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Lots in the current auction catalogue with 96-100 Robert Parker Wine Advocate Points

KRUG Clos de Mesnil Blanc De Blanc 1998
Blanc De Blanc Champagne
Estimate Per Bottle: 1500-1600

Rating: 96 points

The 1998 Brut Blanc de Blancs Clos du Mesnil has come together beautifully since I tasted it last year. This is a remarkably taut, focused bottle of the 1998 with great energy and minerality in its precise, crystalline fruit. I don't expect the 1998 to be one of the longest-lived Mesnils, but if this bottle is any indication, it should continue to drink well for a number of years. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2028. My visit to Krug earlier this year was fascinating, as I had a chance to taste a number of 2009s and reserve wines. A tank sample of the 2009 Clos du Mesnil was one of the most exciting, viscerally thrilling wines of the trip, and remained etched on my mind for several weeks. I also had a chance to glance over newly found, hand-written original records that document the exact village breakdown of all the grapes Krug purchased in each vintage going back to 1928. This year I tasted a number of fabulous wines from bottle. Unfortunately I can't include my impressions on Krug's NV Champagnes because of the house's insistence on not providing disgorgement dates for those wines. I was reminded of the importance of this information when I tasted a fabulous, utterly spellbinding bottle of the NV Rose. It was a truly beautiful Champagne, but owing to its recent disgorgement it needed at least a few years on the cork. Of course Krug gives a general indication of the disgorgement dates for their wines on the corks, but by that time, readers may have opened a bottle that needs more bottle age. Without this information it is impossible to give readers any reliable indication of when the house's NV wines might start drinking well. With a retail price over $300 a bottle, opening a bottle of Krug's Rose can be a very expensive learning experience. Krug fans will want to keep an eye out for my upcoming article on Clos du Mesnil, featuring complete notes back to the inaugural 1979.

CHA
0001
1 BOTTLE BOXEDCurrent Bid: $1160

MOET & CHANDON Dom Perignon Brut 1998
Brut Champagne
Estimate Per Bottle: 300-320

Rating: 97 points

The 1998 Dom P?rignon has an intense white-golden color and is beautifully clear and fine on the nose, which indicates a lovely maturity and displays grey bread, almond cake and iodine flavors, along with lemon and orange aromas. This clarity and mineral freshness proceeds on the highly elegant, finesse-full and silky textured palate, and the complexly flavored, very distinguished finish is dry and mineral, revealing a stimulating salinity and tension. The 1998 seems young still, but is certainly a great pleasure to drink and will be for many years.

ON1
0270
1 BOTTLECurrent Bid: $186
SAL
0001
1 BOTTLECurrent Bid: $242

SALON S Le Mesnil Blanc De Blancs 2007
Blanc De Blancs Champagne
Estimate Per Bottle: 820-840

Rating: 96 points

The superb 2007 Brut Blanc de Blancs Le Mesnil wafts from the glass with a beautiful bouquet of crushed chalk, lemon oil, crisp green apple, white flowers and brioche. On the palate, it's medium to full-bodied, taut and incisive, with bright acids, a tight-knit core and a brisk mousse, concluding with a long, chalky and bone-dry finish. After the comparatively broad and fleshy 2002, 2004 and 2006 vintages, the 2007 Salon seems to mark a return to a racier, more precise style—though admittedly that's in keeping with the style of the vintage—that makes me anticipate the release of the 2008 all the more eagerly.

XFW
0026
1 BOTTLE Ex-cellarCurrent Bid: $807
XFW
0029
1 BOTTLE Ex-cellarCurrent Bid: $807

CLARENDON HILLS Astralis Syrah 2002
Syrah McLaren Vale
Estimate Per Bottle: 340-350

Rating: 99 points

The 2002 Syrah Astralis Vineyard rivals the greatest wines Roman Bratasiuk has made in his 15-year career. This compelling, black/blue-hued offering from 75-year-old Syrah vines tastes like blood of the vine. An extraordinary perfume of flowers, creme de cassis, blackberries, roasted meat, new saddle leather, and earth is followed by a wine with sweet tannin, sensational concentration, full body, an unctuous texture, and a full-throttle, tannic finish. Yet it reveals unbelievable elegance and finesse. Too many Euro-centric elitists argue that Australian wines are too rich and over the top, but all of these offerings have been made by someone with great talent and vision who takes the extraordinary ripeness and purity of fruit available from these old vine vineyards and crafts them into wines that are quite European in style ... just richer and denser. The 2002 Astralis is a tour de force. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2025+.

Roman Bratasiuk is one of Planet Earth's greatest winemakers, and obviously a top-notch viticulturist given his obsession with sourcing extraordinary fruit from ancient McLaren Vale vineyards.

Please note there has been a change in American importers for Clarendon Hills. Importer: Commonwealth Wine & Spirits Inc., Mansfield, MA; tel. (508) 328-6764

WHI
0002
1 BOTTLECurrent Bid: $240

CLARENDON HILLS Astralis Syrah 2015
Syrah McLaren Vale
Estimate Per Bottle: 400-450

Rating: 100 points

The fitting capstone to what was a terrific vintage for Clarendon Hills, the 2015 Astralis Syrah is destined to become a McLaren Vale legend. Remarkably precise, complex and pristine aromas of anise, pepper, mint and blueberries lead the way. Theyre followed by a full-bodied yet impeccably ripe palate thats dense and concentrated yet supple, leading into a velvety, nearly endless finish. Wow.

