In the Cellar - with Laurent Rospars

IN THE CELLAR with Laurent Rospars

Head Sommelier, Melbourne Pub Group & Circa

Some of the worlds best Burgundy Wines are right here in Australia and Laurent is excited to offer just some of the collection up for sale!

When you think of wine you often gravitate towards French Wines as the most premium and exclusive on the market. There are many great French wines/wineries, but I guess none more impressive than Domaine de la Romance-Conti.   During the first half of 2018, Wine collections up for auction fetched unprecedented prices and broke records in the USA and Asia. The focus for Bordeaux has been overshadowed by the demand for Burgundy.

With the auction market booming, we are seeing more collectors put their hidden gems up for sale.  The results have been mind-blowing!

Just one example of these collections is the Circa Restaurant wine list in Melbourne, curated by celebrity Chef / Sommelier Laurent Rospars.  I sat down recently with Laurent to find out more about what drives such demand for these wine icons.

I asked Laurent about his most memorable wine experience:

Laurent has had many opportunities to drink some of the worlds best wines and is well versed in drinking wines from all around the world.  Given he has worked in many different countries and has deep roots in the Loire Valley where he grew up he didn’t hesitate to tell me the best wine experience he ever had.  It was no surprise that it involved more than 24 different vintages of Romanee Conti Burgundies.   Laurent reiterated that it would be almost impossible to have this experience with today's prices and expected that the tasting and the dinner would cost in excess of $1million in today's terms.

The dinner was organised by the then importer distributor for Romanee Conti, "DeBurg Wine Merchants” nearly 30 years ago.  12 people were invited to attend the restaurant Quarter Sessions and amongst them was the famous Australian Wine writer, James Halliday.  Laurent said that being able to test all these vintages and do it in the company of such esteemed wine enthusiasts was what made the evening a complete package that could not really be topped.  The wines were everything and more and backed up their reputation.

In today's terms, Domaine de la Romance-Conti is a wine that has appreciated significantly as the world increases its thirst for the most important brands in nearly all consumer categories.  Asia has clearly played a big role in luxury brands and given the restricted supply of this amazing grand Cru wine, prices have skyrocketed with access extremely restricted.  Average prices have risen from $13,000 a bottle to $27,000 a bottle in the last 4 years alone*.  With only 4.4 acres under vine for this unique Burgundy its no wonder that serious wine collectors will do whatever it takes to have these wines in their cellars to ensure their collection is taken seriously.




  • Grape variety: Pinot noir
  • Vineyard holding: 1.8 hectares (4.4 acres) (monopole)
  • Average age of vines: 53 years
  • Average production: 450 cases
  • Average price per 750ml bottle: $27,509

Bio : Laurent Rospars - Head Sommelier, Melbourne Pub Group & Circa

Laurent has been involved in the food and wine industry in a number of different roles for 35+years   Outline below are some of the impressive establishments he has been involved with. CIRCA [wine list of the year Hall of fame] New Market Hotel Albert Park Hotel Middle Park Hotel Cantina POW'S Kitchen Epicurean Group ( Hong Kong ) Benchmark Wine Bar ( Canberra ) Rospars Restaurant Cafe Terrace ( St.Kilda ) La Brasserie ( South Yarra ) Trezini and Zibeline ( Sydney & Melbourne ) Quarter Sessions ( Melbourne ) Rogalsky's restaurant Max's Restaurant Hyatt on Collins

Just like Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, Laurent has led a very interesting life.  Listed below is a summary outlining Laurent “the man”

  • Born and breed in the Loire Valley, France
  • Great Grandfather owned vineyards with a focus on Chenin blanc
  • His dad was a professor in literature and his great-grandfather also a teacher.
  • His Grandmother was a chef
  • His Grandfather was the biggest influence in his life and was a war hero who fought in the resistance. Laurent learnt to drive at age 10 which was often as the designated driver for his grandfather who enjoyed a tipple at the local wine bar.
  • The best wine Laurent has ever tasted was the 1947 Vouvray Moelleux.  " It was basically liquid gold "
  • The best Australia wines in no particular order are :     * Giaconda Chardonnay 2012     * Bass Phillip Pinot Noir from the 1980’s’     * Andrew Pirie Sparkling Apogee
  • The majority of Laurents cellar is made up from wines inclusive of Loire Valley, Rhone Valley, Champagne, old vine Grenache and some Romanee Conti.

The Person Bio - Cellarpedia

  1. Date of Birth 28, 8 1961
  2. Family: 1 sister one-year younger
  3. Early life and education - chef apprenticeship, a trade school in Paris
  4. Professional Career - 1976 started - as a chef and worked across most continents in various roles on the floor and behind the bar.
  5. Personal life - married, 2 kids Resides in Melbourne Australia

Sport and Hobbies

  1. AFL team- St.Kilda.

  2. Rugby - Rebels, Storm follows closely

  3. other hobbies and sports you enjoy - loves rugby, hunting and fishing, fly fishing, cars, vintage cars, Porsche 356 ( 1957 ) & motorbikes

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