Allegrini 2018

Wine collecting, a growing phenomenon: it is bought usually as an investment, but also for pleasure

From 2 to 12 May the online auction of the International Art Sale in Milan, which makes its debut in the sector, with prestigious lots, from Gaja to Biondi Santi

Educated, inquisitive, wealthy, and well-versed in the world of wine and those (limited) Italian and international labels that represent an investment asset and revalue over time (prestigious brands recognized worldwide): they are the collectors of wine, who participate in online auctions - which have grown exponentially with the pandemic - but do not disdain traditional auctions. A small army of enthusiasts who go in search of a particular bottle, a valuable format, a perfect vintage. Some as a form of investment, some for the simple pleasure of the collector. For all of them, a new auction house is entering the market: the International Art Sale in Milan, which has long been known for its auctions of jewels, silverware, and paintings, and which is now entering the good drink market, offering a rich online auction with important vintages and labels decorated by great artists from May 2 to 12.
A novelty in the variegated world of auctioned wine is the information of an oenological nature concerning the precise denominations of the wines themselves: whether Doc, Aoc (for the French), or Docg, as well as an evaluation, when possible and based on objective data dating to qualified sources, of any extraordinary value of the vintage: excellent, great, or exceptional. There are 200 lots available for bidding, including Barolo and Barbaresco, Brunello di Montalcino and Chianti Classico, Amarone della Valpolicella and Picolit, Sassicaia, and Tignanello (including a 2012 magnum). Biondi-Santi (including a lot of 6 bottles of Brunello di Montalcino 1979), Fattoria dei Barbi, Antinori, and Castello Banfi are among the Tuscans. Among the Piedmontese Borgogno and Gaja (including 3 bottles of Sorì Tildin 1970), Conterno (a bottle of Barolo 1996), and Fontanafredda.
But there is no shortage of illustrious French: Châteauneuf-du-Pape and great Bordeaux wines such as Château Mouton Rothschild (with labels decorated by such artists as Balthus, Joan Mirò, or Henry Moore). Champagne of noble Maisons and Sauternes, such as the legendary Château d’Yquem, as well as the Portuguese “fortified” wines, Porto and Madeira.
We’re talking about top bottles with a relatively large auction base, but there’s no shortage of more affordable wines, from Chianti to Sforzato Valtellinese, from Vin Santo to Dolcetto, passing through the Five Roses, the historically most famous rosé wine in Italy, the first to be bottled in Italy (the year was 1943), which owes its name to an enthusiastic American army general who bought it in crates. Then, special magnums and a selection of classic sparkling wines and Champagne, including Ferrari Riserva Cent’Anni and Dom Pérignon Cuvée. As well as precious gift boxes, one for each Marnier selection, including the well-known orange liqueurs and lesser-known but equally interesting Cognacs. Some great distillates for a final meditation: malt whisky, grappa, and grape or plum brandies.

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