JEL
0408
1 BOTTLECurrent Bid: $278
JEL
0409
1 BOTTLECurrent Bid: $278
JEL
0410
1 BOTTLECurrent Bid: $278
JEL
0411
1 BOTTLECurrent Bid: $278
JEL
0414
1 BOTTLECurrent Bid: $278
JEL
0415
1 BOTTLECurrent Bid: $278
EDD
0001
1 BOTTLECurrent Bid: $278
EDD
0002
1 BOTTLECurrent Bid: $278
EDD
0003
1 BOTTLECurrent Bid: $278
EDD
0004
1 BOTTLECurrent Bid: $278
EDD
0005
1 BOTTLECurrent Bid: $278
EDD
0006
1 BOTTLECurrent Bid: $278

CULLEN Vanya Cabernet Sauvignon 2012
Cabernet Sauvignon Margaret River
Estimate Per Bottle: 380-400

Rating: 97+ points

Not to be made every year, the debut vintage of the 2012 Vanya is a blend of 97% Cabernet Sauvignon with 3% Petit Verdot. Only 4,500 bottles of this wine were made. It spent 19 months in 50% new oak and possesses a deep garnet-purple color with a savory, yeasty and meaty nose redolent of red and black plums, cassis and cigar box, and a spicy undercurrent of lavender, bay leaf and rust. This multi-layered, taut, intensely flavored wine is beautifully elegant in the mouth, with incredibly ripe flavors and with silky tannins. It should cellar for 20-30 years or more. Vanya Cullen has so many new and exciting projects going on at her winery, I could have happily spent a week or more in her sagely company instead of my requisite three hours. 100% Biodynamic since 2004, Vanya makes no secret of her passion for purity and sustainability. Readers will note that I refrained from using the term "natural" here as this has sadly become something of a dirty word of late and it would be wrong for anyone to unassumingly tar this conscientious winery at the pinnacle of quality with the same brush. This said, Vanya has created a brand new orange wine (as in a white wine produced from extended skin maceration to such an extent that the phenolics oxidize, producing an orange color). I don't say this about many orange wines but "Amber" is very good indeed and well worth checking out. Vanya has also produced Fruit and Flower day harvested barrels of the 2014 "Legacy Series" Kevin John Chardonnay, which yield some evocative and, dare I say, pretty convincing differences for all the biodynamic unbelievers (see my tasting notes). Interestingly, Cullen Wines even uses biodynamic barrels, which means the wood is harvested only on fruit and flower days. When I raised my eyebrows about this, Vanya insisted that Tonnelierie Bordelais produce a certificate of authenticity for these barrels. Hmmm. Anyway, back to what's in the glass, the other major vinous treat for me was a preview of the new "Vanya" Cabernet Sauvignon label, which pushes the already high Margaret River Cabernet bar up just that much higher.

BSD
0253
1 BOTTLECurrent Bid: $263

D'ARENBERG The Dead Arm Shiraz 1999
Shiraz McLaren Vale
Estimate Per Bottle: 90-100

Rating: 96 points

This estate's most renowned offering is their old vine Shiraz (90+ year old vines) called The Dead Arm. The unfined/unfiltered 1999 The Dead Arm Shiraz (2,000 cases) was aged in 100% new oak, of which 70% was American and 30% French. It is about as natural and unmanipulated a product of the vineyard as one can find. Full-bodied and awesomely rich, notes of black pepper, licorice, and blackberry as well as cherry liqueur cascade over the palate with enormous concentration and intensity, high tannin, and a structured, muscular style. Give it 3-4 years of cellaring, and consume it over the following 2-3 decades. It is a timeless museum piece made in a style that can only be produced in Barossa or McLaren Vale.

WHI
0006
1 BOTTLE Cellar damaged labelCurrent Bid: $50

D'ARENBERG The Dead Arm Shiraz 2001
Shiraz McLaren Vale
Estimate Per Bottle: 110-120

Rating: 98 points

Readers should be on the look out for the 2001 The Dead Arm Shiraz, one of the greatest examples of this cuvee. Its dense black/purple color is accompanied by celestial aromas of melted licorice, graphite, blackberries, cassis, incense, anise, and toasty oak. Fabulously concentrated, with great purity, an unctuous, viscous texture, and an amazingly long, 60-second plus finish, this fabulous baby will need 5-6 years of cellaring, and should drink well over the following 20-25 years.

Chester Osborn, the remarkable person behind this enormous array of both impeccably high quality and value-priced wines, deserves considerable accolades for what he is able to achieve at all price ranges. If you love Australian wines, d'Arenberg is a winery to seek out as these offerings all possess abundant soul as well as character. In short, the accolades that proprietor/winemaker Chester Osborn receives not only from The Wine Advocate, but virtually everybody in the wine world, are all well deserved.

