12 bottles of the 1985 Henri Jayer Echezeaux sold as top lot in Sotheby's Finest and Rarest Wines auction on September 12, with the legendary wine maker's 1986 Vosne Romanee, Cros Parantoux following close at its heels.
Renowned for its balance and elegance - like all of Jayer's offerings - the 1985 Echezeaux is regarded as perhaps the best wine of the vintage. As with many of the finest Burgundies of the same age, the 1985 is now reaching is best drinking years, as was demonstrated by the frenzied bids in the sale.
Against a £26,000-34,000 ($38,938-56,407) estimate, the case sold for £49,350 ($80,064) - a 45.1% increase. Another single bottle of the same wine brought £3,760, up 34.2% on its £2,800 high estimate.
Further demonstrating the power of Henri Jayer's wines at auction was a case of the 1986 Cros Parantoux. Jayer is renowned for his transformation of the tiny Vosne-Romanee vineyard, which many would have considered not worth the effort, given its high altitude and poor soil.
The 1986 vintage is not one of the finest to have originated from Cros Paratoux, yet despite this, the case sold with a 46.5% increase on its £22,000 high estimate, achieving £32,250. Bidders are prepared to pay high prices for any of Jayer's wines, spurred by their limited supply.
Bringing the auction's third-highest bids was the DRC favourite La Tache. Noted for its mellow, yet lingering taste, 10 bottles of 1971 vintage sold at £32,900, in less than desirable condition.
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