Ahead of the auction of Fine and Rare Wines and Spirits on 14 December, Mark Robertson, Head of Dreweatts’ Wine department, shares his recommendations for the festive season.
With a December wine auction, one has to factor in Christmas when perusing our highlights. I can only write according to my own expectations.
I will be spending Christmas Day with my brother, our teetotal wives and our children. Unlike the French, our kids are only interested in having a wine with an “H”…
Sadly, we will be ruling out the incredible range of large format bottles in the auction from the fabled 2005 Bordeaux vintage. With Double Magnums, Jeroboams and Imperials of Croix de Beaucaillou, Chateau Batailley and La Lagune (various lots). These are unique and would be very special bottles to own. They are all drinking very well now and would benefit from being opened the day before drinking and if possible, decanting.
If I could ask for any brother for Christmas, it would be mine, but however much I love him, I would not serve him these remarkable Burgundies: the vertical of Clos St Jacques from Rousseau (lot 96, est. £5,000-8,000 + fees), the Amoureuses from Roumier (lot 98, est. £5,000-8,000 +fees), or the Richebourg, DRC (lot 100, est. £9,000-11,000 +fees). They would all would be far better appreciated by someone who does not think that a Silk Cut makes the best complement to red wine.
Whilst our wives are out walking the dogs and the children are coming down from the post-present high and stuck in front of some unsupervised and unsuitable film, I would open the 1972 La Tache (lot 109, est. £600-900 +fees), (my brother’s birth year). Stored in perfect conditions in a fine Cotswold cellar but with no capsule or label, this is a one-off opportunity to own and enjoy this wine at a no-nonsense price, in essence: “A Bentley without the bodywork”
When they have all gone home and I am shrewdly trying to avoid the inevitable “you are not opening another bottle are you?” I would enjoy one of the mixed halves from some of the greatest estates in Italy (lot 266, est. £200-300 +fees and lot 267, est. £100-200 +fees).
Come Boxing Day – it’s like the bl**dy Mayflower – yet more teetotals arrive in the form of my sister in law and her family. Calling for something even the most puritan could not resist, I would open the 1990 Grand Puy Lacoste (lot 204, est. £900-1,200 +fees). I well remember drinking this in Hong Kong 10 years ago, together with the 1988 Pol Roger ‘Sir Winston Churchill’ (lot 29, est. £200-300 +fees), and both are etched in my memory as truly great experiences.
My perfect Christmas meal would be accompanied by these wines from our December sale:
1985 Krug (lot 21, est. £600-800 +fees)
1997 Corton Charlemagne, Domaine Coche-Dury (lot 87, est. £1,200-1,500 +fees)
1989 Tertre Roteboeuf, St Emilion (lot 146, est. £1,000-2,000 +fees)
2001 Chateau Coutet (lot 224, £200-300 +fees)
1963 Warre’s (lot 34, est. £600-800 +fees)