burgundy and champagne

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Burgundy and Champagne - Virtual Live Fine Wine Auction

14 Jul 2021

Wines produced from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, especially in the hallowed Burgundy region, are some of the most desirable in the world. Our Burgundy and Champagne theme offers a trove of the very best wines.

The Burgundy and Champagne-themed Strauss & Co Fine Wine sale takes place on 25 July 2021 and offers a trove of the very best wines. The extremely rare 1998 Domaine de La Romanee Conti, Romanee Conti (with estimates of R 200 000 – R 300 000), spearheads the 117 lots from France and South Africa, along with the same vintage La Tache. Top vineyards from Domaine Rousseau, Fourrier, Leflaive, Colin-Morey and Roumier are also on offer. Champagne is highlighted by Salon, Krug, Dom Perignon and Laurent Perrier. Local producers are represented by Crystallum, Newton Johnson, Hamilton Russell, Richard Kershaw, Restless River and more.

Highlighted Lots from Burgundy:

Domaine de La Romanee Conti, Romanee Conti 1998
From generation to generation, guided by the relentless pursuit of excellence, Domaine de la Romanée-Conti’s mission is to make its Grands Crus the greatest in all of Burgundy. Domaine de la Romanée-Conti achieves the unparalleled quality of its wines by respecting the soil. The estate has been organic since the 1980s and biodynamic since 2007. Their rigorous policy of keeping yields as low as possible ensures incredible fruit concentration in their wines. Few would dispute that the wines of DRC are some of the world’s finest.

‘Still deep ruby. Initially there is a touch of reduction though it rapidly departs to reveal relatively deeply pitched, maturing and layered aromas of orange compote, red and black cherry along with the usual spice and floral notes. The refined, pure and concentrated medium full-bodied flavours possess the usual spectacular detail on the gorgeously persistent, intense and mineral-driven finish. The 1998 RC is starting to resolve its supporting structure but it’s not yet there and to my taste it will certainly benefit from another 5ish years of cellaring though note that it should be capable of gracefully maturing over the next 40 years, perhaps longer.’ – Allen Meadows, Burghound.com, 95/100 (Apr 2015)

Domaine Romanée Conti La Tâche 1998
‘Like all of the ’98 DRC reds, the clarity is a bit cloudy and not limpid though it does not seem to affect the purity of the aromas that now display some subtle secondary hints on the stunning nose of ripe red and black fruits, oriental spices, tea and leather notes. There is superb intensity to the dense, serious and strikingly complex flavors that are underpinned by ripe tannins and huge length on the balanced, mouth coating and impressively long finish. The personality here is muscular and bold with the ripe acidity framing the flavors and wonderfully focused finale. It’s worth pointing out that while this is still on the way up, I was pleasantly surprised at how approachable the ’98 La Tâche was even though there is more development potential to realize.’
 – Allen Meadows, Bughound.com, 95/100 (Apr 2015)

Domaine Fourrier Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru Les Gruenchers 2015
In 1994, when he was only 23 years old, Jean-Marie Fourrier took over his family domaine. He had been working on the family estate since 1989, while also completing internships with Henri Jayer and Domaine Drouhin Oregon. Jean Marie’s winemaking philosophy closely mirror’s Jayer’s – making great wines begins in the vineyard. He works hard to maintain healthy vines and practices extremely natural winemaking techniques. Today, Domaine Fourrier holds vines in a few of Gevrey Chambertin’s top vineyards, where most vines date back to the beginning of the 20th century. His most famous holdings, resulting in ‘cult wines’, are the ones in Griotte Chambertin and Clos St Jacques, which were planted between 1902 – 1910.

‘The 2015 Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru les Gruenchers has a very able bouquet with red cherries, crushed strawberry and wilted rose petal scents that blossom in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with fine delineation, a crisp line of acidity, plenty of energy and a vibrant, ripe and rounded finish that seems to caress the senses.’ – Neal Martin, Wine Advocate, 91-93/100 (Dec 2016)

Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey Bienvenues-Bâtard Montrachet 2011
Maison Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey is a Burgundy producer based in the Côte de Beaune. It is known for its fine Chardonnay wines, and has most of its vineyard holdings in Saint-Aubin. The estate was established in 2005 by husband and wife Pierre-Yves Colin and Catherine Morey, both children of esteemed Burgundy winemakers. Colin had been winemaker at his family’s winery since 1995 and in 2001 had started a négociant business with his wife. He left the family estate to establish his own label with a 6-hectare (15-acre) inheritance, the rest of the Colin vineyards going to his three siblings.

‘One 350-litre barrel. Very good nerve and punch. Real lift and lemon oil on top of raciness. Maybe just a hint of oak. Great combo of nerve and density, dramatically rich citrus.’ – Jancis Robinson, JancisRobinson.com, 18.5/20 (Nov 2012)

Georges Roumier Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru Les Amoureuses 1993
The Domaine was founded in 1924 by Georges Roumier. He began domaine bottling in 1945 and it is now one of the longest-established in domaine bottling in the Côte D’Or. This practice also helped grow the reputation of Domaine Roumier, which is known for producing highly-rated, sought-after wines. The 11.8-hectare domaine is run today by Georges son, Jean-Marie, and grandson, Christophe.