WHI
0008
1 BOTTLE Slight label damageCurrent Bid: $78
WHI
0009
1 BOTTLECurrent Bid: $78
WHI
0010
1 BOTTLECurrent Bid: $78
WHI
0011
1 BOTTLECurrent Bid: $78
WHI
0012
1 BOTTLE Slight label damageCurrent Bid: $78
WHI
0013
1 BOTTLECurrent Bid: $78

GRANT BURGE Meshach Shiraz 2008
Shiraz Barossa Valley
Estimate Per Bottle: 100-110

Rating: 96+ points

Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2008 Shiraz Meshach shows off a very spicy nose redolent of sandalwood, black olives and dried berries with fruit cake, black licorice and potpourri scents. Full-bodied, it is rich and very spicy with some oak poking through, a crisp acid line and medium-firm, velvety tannins to frame the long finish. It is approachable now but will drink to 2024+.

Meshach is the flagship wine named after Grant's grandfather. -I was looking for a name that had something to do with longevity,- says Grant. -My grandfather lived for 99 years and 9 months.- The wine predominately comes from Filsell vineyard's old vines that were planted in the 1920s. Made to last 20-plus years, it sees 20-22 months of oak and is released with five years of age. Originally aged in American oak, Grant found it too sweet, so he changed to a 20% French oak and 80% American oak regime in 1998. The 1988 was the first vintage and in 2007 none was made.

GEN
0303
1 BOTTLECurrent Bid: $68
GEN
0304
1 BOTTLECurrent Bid: $68
GEN
0305
1 BOTTLECurrent Bid: $68
GEN
0306
1 BOTTLECurrent Bid: $68
GEN
0308
1 BOTTLECurrent Bid: $68
GEN
0309
1 BOTTLECurrent Bid: $68

GREENOCK CREEK Apricot Block Shiraz 2001
Shiraz Barossa Valley
Estimate Per Bottle: 150-200

Rating: 99 points

The 2001 Shiraz Apricot Block represents a spectacular example of Barossa Shiraz. Made from 10-year-old vines cropped at 1-1.5 tons per acre, it is a dense, full-bodied Shiraz possessing fabulous intensity, great purity, and a multi-tiered, skyscraper-like mid-palate. It can be drunk young or cellared through 2018-2020.

297
0035
1 BOTTLECurrent Bid: $96
297
0036
1 BOTTLECurrent Bid: $96

HENSCHKE Mount Edelstone Shiraz 2013
Shiraz Eden Valley
Estimate Per Bottle: 200-220

Rating: 96 points

Still a bit tight and cedary, the 2013 Mount Edelstone Shiraz could use a couple of more years to flesh out and round into form. Sage and blackberry notes predominate in this full-bodied, concentrated and richly tannic offering. It still comes across as slightly drying on the finish, but its velvety, and the fruit comes through at the end, so dont hesitate to hold onto this for a decade or more.

ACC
6991
1 BOTTLE BOXEDCurrent Bid: $167
ACC
6992
1 BOTTLE BOXEDCurrent Bid: $167

JIM BARRY The Armagh Shiraz 2012
Shiraz Clare Valley
Estimate Per Bottle: 150-160

Rating: 98+ points

Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2012 Shiraz The Armagh offers a gorgeous perfume of baking spices, violets, Sichuan pepper and fragrant earth. More earthy and savory in the mouth than on the nose, the palate is superbly structured and taut—built for the long-haul—with a long, complex finish. Still very youthfully, forget this wine for 3-5 more years and consider drinking it over the next 20+.

ACC
6911
1 HALF BOTTLECurrent Bid: $140

LEEUWIN Estate Art Series Chardonnay 2014
Chardonnay Margaret River
Estimate Per Bottle: 140-150

Rating: 96 points

One of Margaret Rivers (and Australias) iconic Chardonnays, Leeuwins 2014 Art Series Chardonnay continues that proud tradition. Never shy on toasty, nutty oak or bold fruit, the 2014 features both seamlessly woven together in perhaps greater harmony than in past vintages. Hints of white peach, Bosc pear and citrus appear on the medium-bodied palate and linger on the elegant, finely textured finish.

XLE
0709
1 BOTTLECurrent Bid: $109
XLE
0710
1 BOTTLECurrent Bid: $109
XLE
0711
1 BOTTLECurrent Bid: $109
XLE
0712
1 BOTTLECurrent Bid: $109
XLE
0714
1 BOTTLECurrent Bid: $109
XLE
0713
1 BOTTLECurrent Bid: $109

PENFOLDS Bin 60a Cabernet Shiraz 2004
Cabernet Shiraz Coonawarra Barossa Valley
Estimate Per Bottle: 1100-1150

Rating: 99+ points

The release of the 2004 Bin 60A following the epic 1962 Bin 60A is old news now, but the wine was looking very fine indeed when I tasted it so I thought Id add a note. Blended of 56% Coonawarra Cabernet from Block 20 and 44% Barossa Shiraz from Koonunga Hill Block 56G and Kalimna Blocks 4 and 14, the wine was matured in 100% new American oak hogsheads for 13 months. Very deep purple-black in color, it offers restrained notes of game, smoked meat, earth, blackberry and black currant liqueurs, yeast, marmite-toast plus whiffs of dried lavender, cedar and bark. Very crisp, very tight and very firm, this taut medium-bodied wine is still all structure at this stage, going very long and earthy in the finish. Give it time and consider broaching it from 2014. It should drink well into the 2030s if not beyond.

