Mature, creamy finesse or refreshingly youthful acidity?
This, our third wine and spirits auction of the year, sees us welcoming spring with a wide range of champagnes. With more than 250 lots, champagne is the biggest category in the May auction. There is much to discover in vintages from 1953 to a promising 2012, and a long line of excellent vintages in the ideal magnum size. How does 1979, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1996, 2002 and 2008 sound?
Demand for American wines has been high for some time now. Here we’re delighted to have almost 60 lots, mainly from California, with many strong challengers to classic French reds. Dominus 1990 v Château Margaux 1990 is just one of many face-offs in an updated “Judgment of Paris 1976”. Otherwise, as usual it’s still wines from France that make up more than a third of this wine and spirits auction, with Bordeaux taking pride of place in purely numerical terms. In increasing international demand, Burgundy stands out in the May auction with many renowned producers represented, such as Armand Rousseau, Cathiard, DRC, Dujac, Leroy and Mugnier to name but a few.
Spirits account for a quarter of the lots at auction. As usual, Scotch malt whisky heads the line-up, but we’re also seeing popular American bourbon, Danish and Swedish whisky, and several Japanese whiskies including the rare Yamazaki 1984. Ireland’s long whiskey history rarely appears at our wine and spirits auctions but we now have an exception: John Jameson 7 Years Old Pot Still from Bow Street Distillery, the former pride of Dublin which ceased production in 1971.
If we head to warmer climes, a fascinating tour of West Indian and South and Central American distilleries awaits, with sugar cane and agave as the raw material. The auctions offer bartenders and anyone with an interest in mixology a perfect opportunity to track down ingredients for unique vintage cocktails. How about a classic Singapore Sling flavoured with the original cherry liqueur from Peter F Heering, bottled in the late nineteenth century?
Welcome to the Wine and Spirits Auction on 13–15 May.