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Online Wine Auction Highlights: From the Southern Rhone to Napa Valley

Hot on the heels of the successful live auction last week, the online portion of our Fine Wines auction continues through Sunday, May 13, 2012 at 8:00 p.m. EDT. This is the first time Skinner has run a timed online auction, and so far the response has been excellent.

I thought I’d spend a few minutes this Wine Wednesday picking out a few lots I’m particularly excited about in the online wine auction. There are almost 600 lots to choose from, and if you have a favorite that’s not listed here, let us know in the comments.

La Pousse d’Or Volnay 1er Cru Clos de la Bousse d’Or 1985

Online Wine Auction | Burgundy Wine

Lot 574: La Pousse d’Or Volnay 1er Cru Clos de la Bousse d’Or 1985

Lot 574 – View Online Auction Listing

My favorite lot in the entire sale, live or online, is this one, 6 bottles of 1985 Clos de la Bousse d’Or. The consignor was kind enough to provide us with a bottle of this wine to demonstrate the quality of his storage. Simply put, the bottle was right in the sweet spot for Burgundy; smoke and earth, nuanced fruit, fully mature yet the acidity suggests some years ahead. And that was from a bottle with a four centimeter ullage, so imagine what is in store for the winner of this lot.

Estimate: $450-750

Clos Saint Jean Chateauneuf du Pape Deus Ex Machina 2005

Lot 706 – View Online Auction Listing

This 100-pointer is a combination of old and new styles in the Southern Rhone: a blend of 60% Grenache aged in the traditional 4500-liter foudre barrels and 40% Mouvedre aged in the more modern style barriques. This is one of two new cuvees produced since winemaker Philippe Gambie took the reins in 2003. Yields for this cuvee are a jaw-droppingly low 20 hectoliters/hectare. This is a wine with staying power to last the better part of a century, but so deftly crafted that it can be enjoyed immediately.

Estimate: $900-1,300

Chateau Pavie 2004

Lot 523 – View Online Auction Listing

My favorite right-bank Chateau in a difficult year for the region, the 2004 is everything you’d expect from modern-style Bordeaux: densely concentrated, approachable in its youth and full of potential for decades worth of development in bottle. You have the sense that by 2004 proprietor Gerard Perse had hit his stride with the estate that he took over in 1998. It seems that the mysteries of the varied soils on the vineyard’s south-facing slopes have been tamed at the hands of their master and no matter what challenges the vintage may provide, you can be confident that an outstanding wine will beproduced.

Estimate: $200-300

Lail Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon J. Daniel Cuvee

Lots 922-930 – View Online Auction Listing

Representing every vintage from the debut 1995 through 2004, these lots offer a vertical of a standout Napa Valley wine that was sold almost exclusively to members of its mailing list. Raised by the eponymous winemaking legend John Daniel, who crafted the historic Inglenooks of the 1940s, Robin Lail was a partner with Christian Moueix at Dominus before starting her own operation with winemaker Philippe Melka. The J. Daniel Cuvee is the premier wine produced by the estate, a Bordeaux style blend of Cabernet and Merlot from properties in Yountville, Vine Hill Road and Howell Mountain until 2001, when it became a 100% Cabernet Sauvignon cuvee.

Estimates range from $150 to $350

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