RELEASE: Finest and Rarest Wines: From the Private Cellar of Henri Jayer

Hong Kong

Christie’s Hong Kong presents the first Auction 2012 

Finest and Rarest Wines:

From the Private Cellar of Henri Jayer

Date: Friday, 10 February 2012   

Time: 7.30pm

Venue: Christie’s Hong Kong Office, 22/F Alexandra House, 18 Chater Road, Central

Hong Kong – This Spring, Christie’s will kick off the season by presenting Finest and Rarest Wines: From the Private Cellar of Henri Jayer on Friday, 10 February at the viewing gallery at the Christie’s Hong Kong office. This evening sale offers 102 lots, a tremendous range of vintages directly from the private cellar of the legendary master of Burgundy, Henri Jayer. The sale is expected to fetch in excess of HK$20 million / US$2.5 million.

LEGENDARY MASTER OF BURGUNDY

Henri Jayer is among the most important figures in the world of wine over the last century.  Born in 1922, he grew up, along with his brothers Lucien and Georges working on the family domaine.  He began to build his lasting fame in 1951 with his purchase of first parcel in Vosne-Romanée « Cros Parantoux », and cemented it in 1978 as he began to bottle his own wine entirely on his own. He was seen as a winemaker of great sensitivity and the consummate connoisseur of the terroirs of Burgundy.

All the bottles offered in this sale have come exclusively from the private cellar of Henri Jayer in Burgundy. Each bottle has its original cork but has been newly capsuled and labelled in preparation for this unique sale and then packed into new Domaine wooden cases.  All wines in bottle (750 ml) will be packed in 6 bottle wooden cases, and all magnums (1.5 Litre) will be packed in individual wooden cases.

Charles Curtis MW, Head of Wine for Asia at Christie's commented, “Henri Jayer is among the most mythical names in Burgundy, and his wines are among the most sought-after (and expensive) in the world. Christie's is thrilled to bring to market in February the wines from his personal cellar. This is a sale of historic dimension featuring wines of perfect provenance and condition, a unique opportunity to purchase wines of extraordinary rarity that will never be repeated again.

Select highlights:

 Richebourg

The Richebourg produced by Henri Jayer en métayage from Méo-Camuzet family until 2000; mid-slope, thin soils.  The majority of the vineyard is part known as Les Verouilles. This portion of Richebourg is oriented a bit towards the north, while the climat known as Les Richebourgs is slightly better exposed, with the vineyards exposed towards more directly towards the east and thus ripens a bit sooner.  In an effort to counter this, the Méo-Camuzet vines are planted with a north-south orientation.

Lot 98

Richebourg Grand Cru—Vintage 1978

3 Bottles

Estimate: HK$400,000 - 500,000

Little sun in the summer, but a perfect autumn “An exceptional vintage,” Henri Jayer recognized it as “one of the most beautiful vintages I vinified.  Undoubtedly, one of the best in the century.

 

 Échézeaux

The Échézeaux of Henri Jayer was the pride of the domaine owned parcels. He noted that the wines of this vineyard are not consistent throughout the appellation, which is divided into 11 heterogeneous parcels. Jayer believed fervently that « Les Cruots ou Vignes Blanches » (where his old vine Echézeaux was located) was the best terroir of the appellation. Here thin clay soils provide a meager anchor for the vine, while the parcels upslope from here have sandier soils that do not give the same structure to the wines. The exposition is due east and there are many pebbles and a good mix of marl and limestone. Through 1993 the Echézeaux produced by Henri Jayer is from fruit exclusively from Les Cruots, while other members of the Jayer family also have vines in the climat known as Les Treux.

Lot 83

Échézeaux Grand Cru—Vintage 1979

12 Bottles

Estimate: HK$260,000 - 320,000

Pronounced sous bois, spice and plenty of earth, underbrush and a hint of leather aromas combine with lighter but superbly elegant, very finely textured flavors that are beginning to show the initial signs of tiring but there is fine finishing intensity and length. This isn't a powerful wine but it's elegant one as Echézeaux goes and it is impeccably well balanced. Tasted: 1 Jan 2004 Allen Meadows

 

Cros Parantoux

Cros Parantoux is the most emblematic vineyards of Henri Jayer’s production.  It was in 1951 that M. Jayer bought his first parcel in this vineyard.  Cros Parantoux had fallen into disuse after phylloxera, and had actually been used to plant Jerusalem artichokes.  M. Jayer began to clear it while tending the family domaine, and successfully lobbied the INAO to promote it to premier cru status in 1953.  Jayer continued to expand his holdings in this location through the years, purchasing the last portion from the sister of Robert Arnoux in 1970. Cros Parantoux today enjoys a mythic status, and it is considered the Jayer trademark par excellence.  The vineyard is today regarded as one of the greatest of all of the premier cru vineyards in Burgundy, and many would posit it as a candidate for promotion to Grand Cru.

