A single bottle of 1934 Richebourg Vieux Cepages from the legendary Domaine de la Romanee-Conti (DRC) is expected to sell with outstanding results at Heritage Auctions.
Consigned from the "Exquisite Collection of a Northeastern Gentleman", the wine will cross the block on March 21 in Beverly Hills with an estimate of $16,000-22,000. However, Heritage states that it may bring more than $50,000 come sale day.
Among Burgundy wines, DRC's reputation is unrivalled. Richebourg, an appellation within the Vosne-Romanee commune, is renowned for its powerful red wines, using pinot noir as the main grape variety.
The term Vieux Cepages ("old varietals") refers to a special bottling of the oldest Richebourg vines, which is separated from the regular harvest. Only one barrel was produced in certain vintages from 1911-1937.
"Even with unlimited resources it would be virtually impossible to find another bottle of this wine, and it would not come with the stellar provenance our example carries," said Heritage Auctions' director of fine wines, Frank Martell.
"Domaine de la Romanee Conti is widely viewed as the most prestigious winery in the world and this is the rarest wine it has ever produced.
"If Domaine de la Romanee Conti is Ferrari, then this bottle, from this era, would be the 250GT, and this particular bottling, called Vieux Cepages, would be the 1958 steel-bodied 250GT Long Wheel Base, the very rarest of it's already storied breed."
The bottle was last seen at auction with Christie's in 2007, when it sold for $16,590 against a $6,000-10,000 estimate. Hailing from the collection of Dr Salvatore Lucia, it has provenance dating back to 1985 via Draper & Esquin.
As for its flavour? Acker Merrall & Condit's John Kapon, one of the few to have tried the vintage, described the nose as "Menthol, 'sexy sausage', and herbs de provence".
Although the 1934 is certainly a prestige wine worthy of the greatest collections, it is not the best purchase for investment due to its age. For the investment minded, Heritage Auctions' is also offering a six-litre bottle of 2002 DRC Romanee-Conti, the most refined wine of the domaine, which is expected to sell for more than $90,000+.
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