JOE
0006
1 BOTTLE Slight label damageCurrent Bid: $544
JOE
0005
1 BOTTLE Slight label damageCurrent Bid: $544
JOE
0004
1 BOTTLE Slight label damageCurrent Bid: $544
KNS
0223
1 MAGNUM BOXEDCurrent Bid: $870
COL
0003
1 BOTTLE BOXED Stained capsule, weepyCurrent Bid: $230
COL
0001
1 BOTTLE BOXEDCurrent Bid: $474
WHI
0040
1 BOTTLE BOXEDCurrent Bid: $548

PENFOLDS Block 42 Kalimna Cabernet Sauvignon 2004
Cabernet Sauvignon Barossa Valley
Estimate Per Bottle: 1900-2000

Rating: 97 points

Its not known exactly when the Kalimna Block 42 was planted but there are suggestions that the vines existed during the latter part of the 19th Century. They could be the oldest Cabernet vines in the world, although the famous Metala Cabernet vineyard in Langhorne Creek was known to have been planted in 1891 so could very well pre-date Kalimna. Regardless, Ive been there and the vines are truly old. Only very rarely does Penfolds release this as a single vineyard wine, when the Cabernet is so fabulous it cant possibly be blended. The 2004 Block 42 Kalimna Cabernet Sauvignon was such a vintage. Matured in 100% new American hogsheads for 13 months, it displays a very deep garnet-purple color and profoundly earthy / gamey aromas over black cherry preserves, creme de cassis plus scents of leather, pencil shavings, Mediterranean herbs, black truffles, underbrush and black olives. The elegant, medium-bodied palate is tightly-knit and led by structure with a high level of grainy tannins, very high acid and a long earthy finish. Approachable now, it should continue to evolve and drink to 2025+.

KNS
0226
1 MAGNUMCurrent Bid: $1074
WHI
0041
1 BOTTLE BOXEDCurrent Bid: $736

PENFOLDS Grange Shiraz 1998
Shiraz South Australia
Estimate Per Bottle: 850-900

Rating: 98+ points

A wine that flirts with perfection, and should rival the 1986 as one of the legendary Granges produced, the 1998 has one of the highest alcohol contents (nearly 15%) as well as one of the highest percentages of Shiraz in the blend (97%). Its stunning purple color is accompanied by exceptionally sweet aromas of blackberry liqueur intermixed with barbecue spices, an endearing, smoky earthiness, pepper, roasted meats, and coffee. Huge, massive, unctuously textured, and extraordinarily youthful, this impressive wine is a candidate for perfection. It should continue to evolve over the next three decades.

137
0002
1 BOTTLECurrent Bid: $572
137
0003
1 BOTTLECurrent Bid: $572
137
0004
1 BOTTLECurrent Bid: $572
TYS
0026
1 BOTTLE Slight label damageCurrent Bid: $506
WIN
0008
1 MAGNUM BOXED High shoulder , slight capsule damage, signs of past leakingCurrent Bid: $621
PAU
0073
1 BOTTLECurrent Bid: $559
WHI
0049
1 BOTTLECurrent Bid: $578

PENFOLDS Grange Shiraz 2001
Shiraz South Australia
Estimate Per Bottle: 700-750

Rating: 98+ points

It is always a treat to taste Australias most famous wine, Penfolds Grange cuvee (the word Hermitage has been dropped because of legal issues). The 2001 Grange is one of the few vintages of this cuvee to be composed of 100% Shiraz (the others being 1951, 1952, 1963, 1999, and 2000). Aged 17 months in 100% American oak, and tipping the scales at 14.5% alcohol, the 2001 is undeniably one of the top examples of this wine. At this stage, it appears to eclipse the 1998 and 1996. Inky/blue/purple to the rim, with a stunning perfume of blueberries, blackberries, chocolate, graphite, and earth, it boasts good acidity, huge tannins, magnificent concentration, and a multilayered, textured mouthfeel. It is a big, but impeccably well-balanced Shiraz that should shed some of its structure and tannin over the next 4-5 years, and be at its best between 2010-2030+.

ROB
0009
1 BOTTLECurrent Bid: $396
TYS
0034
1 BOTTLE Cellar damaged labelCurrent Bid: $357
GBE
0020
1 BOTTLECurrent Bid: $392
GBE
0021
1 BOTTLECurrent Bid: $392
GBE
0022
1 BOTTLECurrent Bid: $450
GBE
0023
1 BOTTLECurrent Bid: $392
GBE
0024
1 BOTTLECurrent Bid: $392
GBE
0025
1 BOTTLECurrent Bid: $392
WHI
0051
1 BOTTLECurrent Bid: $364

PENFOLDS Grange Shiraz 2002
Shiraz South Australia
Estimate Per Bottle: 600-650

Rating: 98 points

Last but not least is Australias most famous wine, the 2002 Shiraz “Grange”. The 2002 version was sourced from 77.5% Barossa Valley and 22.5% from McLaren Vale. Included in the blend is 1.5% Cabernet Sauvignon. It spent 17 months in 100% new American oak. Opaque purple, it gives off an ethereal bouquet of violets, saddle leather, blueberry, blackberry, pencil lead, and chocolate. This is followed by a full-bodied wine with tremendous concentration, multiple layers of flavor, ripe tannins, and great balance. Thick and rich, with a 60-second finish, it will slowly blossom over the next 15-20 years and provide pleasure through 2050. It is a legend in the making!

