Vintage Jewels

Auc­tion ac­tion, a marvel for Ma­cau, early Napa sparkle and a sum­mer rosé make James Suck­ling’s news round-up

Hong Kong Tatler - - Wine -

early to Rise

Cal­i­for­nia’s Napa Val­ley has made one of its ear­li­est starts to the an­nual harvest, with sparkling wine pro­ducer Mumm pick­ing about 12 tonnes of grapes on July 22. Pro­duc­ers of sparkling wine nearly al­ways harvest ear­lier than those mak­ing ta­ble wine to pre­serve fresh­ness and acid­ity in the grapes, and to pro­duce wines with a lower al­co­hol base. Napa in gen­eral ex­pects 2015 to be a very early harvest.

Dream Drop

In mid-july, Ma­cau’s City of Dreams bought the last of a lim­ited edi­tion of Pen­folds Am­poules, large nee­dle-like con­tain­ers made from glass and ti­ta­nium that each hold about a bot­tle of wine. In­side is the 2004 Pen­folds Block 42 Caber­net Sauvi­gnon, a red made from what is said to be the old­est con­tin­u­ously pro­duc­ing caber­net vines in the world, which are lo­cated in the Ade­laide Hills of South Aus­tralia. I have tasted it once in my life—100 points. The sug­gested re­tail price of an Am­poule was US$123,000 at the launch in 2012; only 12 Am­poules were ever pro­duced.

Best of the Rest

Zachys, the in­ter­na­tional auc­tion house and wine mer­chant, is hold­ing its fi­nal sale of the col­lec­tion of Lon­don bar­ris­ter Graham Lyons on Septem­ber 11 at the Man­darin Ori­en­tal, Hong Kong. He is said to have had one of the UK’S best pri­vate wine col­lec­tions ever and this is the third Zachys auc­tion of his wines—the first took place in 2008 and the sec­ond in 2010. The 300 lots to go un­der the ham­mer in­clude such rar­i­ties as 1926 Château Mou­ton Roth­schild in jer­oboam, six mag­nums of 1976 Do­main de la Ro­manée-conti La Tâche, and 12 bot­tles of 1926 Château Che­val Blanc.

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