Saluti! An introduction to collecting wines and spirits with Aste Bolaffi

Ahead of Aste Bolaffi’s forthcoming Wines and Spirits Auction on 21 November in Turin, we posed five questions about entering the world of collecting wine and spirits to the Italian auction house’s resident expert Luisa Bianconi…

What are the most important things for beginners to mind when starting out collecting wine? 

The most important thing for beginners to look out for are high-quality and rare bottles. Another important element is to know and understand the provenance and the conditions in which a bottle has been stored. 

Could you tell us about the star lots at your forthcoming wine and spirits auction?

The star lot in the Wines and Spirits Auction is a vertical of eight bottles of Montrachet Domaine de la Romanée-Conti from 2001 to 2015, which has a starting price of 50,000 euros. Other important lots include a selection of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti from 2009 starting at 40,000 euros and a vertical of five bottles of Chambertin Clos de Bèze Domaine Armand Rousseau from 2010 to 2016, starting at 9,000 euros. 

What are the general trends in the collectable wine market at the moment? 

The market is very interested in Burgundy wine from the likes of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, Domaine Rousseau, Domaine Roumier and Domaine Leroy, but also in wine from lesser-known regions such as Loire and Rhone. Special attention is also paid to Italian wine, in particular bottles from Tuscany and Piedmont. The most sought-after wines are now from Giacomo Conterno, the older vintages of Bruno Giacosa, Giuseppe Rinaldi and Bartolo Mascarello, the mythical Sassicaia and the star Masseto, among many others. 

What is your personal dream bottle of wine? 

I love very traditional wines, which represent the territory and personality of the winemaker. I prefer elegant wine to the stronger and highly concentrated varieties. Pinot Noir from Burgundy, traditional Chianti Classico from Tuscany and Barbaresco from Piedmont are my favourites. 

 

There are also some special bottles of whiskey included in the sale – how does collecting whiskey differ to collecting wine?

We’re proud to offer our customers a very important selection of spirits. The most sought after is now whiskey, especially The Macallan, but we also have many other important bottles such as a rare Bowmore Bouquet 1966 Samaroli starting at 28,000 euros and a bottle of Laphroaig 1967 Samaroli at the same price. Among the cognac we propose a prestigious Louis XIII Black Pearl in a Baccarat Crystal bottle in addition to the special Rhum Saint James Vintage 1885. Collecting wines and collecting whiskeys is entirely different, from the market to the people, but the logic is the same – everyone is looking for the rarities and unique bottles. 

Photos: Aste Bolaffi © 2019

Interested in buying a rare bottle or two for the cellar? You can find the entire catalogue for Aste Bolaffi’s forthcoming Wines and Spirits Auction, taking place on 21 November in Turin, listed in the Classic Driver Market.