WHI
0052
1 BOTTLECurrent Bid: $348
WHI
0053
1 BOTTLE Weepy, slight label damageCurrent Bid: $220

PENFOLDS Grange Shiraz 2005
Shiraz South Australia
Estimate Per Bottle: 700-750

Rating: 97 points

Containing just a dollop of 4.1% Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2005 Grange is about 85%+ Barossa fruit with the remaining proportions coming from McLaren vale and Coonawarra. It was aged for 18 months in 100% new American oak hogsheads. The nose begins a bit animal with some smoked game, mincemeat and bacon notes emerging over the freshly crushed, sun-warmed blackberries, black currant cordial, earth, black truffles, anise and allspice. Rich and full with very firm very fine tannins and very crisp acid, it gives a long finish layered with coffee, mincemeat and toast. Drink it 2013 to 2025+.

TUR
0411
1 BOTTLECurrent Bid: $446
DAV
0008
1 BOTTLE Cellar damaged labelCurrent Bid: $328
TF
0001
1 BOTTLECurrent Bid: $416

PENFOLDS Grange Shiraz 2009
Shiraz South Australia
Estimate Per Bottle: 800-900

Rating: 97 points

The 2009 Grange Shiraz is a comprised of 84% Barossa, 8% McLaren, and a little Clare Valley and a little Magill fruit with a small 2% of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend. At this youthful stage, this deep garnet-purple colored wine puts forward a vivid expression of blackberry preserve aromas amid underlying cassis, black cherry, spice box, char-grilled meat and chocolate box notes. Surprisingly medium to full-bodied (it smells much fuller!) with taut flavors that are very closed in the mouth, it has firm, chewy tannins to structure through the long and earthy finish. 406 cases imported to the US. Drink it 2018 to 2035+.

CON
0013
1 BOTTLECurrent Bid: $464
CON
0016
1 BOTTLECurrent Bid: $464
CON
0017
1 BOTTLE Signs of past leakingCurrent Bid: $386
CON
0018
1 BOTTLECurrent Bid: $464

PENFOLDS Grange Shiraz 2010
Shiraz South Australia
Estimate Per Bottle: 900-950

Rating: 99 points

The 2010 Grange is a 4% Cabernet Sauvignon and 96% Shiraz blend made from Barossa Valley, Clare Valley, Adelaide Hills, McLaren Vale and Magill Estate fruit that was aged 17 months in 100% new American oak hogsheads. Very deep purple-black in color, this is classic Grange - amongst the finest produced - replete with fresh, vibrant and youthful black fruit notes showing some blueberry aromas and accents of camphor, anise and the slightest floral hint plus a whiff of oak in the background to lend a cedar-laced lift to this textbook Shiraz nose. Medium to full-bodied in the mouth, it is very taut and finely constructed showing typically firm, grainy, uniform tannins, great concentration and wonderful persistence on the finish. If I have any very slight complaint of this near perfect wine it is that it seems a little too clinical and appears to speak less of the land and the heart of South Australia and more of the very skilled winemaking than did the Grange from the magical 2008 vintage.

SCA
0018
1 BOTTLECurrent Bid: $611
PAU
0099
1 BOTTLECurrent Bid: $572
DIO
0016
1 BOTTLECurrent Bid: $572

PENFOLDS Grange Shiraz 2014
Shiraz South Australia
Estimate Per Bottle: 850-900

Rating: 98 points

Rich, concentrated and intense, the 2014 Grange delivers exactly what we've come to expect from this Penfolds icon wine. It's full-bodied, velvety in feel and loaded with plummy fruit, framed in vanilla and cedar. Dense, powerful and tannic, it should prove to be long lived, even by Grange standards. Gago doesn't rate the vintage overall that highly, but he says the selection this year for Grange was a bit more stringent and that production levels were just average. There are still over 1,000 cases for the United States.

WIL
0030
1 BOTTLECurrent Bid: $510
WIL
0031
1 BOTTLECurrent Bid: $510
WIL
0032
1 BOTTLECurrent Bid: $510
WIL
0033
1 BOTTLECurrent Bid: $510
WIL
0034
1 BOTTLECurrent Bid: $510
WIL
0035
1 BOTTLECurrent Bid: $510

PENFOLDS Grange Hermitage Shiraz 1971
Shiraz South Australia
Estimate Per Bottle: 2500-2600

Rating: 96 points

Medium brick colored, the 1971 Grange opens with touches of aldehyde / bottle-stink to begin over a core of fruit cake, leather, potpourri, game and sandalwood. With an elegant light to medium-body, the palate blossoms into incredible spice box, anise and mincemeat notes - wonderful multi-layered flavors – supported by a good backbone of remaining fine-grained tannins and lively acid. Its a classic Grange in terms of construction, though a little atypical considering its pretty rather than powerful nature.

