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Sotheby’s announces two historic wine auctions in Paris & Burgundy

The auctions will exclusively feature bottles sourced entirely from the legendary cellar of epicure and aesthete Pierre Chen.

Bringing a massive collection of prestigious sips for auction, Sotheby’s is hosting the “The Ultimate Champagnes,” on June 20, in Paris, marking the auction house’s inaugural auction solely dedicated to Champagne. This sale features a treasure trove of the finest Champagnes ever crafted and represents Sotheby’s first live wine auction in the heart of France.

Dom Perignon for auction

Another distinctive event will be held at the prestigious Couvent des Cordeliers in Beaune, focusing on the finest Burgundy wines, on July 2. Named “Live in the Vines,” this will mark the first-ever single-owner wine auction hosted in the renowned region renowned for its Grand Cru vineyards.

The two auctions mark the second chapter of “The Epicurean’s Atlas”, featuring the most significant and valuable wine collection ever sourced from visionary collector Pierre Chen’s legendary cellar.

Salon le Mesnil for auction

In November 2023, Mr. Chen’s initial wine auction from his celebrated cellar at Hong Kong’s Mandarin Oriental fetched an impressive US$16.8 million, marking one of the highest totals ever recorded for a single wine sale. Mr. Chen has curated his wine collection meticulously over four decades with a blend of care, connoisseurship, and discernment.

Renowned globally for his collections of both wine and art, Mr. Chen’s cellar holds a place among the world’s finest. Though the forthcoming sale will include only 25,000 bottles, representing a fraction of his vast holdings, it signifies a pivotal moment in the market amidst soaring interest and demand for fine wines.

Pol Roger Cuvee for auction

“If anyone understands how fine Champagnes are a fantastic vinous pairing with food, it is Pierre. So often relegated to the role of being popped at celebrations, Champagne is gloriously complex and multi-faceted, with nuances and individual characteristics to match the finest Bordeaux and Burgundy. The mosaic of house styles mixed with vintage identity offers such intellectual and sensual pleasures, it comes as no surprise that Pierre’s cellar is richly stocked with an incredible depth of the most iconic Champagnes produced several decades ago. It’s rare to see such wines, even in small volumes, at auction, let alone for them to make up an entire sale,” George Lacey, head of Sotheby’s Wine, Asia, said.

Domaine de la Romanee Conti for auction

The finest Champagnes typically blend wines from top-quality villages known as Grand Cru villages. Beyond these, there exists a more exclusive category made from the very best grapes in limited quantities, known as ‘Prestige Cuvée’. These Champagnes are considered the pinnacle of Champagne production. The upcoming sale in June will exclusively feature these exceptional Prestige Cuvées.

Some of the standouts from the The Ultimate Champagnes auction catalogue are 1971 Salon Le Mesnil, Blanc de Blancs, 5 bottles (US$15,000-22,000); 1985 Pol Roger Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill, 12 bottles (US$7,200–9,600); and 1966 Dom Perignon P3. 1 Magnum (US$ 8,000-11,000).

Chevalier Montrachet for auction

Highlights from the Live in the Vines auction include 1999 Domaine De La Romanée-Conti assortment case, 12 Bottles (US$65,000–95,000); 1999 Vosne-Romanee Cros Paeantoux X 1ER CRU, Domaine Henri Jayer, 2 Bottles, (US$40,000–52,000); and 2009 Chevalier Montrachet Grand Cru, Domaine Dauvenay, 6 Bottles (US$95,000–140,000).