'Dramatic' Romanee-Conti 1988 leads Christie's rare wines sale

Next month, Christie's breaks its wine-auction fast with an important sale, dominated by two well-aged vintages and a classic from 1988.

To begin with, there are two 12 bottle lots of Château Lafite-Rothschild 1959. Hugely popular with the British wine trade, and proclaimed by the pundits as 'the vintage of the century', it is praised for its combination of alcohol, extract, fruit and tannin.

Only occasionally criticised for its lack of acidity, the bottles of Premier Cru wine are held here in their original wooden cases and listed here at £20,000-30,000 each.

A rare magnum case of Château Latour from the same year is expected to better them, however. In their (damaged) original wooden case, the bottles contain a wine which certainly impressed wine critic Michael Broadbent:

"A glorious mammoth wine. It just goes from strength to strength [...] nose packed with fruit [...]showing no signs of flagging, its opacity merely prefacing its beautifully developed bouquet, excellent flavour and perfect balance - perfect enough to keep up the maturing process for another quarter century." he commented in December 2000.

Collectors looking for an investment will like the sound of that, and the £35,000-£45,000 estiamte seems reasonable enough.

However, it is expected to be pipped to top lot status by a 12 bottle lot of Romanée-Conti 1988. DRC wines are always a bit special, but the 1988 is worth a journey.

"It may even outlive the otherworldly 1985. It is staggeringly concentrated with a bouquet that almost defies articulation. It is a flashy, dramatic wine with astonishing length and mystique." was Robert Parker's summation.

The bottles all show high levels and come in the original wooden case, with an estimate of £40,000-£50,000. The auction takes place on September 9 in London.


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