BEN
0054
1 BOTTLE Penfolds red wine clinic 2012, severe label damageCurrent Bid: $842
SKO
0029
1 BOTTLE Penfolds red wine clinic 2018, cellar damaged labelCurrent Bid: $1960
GMH
0004
1 BOTTLE Penfolds red wine Clinic 2006, cellar damaged labelCurrent Bid: $1253
CH9
0090
1 BOTTLE Penfolds red wine clinic 2014, cellar damaged labelCurrent Bid: $1164

PENFOLDS Grange Hermitage Shiraz 1976
Shiraz South Australia
Estimate Per Bottle: 2000-2200

Rating: 100 points

Production: 9,380 cases Blend: 89% Shiraz/11% Cabernet Sauvignon

CH9
0091
1 BOTTLE Penfolds red wine clinic 2018, label damage & detached from bottleCurrent Bid: $971

PENFOLDS Grange Hermitage Shiraz 1982
Shiraz South Australia
Estimate Per Bottle: 850-900

Rating: 97 points

The 1982 is another superb example of that. One of the jammiest, most precocious Granges when it was released, it has never gone through a closed stage and continues to drink beautifully. A full-bodied, opulent Grange, it reveals an inky/purple color to the rim as well as a beautiful nose of crushed blueberries, blackberries, smoke, toast, roasted herbs, and road tar. This dense, plush, expansive, seamless, seductive 1982 has not changed much since I had it nearly a decade ago.

STE
0001
1 BOTTLE Into neck, slight label damageCurrent Bid: $376
OAK
0296
1 BOTTLECurrent Bid: $460

PENFOLDS Grange Hermitage Shiraz 1986
Shiraz South Australia
Estimate Per Bottle: 2300-2350

Rating: 98+ points

One of my favorite wines from Penfolds, the 1986 (a blend of 87% Shiraz and 13% Cabernet Sauvignon) is one of the most powerful Granges produced (14+% alcohol). At age 23, it reminds me of the way it tasted around 9 years of age. Inky/purple to the rim with an extraordinary perfume of sweet licorice, crushed pepper, blackberry liqueur, camphor, and barbecue spices, this sensationally full-bodied, concentrated, layered 1986 is still an infant in terms of its ultimate potential. It is remarkable how this wine has aged, and its hard to believe how certain wine geeks will subscribe to the aging ability of the Grange, but dont believe the same is true for other old vine Shiraz wines from the Barossa and McLaren Vale. It just doesnt make any sense. The 1986 is one of the greatest Granges for my palate, and it appears to still have 25-30 years of upside.

DEH
0002
1 MAGNUM BOXED Penfolds red wine clinic, signed by winemakerCurrent Bid: $1600

PENFOLDS St Henri Shiraz 2010
Shiraz South Australia
Estimate Per Bottle: 280-300

Rating: 97+ points

Very deep purple-black in color and showing an attractive nose of warm blackcurrants, blueberries and licorice with a complex undercurrent of mocha, cedar, menthol and grilled meat, the full-bodied 2010 St Henri Shiraz is relatively rich in the mouth, offering tons of fruit structured by firm, fine tannins and refreshing acid. It finishes with great persistence. Drink it 2015 to 2030+.

PAU
0025
1 BOTTLECurrent Bid: $152
PAU
0026
1 BOTTLECurrent Bid: $152
PAU
0062
1 BOTTLECurrent Bid: $144
PAU
0063
1 BOTTLECurrent Bid: $144
PAU
0064
1 BOTTLECurrent Bid: $144
PAU
0065
1 BOTTLECurrent Bid: $144
PAU
0066
1 BOTTLECurrent Bid: $144

PENFOLDS St Henri Shiraz 2012
Shiraz South Australia
Estimate Per Bottle: 110-120

Rating: 96+ points

The 2012 Shiraz St Henri is very impressive with its elegant, sophisticated and well-crafted expression of this superb vintage. As always, there is no new oak employed here, simply 50+ year old large oak vats. This vintage has a dollop (3%) Cabernet Sauvignon, contributing a lovely cassis lift to the heady perfume. Deep garnet-purple colored, it displays a gorgeous nose of commendable purity and intensity with notes of red and blackcurrants, freshly crushed blackberries, menthol, cinnamon stick, bacon fat and cloves. Rich and already expressive on the palate, it is nonetheless built for the long haul with firm, ripe and grainy tannins carrying the fruit to a long and layered finish. This should be a long-lived St Henri that should cellar gracefully for at least 2 decades.

IRF
0025
1 BOTTLECurrent Bid: $58
IRF
0026
1 BOTTLECurrent Bid: $58
IRF
0027
1 BOTTLECurrent Bid: $58
IRF
0028
1 BOTTLECurrent Bid: $58
IRF
0029
1 BOTTLECurrent Bid: $58
IRF
0030
1 BOTTLECurrent Bid: $58

SONS OF EDEN Autumnus Shiraz 2012
Shiraz Eden Valley
Estimate Per Bottle: 330-350

Rating: 99 points

From a single vineyard at 420 meters above sea level and fermented with 50% whole bunches, the 2012 Autumnus Shiraz approaches perfection. It marries amazingly complex notes of peppered beef and spices with ripe blueberries in a seamless whorl of aromas and flavors, then delivers amazing density and richness of texture without excessive weight or any sense of heaviness. Great structure and length suggest this wine will still be singing in a decade or so. Wow!

PAU
0097
1 BOTTLECurrent Bid: $208

TORBRECK Run Rig Shiraz 2001
Shiraz Barossa Valley
Estimate Per Bottle: 200-220

Rating: 99 points

The youngest Run Rig, the 2001, should equal the 1998 as it is almost a clone aromatically, texturally, and flavor-wise, just much younger. This opaque purple-colored beauty should flirt with perfection over the next 10-15 years.

