A single-owner wine sale at Aulden Cellars-Sotheby’s in New York on February 25 will feature more than 4,400 bottles of the most prized wines the world over.
By Benjamin Minkus
“This sale has come about through need to make room for the arrival of new vintages, which will quickly replace the 5,000 bottles that are leaving the cellar. Only a small part of the cellar is being offered for sale.”
Wine aficionados, take heed.
Sotheby’s, a name long synonymous with high style and higher quality, will feature its first wine sale of the year in New York City on February 25, an event that will be as much a celebration as it is an auction. With more than 4,400 bottles-all from a single owner-up for grabs, there is no doubt that the Who’s Who of the wine world will be on hand to snatch up some of the rarest bottles around.
“The New Year begins with a mouth-watering single-owner sale of pure delight,” said Serena Sutcliffe, MW, head of Sotheby’s international wine department. “This is a collection that is a credit to the selectivity and taste of the owner, brimming over with classics from France, Italy, and California, plus riveting extras from Australia and Spain. The Rhône wines are electrifying, the Italians are awesome, and the Californians are, quite simply, staggering.”
The collection will feature more than 1,600 bottles from Bordeaux, 1,500 bottles from California, 700 bottles from the Rhône Valley, 600 bottles from Italy, and 300 bottles from Australia. The event, which is expected to bring in between $1.1 million and $1.5 million, also includes a number of large-format bottles: 155 magnums, 29 double magnums, nine jeroboams, and nine imperials.
Though the wine collector who is putting his collection up for grabs remains anonymous, respect for him does not. According to Robert Sleigh, the vice president and head of the wine department in New York, “Having known this collector for most of my 10 years at Sotheby’s, it has been a great pleasure working with him to bring this superb selection of wines to auction. His passion for wine and his generosity in sharing it is only matched by the meticulous way in which he has sourced and cellared the collection in his beautiful subterranean cellar. This sale has come about through need to make room for the arrival of new vintages, which will quickly replace the 5,000 bottles that are leaving the cellar. Only a small part of the cellar is being offered for sale.”
To put it another way, this collector isn’t exactly giving up his entire stash, but rather, just a sampling of the fine wines he knows would be better off in the hands of another collector. And what better way to do that than through Sotheby’s? The international auction house will provide an elegant dinner to registered bidders-and encourages those planning on being in attendance to bring and break open their own prized bottles during the event.
As for the wines expected to gather the most attention, there will be plenty-and then some. Among the most expensive offerings, a full case of 1982 Lafleur (Bordeaux) is estimated at between $25,000 and $35,000; full cases of 1982 and 1986 Mouton Rothschild (Bordeaux) are expected to fetch between $12,000 and $20,000; a double magnum of 1989 Petrus (Bordeaux) could land between $11,000 and $20,000; and a case of 1985 Sassicaia (Italy) is estimated to be worth between $15,000 and $25,000. These represent just a small sampling of the wines that will be made available to the bidding public, along with seven California vintages offered from each of the following: Harlan Estate, Colgin Herb Lamb, and Araujo Eisele Cabernet Sauvignon.
This stunning collection of fine wines has taken years to collect, and yet, on February 25, its most prized selections could be yours within just a matter of minutes-that is, if you can make it to this, the most exclusive wine auction of the young new year.
It promises to be good till the last drop.