The Epicurean’s Atlas: Sotheby’s Epic Wine Auction

In a monumental event this autumn, Sotheby’s recently announced that they will host a series of five extraordinary auctions across the globe, showcasing an unparalleled wine collection that is poised to redefine the market.

Valued at a staggering estimated total of up to US$50 million, this legendary assortment of wines represents the largest and most valuable offering ever presented to connoisseurs and enthusiasts alike.

A Culmination of Dedication and Discriminating Taste

Over the span of four decades, this exceptional compilation has been meticulously curated by the discerning Pierre Chen. Known for his passion for both fine wine and art, Chen’s reputation as an epicurean and aesthete is well-deserved.

The Epicurean's Atlas: Sotheby's Epic Wine Auction

The wines in this collection have been carefully selected, each bottle bearing the mark of quality, rarity, and impeccable provenance. They are sourced from the most renowned vineyards, many of which produce minuscule quantities, making them not only of exceptional quality but also exceedingly rare.

An Immersive Experience in the World of Fine Wine

The wine auction series, aptly named “The Epicurean’s Atlas,” will take place across various iconic locations, commencing in Hong Kong at the end of November. This first auction promises to be an extraordinary event, unlike any other. It will serve as the centrepiece of a three-day-long festival that includes an exquisite culinary journey, prepared by some of the world’s finest chefs, at Hong Kong’s Mandarin Oriental hotel. Diners will have the opportunity to indulge in mouth-watering dishes paired with these exceptional wines, creating unforgettable tasting experiences.

In addition to the culinary extravaganza, Sotheby’s will host a series of enlightening panel discussions, led by luminaries in the wine and food industries. These discussions will provide enthusiasts with insights into the world of wine and the art of pairing it with cuisine.

An Unprecedented Showcase of Excellence

The Epicurean's Atlas: Sotheby's Epic Wine Auction

The auctions will not be limited to a single event. Over the course of the upcoming year, additional sales and special events will be held in Paris, Burgundy, New York, and London, culminating in Hong Kong once more the following autumn. Each of these events will focus on specific regions or wine types, allowing collectors and connoisseurs to delve deeper into the rich tapestry of Mr. Chen’s remarkable collection.

Just as with fine art, the significance of wine is often assessed based on three essential criteria: quality, rarity, and provenance. Mr. Chen’s collection embodies these attributes, with each bottle bearing the stamp of excellence and a rich history of acquisition. Notably, the majority of these wines come from legendary vineyards, with their limited production further enhancing their allure.

Highlighting the Spectacular Bottles

The first auction from Mr. Chen’s cellars will present a diverse selection of exceptional wines, giving collectors a glimpse into the breadth and quality of this encyclopedic collection. Among the remarkable bottles to be auctioned are:

Domaine de la Romaneé-Conti La Tâche

  • 2 Methuselahs, 1985 – Estimated at US$120,000 – 190,000 each
  • 1 Methuselah, 1999 – Estimate US$100,000 – 130,000
  • A 3-litre Jeroboam from 1971 – Estimate US$110,000 – 140,000
The Epicurean's Atlas: Sotheby's Epic Wine Auction

These Methuselahs, boasting six whole litres of wine, are the largest format bottles available in Burgundy. La Tâche is celebrated for producing some of the world’s most renowned and brilliant wines, revered for their longevity, exceptional quality, and scarcity. These bottles hail from two of the top red Burgundy vintages of the last half-century, making them exceedingly sought-after and iconic.

Domaine Leroy Musigny

  • 1991 (2 bottles) – Estimate US$12,000 – 18,000 per bottle

Domaine Leroy holds an unrivalled status among Burgundy wines, known not only for its rich, powerful, and distinctive qualities but also for its extreme rarity. The 1991 vintage, widely considered one of Burgundy’s most stellar years, elevates this wine to the pinnacle of value. The bottles on offer originate from the celebrated Raymond Floyd collection.

Domaine Armand Rousseau Chambertin

  • 1990 (12 bottles) – Estimate US$4,000 – 6,000 per bottle
  • 1985 (2 Magnums) – Estimate US$24,000 – 32,000 per magnum
The Epicurean's Atlas: Sotheby's Epic Wine Auction

Situated in Gevrey Chambertin, Armand Rousseau is often considered the feminine counterpart to Chambertin. Celebrated for its richness, velvety texture, and elegant finish, this wine captures the essence of the terroir like no other. Vintages from 1990 and 1985 are particularly outstanding, making them a rare joy for wine enthusiasts. This opportunity marks the first auction appearance of Chambertin since 2019.

Henri Jayer Vosne Romanee Cros Parantoux 1er Cru

  • 2001 (6 Magnums) – Estimate US$50,000 – 70,000 per magnum

Henri Jayer, known as the ‘Godfather of Burgundy,’ has left an indelible mark on the world of wine. This example represents the last official Cros Parantoux produced by Henri Jayer before his retirement in 2001. Magnum-sized bottles are already scarce, and these come with impeccable provenance, originating directly from the domaine’s cellar.

The World of White Burgundy

These white Burgundy wines are a perfect match for dishes like sole meunière, potted shrimps, seared scallops, or those adorned with rich, creamy sauces like Poulet à la forestière in France or cauliflower cheese in England.

Domaine d’Auvenay Batard-Montrachet

  • 2014 (12 bottles) – Estimate US$15,000 – 22,000 per bottle

Lalou Bize-Leroy’s mythical Domaine d’Auvenay wines are renowned rarities produced in minuscule volumes. Lalou Bize-Leroy, known as the ‘Grande Dame’ of Burgundy, personally oversees the wine-making process, and the Grands Crus of d’Auvenay are legendary. In June this year, a three-bottle offering of the 2015 vintage sold for over $51,000.