Lot 62

Vosne-Romanée Premier Cru « Cros Parantoux »—Vintage 1985

12 Bottles

Estimate: HK$800,000 - 1,000,000

Tasted from a Burgundian cellar. Still quite vibrant on the nose with absolutely knock-out aromatic complexity of earth, leather and lot of Vosne spice plus still very fresh, round, rich, full flavors that are like silk on the palate. This is not as vibrant as it once was but it is still a lovely wine with excellent length. The structure in all bottles is now fully resolved and there is no reason to wait any longer though neither is there any rush to drink up. Tasted: 22 Oct 2005 Allen Meadows

 

 

Vosne-Romanée

Vosne-Romanée, sometimes referred to as ‘the Pearl of the Côte’ is home to more grands crus than any other village in Burgundy

Village-level Vosne-Romanée was produced by Henri Jayer from a blend of fruit from three parcels: « Les Saules », which was located near his house in the village, « Les Barraux », a fairly high-altitude vineyard located above Cros Parantoux, and « Les Vigneux », located next to Suchots.  This blend of higher-and lower-altitude climats allowed Jayer to produce a village wine of balance and harmony.

Lot 21

Vosne-Romanée—Vintage 1990

12 Bottles

Estimate: HK$180,000 - 220,000

In the words of Henri Jayer: “First Class.  The cool and unsettled June weather made flowering very long…a guarantee of small, quality grapes with low yields”. He goes on to note that “In spite of such high sugar content, the acidity was remarkable.  The harvest was ‘cooler’ than in 1989 so it was easier to vinify.

 

Vosne-Romanée Premier Cru « Beaumonts »

Beaumonts (Les Beaux Monts or simply Beaux Monts) is a fairly extensive appellation of 11.39 hectares, where the Jayer family holds 0.23 hectares of this.  The appellation is at the northern edge of Vosne-Romanée, and in fact straddles Vosne and Flagey.  The soil is very thin marl over limestone, and there are a variety of expositions, with the portion near Les Brulées being oriented most directly due east. 

Lot 34

Vosne-Romanée Premier Cru

« Beaumonts »—Vintage 1970

6 Bottles

Estimate: HK$100,000 - 130,000

A very large crop of good wines.  Not a poor year, but certainly few concentrated wines were produced, and only exceptional growers such as Henri Jayer produced vin de garde.

 

Vosne-Romanée Premier Cru «Les Brûlées »

A parcel en metayage from Méo-Camuzet, Les Brulées (or Aux Brûlées) is located just below Cros Parantoux and Richebourg with the same due east exposure.  The soil is very thin with the inclusion of many pebbles, leading to powerful, structured wines.  In addition, the vines in this parcel are quite old – the majority of them were planted in the 1930s. 

Lot 35

Vosne-Romanée Premier Cru

« Les Brûlées »—Vintage 1982

12 Bottles

Estimate: HK$240,000 - 280,000

Remarkably fresh and while the wonderfully complex and sexy nose is now fully mature, there is nary a hint of sous bois or other post-secondary aromas in sight. Initially, the flavors are quite rich and full though after an hour of air, the lighter side of the '82 vintage begins to reveal itself. Still, this is an exceptionally good wine on an absolute basis and an incredible wine for the vintage. In a word, terrific and drinking perfectly now though it should hold for another 10 years. Tasted: 10 May 2004 Allen Meadows

 

 

Nuits-St.-Georges

Nuits-St.-Georges is the commercial centre of the Côte de Nuits, the epicenter of the finest wines created from the Pinot Noir grape. This region has been famous for over 1,000 years for the quality of the wine it produces.

The name « Meurgers » refers to stone walls made from piling rocks from the vineyards along their borders. This plot of Nuits-St.-Georges premier cru lies between Vosne and the village of Nuits.  It is well-exposed and the old vines are planted in thin soils.  

Lot 4

Nuits-St.-Georges — Vintage 1990

12 Bottles

Estimate: HK$130,000 - 180,000

In the words of Henri Jayer: “First Class. The cool and unsettled June weather made flowering very long…a guarantee of small, quality grapes with low yields”.  He goes on to note that “In spite of such high sugar content, the acidity was remarkable.  The harvest was ‘cooler’ than in 1989 so it was easier to vinify.”

 

Lot 8

Nuits-St.-Georges Premier Cru

« Meurgers » — Vintage 1985

12 Bottles

Estimate: HK$220,000 - 280,000

Big, expressive and quite forward aromas of earth and underbrush plus lovely dark, fully mature pinot fruit leads to muscular, robust and rich flavors of impressive complexity and a finish that is beautifully long and still noticeably tannic. However, there is a velvety quality that is already developing and it largely if not completely buffers the structure. Approachable now but holding well and it should drink for another decade with no problem. Tasted multiple times, consistent notes. Tasted: 1 Jan 2004 Allen Meadows

 

In association with the sale, Christie’s Hong Kong will be holding an exclusive wine tasting dinner featuring rare wines from the private cellar of Henri Jayer on Friday, 9 February at the Lung King Heen of the Four Seasons Hong Kong. Please click here for more information on this.

Visit Christie’s Website at www.christies.com 

IMAGES can be downloaded here:

http://cshk.myftp.org/2012%20Spring%20Christie's%20Hong%20Kong%20Auctions/Feb2012WineSale/IMAGE/

 

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