WHI
0068
1 BOTTLECurrent Bid: $170

TORBRECK Run Rig Shiraz 2002
Shiraz Barossa Valley
Estimate Per Bottle: 240-250

Rating: 99 points

The 2002 Run Rig (97% Shiraz and 3% Viognier aged in 100% new French oak) represents the essence of old vine Barossa fruit. Extraordinarily opulent and rich, but playing it closer to the vest than the 2001, it gets my nod as one of the most remarkable wines made in either the Southern or Northern Hemisphere. An inky/purple color is accompanied by a sumptuous bouquet of apricots, honeysuckle, black raspberries, blackberries, licorice, and a hint of roasted meats. The wood has been soaked up by the wines extraordinary concentration. Fashioned from four sectors of Barossa (Maranaga, Koonunga Hill, Moppa, and Greenock), it spent 30 months in primarily new oak, and was bottled without fining or filtration. Anticipated maturity: 2007-2020+.

WHI
0069
1 BOTTLECurrent Bid: $176

TORBRECK The Factor Shiraz 2010
Shiraz Barossa Valley
Estimate Per Bottle: 140-150

Rating: 97+ points

Deep garnet-purple color and a 100% Shiraz wine aged in predominately older oak, the 2010 The Factor reveals a stunningly beautiful nose of creme de cassis, plum pudding and blackberry coulis with intriguing flourishes of licorice, dark chocolate, cloves and peppered salami. Big and voluptuously fruited in the full-bodied mouth, this is a full-on, complex Shiraz possessing a great foundation of firm, rounded tannins and an energized acid backbone to bring everything to a finish with outstanding length and harmony. Approachable now, it should drink best 2016 to 2028+.

PAU
0117
1 BOTTLECurrent Bid: $100

TORBRECK The Laird Shiraz 2010
Shiraz Barossa Valley
Estimate Per Bottle: 700-750

Rating: 98+ points

Very deep purple-black colored, Torbrecks 2010 The Laird offers an extraordinary perfume of Chinese five spice, sandalwood, rose petals, espresso and licorice over a core of prunes, dried mulberries and blackcurrant preserves plus a touch of cloves. Full-bodied, rich, concentrated and packed with dried black fruits and exotic spice flavors, the generous fruit is structured with velvety tannins and just enough freshness. It finishes with commendable persistence.

PAU
0075
1 BOTTLECurrent Bid: $480

FELSINA BERARDENGA Fontalloro Sangiovese 2015
Sangiovese Toscana
Estimate Per Bottle: 140-150

Rating: 97 points

The 2015 Fontalloro is a landmark achievement. The bouquet strikes out with immediate complexity. It dangles aromas of black cherry, spice, tar, forest floor, wild rose and campfire ash in front of your nose with seductive allure. The unified presentation and delivery of all those aromas is profound and impressive. This edition of Fontalloro is exceptionally smooth and silky in texture and this is surely linked to the ripe, soft and finely textured fruit produced in this vintage. This is a pure expression of Sangiovese that is aged in barrique for up to 22 months. Some 30,000 bottles were produced.

MUL
0042
1 BOTTLE Ex-cellarCurrent Bid: $94
MUL
0046
1 BOTTLE Ex-cellarCurrent Bid: $94

CHATEAU D'YQUEM 1er Cru Superieur 2007
1er Cru Superieur Sauternes
Estimate Per Bottle: 580-600

Rating: 98 points

Tasted single blind against its peers. Under blind conditions, the Yquem 2007 shines like a diamond. Nevertheless, it is initially rather taciturn on the nose, eventually opening up beautifully with touches of lemon curd, Mirabelle, and clear honey. The palate is medium-bodied with very fine definition and there seems to be a great deal of energy and vigor dispensed for your pleasure. There is such race and nervosity, and then that finish just purrs with harmony and focus. This Yquem feels just so alive and vivacious, yet there is an effortless quality here that is unmatched by its peers. Tasted January 2011.

XNE
0015
1 HALF BOTTLE Ex-cellarCurrent Bid: $549

CHATEAU D'YQUEM 1er Cru Superieur 2009
1er Cru Superieur Sauternes
Estimate Per Bottle: 1350-1375

Rating: 100 points

Served from an ex-chateau bottle. The 2009 Chateau d’Yquem is one showstopper of a wine and perhaps it is only in a vertical that you realize this is up there among the legendary wines of the past – the 2001 included. It has a wonderful nose that expresses the Semillon component majestically: heady aromas of lemon curd, nectarine, jasmine and honeysuckle that all gain momentum in the glass. The oak is supremely well-integrated. The palate is extremely well-balanced with an unctuous entry. You are immediately knocked sideways by the palpable weight and volume in the mouth, which is almost “bulbous,” with layer upon layer of heavily botrytized fruit. It builds to a spicy finish with hints of marzipan and pralines in the background that lend it an untrammeled sense of exoticism. The 2009 is utterly fabulous and decadent, a star that will blaze brightly and undimmed for many years. Drink now-2060+. Tasted March 2014.

XNE
0016
1 BOTTLE Ex-cellarCurrent Bid: $1305

DELAS FRERES Les Bessards 2015
Hermitage
Estimate Per Bottle: 600-620

Rating: 99+ points

With approximately 500 cases produced, the 2015 Hermitage les Bessards is probably among the most available of the vintages top wines. Jump on it if your means allow, as I suspect this wine will be a candidate for perfection once it sheds some tannin. Its perfumed on the nose, concentrated on the palate and amazingly long yet also elegant from start to finish. And amid the power, oak and massive cassis and blackberry fruit, it also manages to include hints of crushed stone evocative of its granitic terroir. Its breathtaking stuff, virtually guaranteed to bring a smile to any wine lovers face.

