Back to all articles
  • Jancis Robinson
Written by
  • Jancis Robinson
25 Jun 2012

26 Jun - Meanwhile Christie's is to hold its first online-only wine auction, as reported here by Winesearcher.com. 

UK-based Bid for Wine are to hold their first live auction. It will take place in the City of London this coming Wednesday evening after a pre-sale tasting.

They announce with pride, 'the sale [is] being held as a sit-down evening sale featuring vintage champagne and canapés for bidders (traditionally London-based wine auctions are "dry", daytime events)'. Since the precedent for a more glitzy American/Hong Kong style of wine auction in London was set by the ill-fated Spectrum/Vanquish sale last February, I'm not sure I would have touted this aspect of the sale so loudly.

They are on surer ground with the other special feature claimed for Wednesday's auction. Bid for Wine promise that their sale, in stark contrast to the Spectrum/Vanquish one, 'will feature an unprecedented level of disclosure about consignors'.

Bid for Wine's managing director Lionel Nierop provides these clues: 'Provenance is key in this sale. Much of the stock has comes from the cellars of one of the UK's biggest merchants and has been in storage with them since it arrived in the country. For other lots - for example the Jayer 1982s - we've got a paper trail back to the domaine and I'm confident it's not possible to find bottles with better provenance. As many of these wines command big price tags, it's only right that bidders know they've been properly inspected and that it's clear where they've come from.'

The star lots in the sale are single bottles of 1982 Richebourg (estimateJayer_VRB £3,600-£4,300) and 1982 Vosne Romanée, Les Brûlées Premier Cru (est £1,800-£2,100) from the legendary Henri Jayer. These come from 'the cellar of a Cotswolds-based MW who imported them ex-domaine in the early 1980s' (your starter for 10). Other notable burgundy lots include multiple vintages of Chambertin, Chambertin-Clos de Bèze and Clos de la Roche from Rousseau, Grand Cru Chablis from Raveneau and multiple vintages of Les Cras, Les Amoureuses and Bonnes Mares from Georges Roumier.

The Bordeaux on offer ranges from 2005 first growths in magnum and original wooden cases of Latour 1990 through to mature crus bourgeois. These is also Jaboulet's Hermitage La Chapelle from 1972 (see this recent tasting note on the 1972 and this 2005 vertical) through to 2005 (many vintages in magnum), classic Rioja from Contino (see this 2005 vertical) and mature Ridge Montebello California Cabernet (see this 2010 vertical).

Lower down the anticipated price scale is a number of lots of mature Australian Cabernet and Shiraz as well as reds from the southern Rhône and village burgundies.

The sale will be held at Bacchanalia TWS, Broken Wharf House, London EC4V 3DT (described by Nierop as 'sat on the northern end of the Millennium Bridge - at most 10 minutes' journey from the majority of London's main stations'.) A pre-sale tasting will be held from 6.15 pm and bidding will start at 7 pm.

Those unable to attend in person can place pre-sale commission bids or participate in the sale as it's happening online via the purpose-built site here.

See the full sale catalogue here.

Bid for Wine hope to hold a second live auction in September.