‘Very dark and quite blackish ruby. Lots of layers. Exciting. Real zest. Great youth and vitality. A very slow burner. Very smooth with many intriguing layers of flavour.’ – Jancis Robinson, Jancisrobinson.com 18.5/20 (2007)


Highlighted Lots from Champagne:

Champagne Salon Blanc De Blancs Le Mesnil Brut 1997
The house of Salon was created in 1921, while the first known vintage of Champagne Salon was created in 1905. Eugène-Aimé Salon created the first vintage with the idea of ‘singularity’. He used one single region, from one single cru, one single grape variety, and one single vintage. He originally created this for himself and his friends but started producing for others in 1921. Salon still produces its wine in the same way today and is regarded as one of the finest wines in the entire region.

‘A wine that just seems to go from strength to strength is Salon’s 1997 Blanc de Blancs Le Mesnil Brut. The Maison kept back large stocks that they have gradually been disgorging over the last half-dozen years. The wine wafts from the glass with scents of honeycomb, white flowers and orange rind, complemented by hints of burnt marmalade and exotic fruit. Medium to full-bodied, deep and concentrated, it’s notably taut and chiseled for the vintage, with racy acids and a beautifully expressive mid-palate.’ – William Kelley, Wine Advocate, 95/100 (Mar 2021)

Dom Pérignon Brut 2004
Dom Pérignon is produced by Moët & Chandon – one of the largest Champagne producers in the world. The name Dom Pérignon comes from a 17th-century monk who developed various winemaking techniques which were used to enhance the quality of wines. Dom Pérignon Champagnes always consist of Pinot noir, Chardonnay, and one other grape variety. The Champagne is always a vintage as each bottle showcases the vintage’s unique characteristics.

‘The 2004 Dom Pérignon is one of the more reductive, autolytic vintages of this wine to have been released in the last decade, offering up a toasty bouquet of pears, green apple, iodine, peach and smoke. On the palate, it’s medium to full-bodied, satiny textured and fleshy, with a sweet core of fruit, a fine mousse and a vinous profile. The 2004 is an excellent and classically proportioned example of Dom Pérignon.’ – William Kelley, Wine Advocate, 94/100 (Apr 2020)


Highlighted lots from South African Producers:

Crystallum Cuvée Cinéma Pinot Noir 2012
The Cuvée Cinéma is produced entirely from the Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge and is the most refined and desired of the three Crystallum single vineyard pinot noirs. It was named after a film based on the life of Napoleon that was shot on the site a year prior to the vineyards being planted.

‘This has a freshness and a brightness that reflects the altitude of the vineyards. It’s still a bold, succulent, age-worthy wine, with dark fruits and a spicy, sappy, savoury core, but the acidity lifts the wine to another level.’  – Tim Atkin MW, SA Special Report 2014, 94/100

Hamilton Russell Vineyards Pinot Noir 2013
Located behind the old fishing village of Hermanus, is one of the most southerly wine Estates in Africa, Hamilton Russell. The estate was purchased in 1975 by Tim Hamilton Russell and in 1991 his son, Anthony Hamilton Russell, took over and immediately narrowed their range down to only Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. This proved to be a masterstroke and made the Hemel-en-Aarde valley notorious for producing the best Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in South Africa and a recognised expression outside of Burgundy. 2013 was a standout vintage with rich, generous, sumptuous wines displaying great depth of fruit and structure.

‘Distinctive and alluring, with sassafras, cinnamon, black tea and briar patch aromas all unfurling slowly, while the core offers silky, refined cherry, plum and raspberry fruit flavors. The long, spice-infused finish shows a nicely coiled tension that should unwind in the cellar.’ – James Molesworth, Wine Spectator, 93/100 (Sept 2015)

Newton Johnson Family Vineyards Chardonnay 2014
Based in the Upper Hemel-en-Aarde Valley near the seaside town of Hermanus, it is a family affair at Newton Johnson. Started by Cape Wine Master, Dave and his wife, Felicity, sons’ Bevan and Gordon took over the reigns in the mid-2000s, joined today my Gordon’s wife Nadia. Today Newton Johnson is world-famous for their fine Chardonnays and Pinot Noir. Along with multiple accolades, the Pinot Noir has one of the longest consecutive Platter 5 Stars in history.

‘Exquisitely textured with a chalky minerality, 14 interleaves crisp citrus fruit & wood spice (22% new oak) with a stern acidity. Poised & elegant, it will reward ageing.‘ – Platter’s SA Wine Guide 2016, 5*

Restless River Ava Marie Chardonnay 2017
Boasting some of the oldest Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards in the infamous Hemel-en-Aarde Valley and situated just 5km from the Atlantic Ocean, Restless River is owned and run by husband and wife team Craig and Anne Wessels. Preferring to do things by hand and producing roughly only 1000 cases of each variety a year.

Craig has carved out a unique style with his single vineyard Upper Hemel-en-Aarde Valley Chardonnay (named after daughter Ava) that reflects his philosophy of minimum intervention and linear wines, shaped by place and vintage.

‘Craig Wessels picks this two-hectare block in five stages to achieve maximum balance and complexity. Large barrel and amphora-fermented, it’s a stunning, elegantly refined Chardonnay with understated oak, some cinnamon spice, good texture and a fresh, citrus peel finish. One of the Cape’s best Chardonnays.’ – Tim Atkin MW, SA Special Report 2018, 96/100


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