XDW
0437
1 MAGNUM Ex-cellarCurrent Bid: $579

CHATEAU CHEVAL BLANC 1er Grand Cru Classe (A) 2006
1er Grand Cru Classe (A) Saint Emilion
Estimate Per Bottle: 1400-1450

Rating: 97 points

Tasted at Bordeaux Indexs annual 10-Year On tasting in London.The 2006 Château Cheval Blanc is a blend of 55% Merlot and 45% Cabernet Franc. It has the most floral bouquet of the four Serié A Grand Cru Classé: an explosion of crushed violets and potpourri, hints of leather and cigar box, the Cabernet Franc clearly lending this complexity and character. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin. It feels wonderfully structured and comes with an insistent grip that coats the mouth. This is backward and almost surly, but you have to stand back and admire the precision and arching structure on the mineral-rich finish. Top-dog Saint Emilion? Thats for sure. Tasted January 2016.

XNE
0005
1 BOTTLE Ex-cellarCurrent Bid: $1349

CHATEAU HAUT BRION 1er Cru Classe 2006
1er Cru Classe Pessac Leognan
Estimate Per Bottle: 1000-1100

Rating: 96 points

Tasted at Bordeaux Indexs annual 10-Year On tasting in London. The 2006 Château Haut-Brion has a more ostentatious bouquet than the comparatively reserved La Mission: quite feisty blackberry, briary, kirsch and red plum scents, hints of leather and sage tucked just underneath. This is a bouquet determined to make an impression! The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannin, well-judged acidity, a gentle build to a concentrated, earthy, truffle-tinged finish that lingers long in the mouth. This seems to have the upper-hand over the La Mission and probably has a longer future. A thoroughbred from Jean-Philippe Delmas and his team. Tasted January 2016.

XNE
0021
1 BOTTLE Ex-cellarCurrent Bid: $909

CHATEAU LA MISSION HAUT BRION Cru Classe 2009
Cru Classe Graves
Estimate Per Bottle: 1300-1350

Rating: 100 points

The 2009 was not part of this vertical tasting, so I am repeating the tasting note published in issue #199 of The Wine Advocate from a tasting done in January, 2012.

XNE
0026
1 BOTTLE Ex-cellarCurrent Bid: $1289

CHATEAU LA MONDOTTE Grand Cru 2003
Grand Cru Saint Emilion
Estimate Per Bottle: 600-650

Rating: 96 points

A killer wine (Im so sorry I didnt buy any), the 2003 La Mondotte is clearly one of the superstars of the vintage. An intriguing perfume of licorice, Asian soy, black currant jam, ripe cherries and subtle toast emerges from this extravagantly rich, voluptuously textured, opulent, full-bodied St.-Emilion. Just coming in to full maturity, it is pure, rich and full. Drink it over the next decade or more.

XDV
0143
1 BOTTLE Ex-cellarCurrent Bid: $434
XDV
0144
1 BOTTLE Ex-cellarCurrent Bid: $434

CHATEAU LATOUR 1er Cru Classe 2005
1er Cru Classe Pauillac
Estimate Per Bottle: 2200-2300

Rating: 98+ points

2005 was a very dry, warm and sunny vintage, causing vine stress in some areas of Bordeaux. Harvested from September 26 to October 6, the tannin/IPT levels were very high this year. The 2005 Latour is blended of 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, with the rest Merlot and Petit Verdot. It is the biggest surprise of this tasting—until now, the wine was relatively closed and broody, but today the wine is just starting to reveal its personality—and what a stunner! Medium to deep garnet-purple colored, it opens with provocative floral scents of roses and violets over a core of fresh blackcurrants, chocolate-covered cherries and black raspberries with hints of fertile loam, unsmoked cigars and black tea. Medium to full-bodied, firm, grainy and packed with muscular fruit, it has an epically long, savory finish sparked by floral notes. 12,000 cases were made.

JOE
0003
1 BOTTLE Cellar damaged labelCurrent Bid: $1013
JOE
0002
1 BOTTLE Cellar damaged labelCurrent Bid: $1013
JOE
0001
1 BOTTLE Cellar damaged labelCurrent Bid: $1013
GAR
0001
1 BOTTLECurrent Bid: $1252
GAR
0002
1 BOTTLECurrent Bid: $1252
GAR
0003
1 BOTTLECurrent Bid: $1252

CHATEAU LEOVILLE LAS CASES 2me Cru Classe 2006
2me Cru Classe Saint Julien
Estimate Per Bottle: 600-650

Rating: 96 points

Tasted at Bordeaux Indexs annual 10-Year On tasting in London and then blind at Farr Vintners horizontal, the 2006 Château Léoville Las-Cases has a very complex bouquet with heady scents of blackcurrant, kirsch, crushed violets, rock salt and just a hint of cassis. It is backward and can barely contain its energy. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, very symmetrical and poised, a fine line of acidity interwoven through the black fruit, touches of citrus fruit developing towards the poised and tensile finish. This is a beautiful wine from Jean-Hubert Delon, but it needs several years in bottle. Tasted April 2016.

XDW
1017
1 BOTTLE Ex-cellarCurrent Bid: $564