Bagatelle wines on sale in Norway

Fine wines from the cellar of the now closed Michelin-starred restaurant Bagatelle are being auctioned online by Norway’s Vinmonopolet.

Samlet

Beginning today (26 February) and running until 10 March, the online sale is the largest yet held by the state-run wine monopoly since it began its auction business in 2011.

The sale includes 5,809 bottles exclusively from the cellar of the Oslo restaurant, divided over 1,202 lots which are expected to realise NOK4.5 million (US$521,000).

France dominates the sale with 733 lots from various regions. Bordeaux is evidently much to the fore but the sale includes some standout white Bordeaux such as white Haut Brion from 1995 and 2004 and Margaux’s Pavillon Blanc 2007.

Cases of Yquem from the 1996, 1998 and 2003 vintages will be on sale, along side bottles and half bottles of the 1962.

Red Bordeaux vintages span 1961 to 2009 and are particularly concentrated on the wines from the ‘80s and ‘90s, with Cos d’Estournel, Troplong Mondot, Pape Clement and Palmer being noticeable names.

Burgundy is likewise well represented with 256 lots and from producers such as Liger-Belair, Domaine de la Romanée-Conti (a bottle of 1971 Richebourg is expected to attract “a lot” of interest), Roumier, Rousseau, Angerville and Montille.

Champagne is represented by bottles and magnums from various houses including Salon, Krug and Louis Roederer. Dom Pérignon Oenotheque 1973, 1996 and 1990 Rosé are also available.

Italy is the next biggest country represented, especially by Super Tuscans such as Sassicaia and Masseto from vintages such as 1989, 1990 and 1995.

From Piedmont there are bottles and magnums on sale, with wines from Bruno Giacosa like riservas from 1999, 2000 and 2001 expected to attract the most bids.

Elsewhere, there is the inaugural 1995 vintage of Pingus on offer and some bottles of the 1996 and more recent vintages of Vega Sicilia.

German wines from all Prädikats are present with Egon Müller’s Eisweins tipped to be among the more sought after lots.

Bagatelle, which opened in 1931, was Norway’s first Michelin-starred restaurant. It gained its first two stars under Eyvind Hellstrøm in 1986 and 1992. The restaurant was bought by businessman Christian Sveeas in the early 1990s and was the training ground for some of Norway’s best chefs and sommeliers until it closed last year.

Vinmonpolet is the state monopoly and in 2011 was granted permission to hold auctions, which are conducted by Blomqvist in Oslo. Vinmonpolet holds five to six fine wine sales a year worth around US$1.6m – an amount that is growing annually according to the monopoly.

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