Mad Men.
[Read more about wine on Mad Men and its impact…]
Learn about each of Italy’s 20 wine producing regions with this interactive feature by OperaWines
Adler writes: “I’ve often said that if forced to choose a single country, I’d drink the wines of Italy for the rest of my life, forsaking all others. It wouldn’t be an easy choice, mind you, but in that proverbial gun-to-the-head scenario, I could certainly face my fate with a certain amount of equanimity, knowing I could range from Lombardy to Sicily for the rest of my life.
Yes, I love Italian wine, and I’m not afraid to admit it.”
The concept of OperaWines2013 is simple: choose the best 100 wineries in Italy, and have them each pour their best wine.
Simple in concept, difficult in execution. This is, after all, Italy.
Wine Spectator is called in to make those tough choices. ”We review twenty thousand wines a year, of which three thousand and growing are Italian,” said Thomas Matthews, Executive Editor for Wine Spectator. “Why would we partner with an entire country to put on a wine tasting event? We’ve never done this before. Americans love Italy. It’s the first destination for American tourists. It’s the #1 most imported wine in the United States. Italian wine and food are in fashion now. I live in Brooklyn and the whole restaurant scene has become Italian there. We’re not just in the good old days of Chianti, every corner of the country is fascinating to Americans.
[Read more on VinItaly & Tasting Notes here…]
Angélus and Pavie ‘Wrong’ to Raise Prices
Saint-Emilion estates Château Angélus and Pavie were wrong to put their prices up this year, according to one of their neighbouring estates.
Jean-Michel Laporte, director of Château La Conseillante in Pomerol, said he didn’t understand the châteaux’s decision to put their prices up following their dual promotion to “Premier Grands Cru Classé A” status.
“I disagree with their move to raise their prices this year when everyone else was lowering theirs – Angélus sold but Pavie didn’t, so it backfired on them,” he said.
Laporte believes the ongoing court battle over the St-Emilion Classification might eventually result in the entire region being declassified.
“It won’t really matter for the top two though, because everyone will remember that Ausone and Cheval Blanc were the original class “A” châteaux.”
Taking the opposite tack to Angélus and Pavie, Laporte revealed that putting La Conseillante’s 2012 prices down 20% on 2011 helped the wines sell out en primuer this year, while other châteaux struggled to sell.
“We were very lucky as we were one of the few Bordeaux châteaux to sell all our wine this year, and the wines have already been sold on by the négociants. “There was a big take up from our key merchants – lowering our prices on 2011 definitely helped,” he said.
In April, Angélus released its 2012 vintage at €180 a bottle ex-négociant, 30% up on 2011’s €138 bottle price and a staggering 205% up on the 2008 price of €59 p/b. Pavie also released its 2012 vintage at €180 p/b, a 58% increase on the €114 bottle price asked for in 2011.