Dom Pérignon, from controversy to luxury
With a staggering 250+ bottles of Dom Pérignon sold, this certainly was a bubbling highlight on our 24th auction. Leading with a vintage dating back to 1943, all the way up to 2009.
Dom Pérignon’s controversy dates back to it’s origin
Moët et Chandon, where the champagne was originally made, ran into a few issues with its cuvée de prestige.
Due to the secondary fermentation process in champagne, there was a demand for stronger bottles which could withstand the pressure that builds up inside.
As for Dom Pérignon, these stronger bottles originated from England, which dissatisfied the French. Alexandre Dumas, known for being the father of the three musketeers, even went as far as mocking and belittling foreigners who drank this champagne.
This rough start eventually turned around when Dom Pérignon started making its uprising in Paris after the French Revolution. It was in brothels and “maisons closes” where it evolved its status from mockery to gastronomy.
Nowadays, Dom Pérignon stands atop many of its competitors as an exclusive fine wine champagne.
A blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, the Plénitude of Harmony. It has a well rounded youth, being smooth and creamy, balanced with lots of fruit.
With age, it develops toasty mushroom aromas with beautiful complexity and layers.
With Dom Pérignon, you can truly “taste the stars”.
Our most expensive lot sold for €2425, being 6 bottles of 1985 Dom Pérignon.
Our most sought-after lot had 12 biddings, being 1 bottle of 1986 Dom Pérignon Rosé.
Did you know that the origin of this cult Pomerol started back in 1924?
It was the same year that Georges Thienpont bought Vieux Chateau Certan in Pomerol, that this tiny 1 ha plot was acquired by Madame Laubie. Back then all of the produce was sold to other Chateaux, and so this terroir remained under the radar for over half a century.
When in 1979 it was offered for sale, father and son - Marcel and Jacques Thienpont - recognised the potential of the unique location and wanted to buy it in order to expand Vieux Chateau Certan. Unfortunately, the asking price was quite steep and it was necessary to keep it separate in order for it to stay profitable.
Back in those days the Chateau was no more than a small, old farm house. The Chateau was named after the big pine tree standing in front of it.
Jacques was one of the original ‘garagistes’. Having to keep expenses low, they made this exceptional wine in a humble setting with very little means. They not only used the original cellar of the old house, but also started recycling barrels to keep costs low. These barrels were previously used at Vieux Chateau Certan.
Thanks to the recognition of several international critics, including Robert Parker, they quickly grew in fame. This allowed them to slowly expand.
Gradually buying more land in the mid-eighties, they managed to bring the total surface to the 2.7 ha it is today. Sometimes they had as little as just a couple of rows of vines.
Most of what is grown there is merlot, but about 8% Cabernet Franc grapes are also cultivated. Although, none are actually used for the production of Le Pin.
After about 3 decades of producing wine in the old house, it could no longer suffice and in 2020 the estate was completely modernised. Flemish architects Robbrecht and Daem designed a new structure around the subterranean chai. It was important to keep the building as low as possible, so it wouldn't have a big impact on the surrounding landscape.
2 Big pine trees ornament its entrance. And even though this top notch Pomerol fetches quite high prices, because of its limited production of 500 - 600 cases annually, demand is still higher than the small amount of bottles produced.
The most iconic cuvée of the Louis Roederer Champagne House, Cristal!
During our 24th exclusive wine auction, we were able to hammer 200 + bottles of Cristal, counting a total of 48 lots, starting from vintage 1970 up to 2002!
It is safe to say that we have a massive competitive bidding on Cristal. It is a highly sought-after champagne, after all.
Did you know?
Cristal Champagne was originally crafted at the behest of Tsar Alexander II of Russia?
With the clear bottle, flat bottom and yellow cellophane wrapping, it's safe to say that Cristal is one odd looking bottle. All of these oddities date back to 1876.
The Champagne’s original promoter was Tsar Alexander. Alexander was prone to assassination attempts, having survived 6 previous attempts on his life. He was eventually murdered by assassins in March 1881, but his death did not herald in a new order as the revolutionaries had promised.
To give Tsar Alexander peace of mind and to ensure he could rightfully enjoy his champagne, he created this clear bottle with means to detect any poison. The bottle's flat bottom was also a request, because the Russian royal was worried someone would hide something lethal inside the bottle. These two customisations also gave Tsar Alexander assurance that the wine was coming from his personal cellar, and was therefore safe to drink.
The cellophane wrapping is an addition designed to protect the wine from light.
Today Cristal is sourced from the oldest vines, they must be at least 25 to 30 years old. Some vines are even as old as 60 years.
A few numbers!
We even offered a magnum in our collection. This lot gained 12 bids and had a hammer price of €1225,00
Our most sought-after lot had 15 bids, started at €1950,00 per unit, and closed this lot with a number of 15 bids and a hammer price of € 2950,00.
Why is this wine so expensive?
Cristal Champagne is a work of art. An exceptional and rare vintage cuvée, made only in the greatest years.
This champagne takes form step by step, developing in the process a unique expression of its vintage. Made from a blend of Chardonnay (40%) and Pinot Noir (60%), this cuvée is above all a fine wine, offering a pure expression of its chalky terroirs of origin.
The Cote des Blancs, the Grands Crus of Montagne de Reims and the Vallée de la Marne… Cristal brings together the greatest terroirs of the Champagne region. And, as the best things in life take time, Cristal matures patiently for at least 6 years in the cool, dark chalk cellars of the House, before ageing another 8 months in the bottle after disgorgement.
Domaine Georges Roumier is one of the longest-established estate bottling domaines in the Côte D’Or, and one of the very best of all.
Roumier's rich history starts in 1924, when Georges Roumier married a local Chambolle-Musigny woman, Geneviève Quanquin. Following the customs of the early 1900s, Geneviève provided a dowry in the form of vineyards, and thus Domaine Georges Roumier was born.
Roumier took over the family vineyards, took on a small part of Musigny by using the French sharecropping system of Métayage, and then started with Bonnes Mares and securing 2 plots in Clos de Vougeot
Now his grandson, Christophe Roumier, has been at the helm of the family estate since the 1990s. Christophe is highly respected – as much for his modest character as his wine. He transformed an already great vineyard into an exceptional one.
“There is no Roumier style but rather a Roumier philosophy. This unique vinification process that allows us to relieve each terroir, each appellation.” - Christophe Roumier
His focus is very much on the terroir, so new oak is used sparingly and the temperature of the ferment is kept low to allow for the delicacy and fragrance of the wine to shine through.
As a lot of wine lovers around the world do, even you might savour this wine. The wines of the domaine Roumier are sensual, velvety, elegant and pure. Christophe's personality is well reflected in his wine, precise and meticulous, always looking for harmony and balance.