Auction Highlights WF49

Lot 775

Penfolds Grange Bin 95 1994 Penfolds, Australia

U. IN, excellent appearance

6 bottles (OWC)

Per lot: € 2100 – 2600

Grange is arguably Australia’s most celebrated wine and is officially listed as a Heritage Icon of South Australia. Crafted utilising fully-ripe, intensely-flavoured and structured Shiraz grapes, the result is a unique Australian style that is now recognised as one of the most consistent of the world’s great wines. With an unbroken line of vintages from the experimental 1951, Grange clearly demonstrates the synergy between Shiraz and the soils and climates of South Australia.

Penfolds Grange Bin 95 1994 is considered by Penfolds winemakers as ‘a sleeper Grange vintage.’ This is the first vintage where Grange went to a bottle with laser-etched identification numbers to preclude the possibility of fraudulent bottles. The wine, a blend of 89% Shiraz and 11% Cabernet Sauvignon, shows some toasty oak mixed with notes of root vegetables, damp earth, blackberry liqueur, prune, and licorice. The wine is dense, full-bodied, not terribly complex in the mouth, but layered and rich. I would not be surprised to see the rating on this wine improve as this youthful Grange continues to evolve. Anticipated maturity: 2004-2020. eRobertParker Only (Feb 2002) Robert Parker 91 points

Lot 745

Château Musar 1989

Gaston Hochar, Bekaa Valley

U. BN, 1LNL

3 bottles

Per lot: € 150 – 240

Chateau Musar was the first producer in Lebanon to achieve organic certification for its vineyards in 2006. Most are located in the Bekaa Valley, cradled between two mountain ranges running parallel to Lebanon’s Mediterranean coastline. Vines have been cultivated here for at least 6,000 years: the Phoenicians (seafaring ancestors of the modern Lebanese) were instrumental in bringing vines and wines from Byblos across to all of the areas around the Mediterranean. Chateau Musar Red is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignan and Cinsault. The style is always emphatically Lebanese: enticingly aromatic, with persistent fruit flavours. Over decades the wines acquire tawny hues and mellow notes.

Lot 475

Château Smith Haut-Lafitte 1991

Pessac-Léognan, Cru Classé Rouge

Excellent level and appearance

1 impérial – 6ltr (OWC)

Per lot: €450 – 650

1991 marks the first vintage of Château Smith Haut-Lafitte produced by the current owners, Daniel and Florence Cathiard, who purchased the estate from Louis Eschenauer in 1990. The Cathiards are both champion skiers who competed in the Olympics. They made their original fortune by creating a large chain of sporting goods stores and invested considerably into the estate, dramatically improving its quality.

The wine is a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, and small amounts of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. The average age of the vines is now 38 years old, and the roots plunge over 6 meters into the subsoil. Smith is one of the few chateaux to actually make their own barrels and the wine spends 18 months slowly ageing in cask, which adds extra depth and complexity.

Lot 1137

Barbeito ‘Frasqueira’ Malvazia Madeira 1900

Bottled in 1995

Lot 1137 U. 4cm BC or better, excellent appearance

2 bottles

Per lot: € 700 – 1000

This madeira of the highest quality must have been at least 20 years in barrel plus two years in the bottle before being sold. A frasqueira must consist entirely of one of the top varieties mentioned on the label, together with the harvest and bottling year. Frasqueira’s always come from one particularly good vintage. They have undergone a mild temperature treatment and have been stored for a long time in wooden barrels. After bottling, the quality of frasqueira no longer changes. The ripening potential is almost unlimited.