Domaine Coche-Dury Corton-Charlemagne

  • 1999 (12 bottles) – Estimate US$5,000 – 6,500 per bottle
The Epicurean's Atlas: Sotheby's Epic Wine Auction

Domaine Coche-Dury Corton-Charlemagne is celebrated as one of the greatest white Burgundies. The 1999 vintage is especially notable for its perfect combination of richness and acidity, ensuring its longevity. In 2021, a single bottle of the 2008 vintage sold for more than $6,000.

Red Bordeaux Gems

Red Bordeaux Gems represents a captivating journey through the world of Bordeaux wines, renowned for their timeless elegance, rich history, and exceptional quality. In this collection, we explore the legendary Château Latour, Château Lafite Rothschild, Château Cheval Blanc, and the iconic Petrus 1982.

Château Latour

  • 1961 (1 Magnum) – Estimate US$12,000 – 16,000
The Epicurean's Atlas: Sotheby's Epic Wine Auction

Château Latour, dating back to the fourteenth century, holds premier status in the 1855 Bordeaux Classification. The 1961 vintage is widely regarded as the greatest since WWII, adding to its legendary status.

Château Lafite Rothschild

  • 1959 (2 Magnums) – Estimate US$10,000 – 13,000

The 1959 Château Lafite Rothschild is considered the greatest of the Lafites. Known for its ageing potential, it combines the best of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot. In 2020, a 6-litre imperial of this wine sold for more than $77,000.

Château Cheval Blanc

  • 1947 (6 bottles) – Estimate US$7,500 – 11,000
The Epicurean's Atlas: Sotheby's Epic Wine Auction

A seminal Bordeaux, the 1947 Château Cheval Blanc is celebrated as one of the most remarkable of the last century. It defies conventional winemaking and its unique composition, with a high proportion of Cabernet Franc, sets it apart. In 2010, a three-bottle offering of this vintage sold for over $71,000.

Petrus

  • 1982 (6-litre Imperial) – Estimate US$45,000 – 65,000

Petrus 1982 is a legend among wine collectors, considered one of the finest Bordeaux wines. The ideal weather conditions in 1982 resulted in perfectly ripe grapes, rich in flavours and balanced acidity. It pairs beautifully with seared tuna steak and duck pancakes.

Champagne Elegance

Champagne Elegance invites you to discover the world of exquisite Champagne, a drink synonymous with celebration and sophistication. These Champagne offerings exemplify the artistry of their respective producers and the timeless pleasure of effervescent perfection.

Dom Perignon Rose P3 1988

  • Dom Perignon (6 Magnums) – Estimate US$5,000 – 7,000 per magnum

Dom Perignon Rose P3 1988 is an exquisite Champagne with a rich history dating back to the fourteenth century. A true Premier Cru, this vintage is celebrated for its legendary status.

The Epicurean's Atlas: Sotheby's Epic Wine Auction

Krug Collection 1973

  • Krug (3 bottles) – Estimate US$1,900 – 2,800 per bottle

Krug Collection 1973 is a triumph in Champagne production, hailing from one of the most legendary vintages of the last century. Krug’s commitment to quality has made it synonymous with excellence.

Salon Le Mesnil Blanc de Blancs 1971

  • Salon (3 Magnums) – Estimate US$6,000 – 8,000 per magnum

Salon Le Mesnil, Blanc de Blancs 1971, is a rare and sought-after gem, among the greatest Blanc de Blancs Champagne ever produced. It is almost impossible to find nowadays in bottle format, let alone a magnum. In 2019, a single magnum of the 1971 vintage sold for more than $31,500.

Faiveley Musigny – A Unique Opportunity

After a years-long search, Mr. Chen secured a parcel of the Musigny vineyard in 2015. Partnering with the esteemed Faiveley family for farming and production, he receives a private allocation of the annual production bottled exclusively in magnums. This collection is further distinguished by a limited offering of five magnums, each representing a great vintage and to be auctioned at different points in the series.

The Epicurean's Atlas: Sotheby's Epic Wine Auction
  • Domaine Faiveley, Musigny Grand Cru 2015
    • (1 Magnum) – Estimate US$12,000 – 16,000
  • Domaine Faiveley, Musigny Grand Cru 2016
    • (1 Magnum) – Estimate US$10,000 – 15,000
  • Domaine Faiveley, Musigny Grand Cru 2017
    • (1 Magnum) – Estimate US$10,000 – 15,000
  • Domaine Faiveley, Musigny Grand Cru 2018
    • (1 Magnum) – Estimate US$10,000 – 15,000
  • Domaine Faiveley, Musigny Grand Cru 2019
    • (1 Magnum) – Estimate US$12,000 – 16,000

Characterized by extreme weather conditions, the 2019 vintage is rare and of outstanding calibre.

In this unprecedented auction series, wine enthusiasts, collectors, and connoisseurs have a unique opportunity to acquire some of the world’s finest wines with impeccable provenance, rarity, and exceptional quality. Sotheby’s “The Epicurean’s Atlas” promises to be a landmark event in the world of fine wine, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to own a piece of vinous history. Don’t miss the chance to participate in this extraordinary journey through the world of fine wine and indulge in the remarkable offerings of the Sotheby’s wine auctions.

Images: Sotheby’s

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