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'This wine should be censored'... Romanée-Conti 1978 sells for over $59,000

Five bottles of the miraculous Burgundy sold just ahead of some wonderful Chateau Latour


Sotheby's latest auction of Finest and Rarest Wines has concluded with some excellent highlights for both Burgundy and Bordeaux fans going under the hammer to an enthusiastic response.

Of course this may have been partly because this is the last auction of any kind which the company is holding until September, but the lots were just exceptional wines and valuable assets.

As expected, it was Romanée-Conti and Chateau Latour which dominated the sale. The highest Bordeaux lot was a 12 bottle set of Latour '61. Sotheby's Worldwide Head of Wine, Serena Sutcliffe is obviously a fan:

"The rich, pervasively scented bouquet leads to a great, treacly taste, with overlapping layers, plus fruit and tannin in massive doses. Just before its 50th birthday, it has that immediate, ultra-concentrated, total cassis, burly Latour nose.

"Utterly nostalgic and reminiscent of time and place. A huge gulp of intoxicating fruit and aromatics, with that inimitable thick texture of 1961 in general and Latour in particular. So much fat, it covers the tannin. Total tensile strength. It literally is 'crunchy' with berries.

"After two hours in the glass, it is even more stupendous."

Latour '61 isn't literally crunchy of course, unless you make it into a sorbet, but it certainly is a unique and spectacular taste experience, which explains why it beat its top estimate of £28,000 to sell for £32,200 ($51,900).

Sutcliffe is no less enthusiastic about the wine offered in the top lot, (five bottles of) Romanée-Conti 1978:

"Glorious raw black truffles bouquet - wild! Incredible taste, rich, young and untamed. This wine should be censored. The fabulous result of an Indian Summer that coaxed miraculous depth and flavour out of the unique soil that is Romanee-Conti."

One bidder managed to tame the bottles for long enough to get them home with a strong bid of £36,800 ($59,350).


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Last updated: 21 July 2011