Charlie Trotter to auction off cellar

Chicago chef Charlie Trotter is to auction off his million-dollar wine cellar from his eponymous fine dining restaurant Charlie Trotter’s, which closed this August after 25 years of service.

Charlie Trotter with some of the large-format bottles in his cellar

The 4,0000-strong collection, featuring a substantial number of large format bottles, will go under the hammer at Christie’s New York.

The auction house has split the collection into 700 lots, selling the first half live on November 16, and the second half in an online-only auction from 20 November to 4 December.

Trotter’s 1,800-bin wine list offered both the benchmark fine wines and smart buys.

The sale will feature offerings from the world’s premier wine regions, including Burgundy, Bordeaux, Champagne, California, Tuscany and Piedmont.

Among the large-format bottles, some of which are so huge they require cradles to decant, are double magnums of Château Haut-Brion Blanc 1994, imperials of Château Lafite, Latour and Mouton-Rothschild, and 15L Nebuchadnezzars of Château Pichon-Longueville and Lynch-Bages.

A fizz fan, Trotter’s cellar also boasts a large number of magnums of Krug and Dom Pérignon Oenothèque 1990.

Highlights of the live sale include a dozen bottle lot of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, including La Tâche 1996 and 1999, and DRC 1997.

Also up for grabs at the sale are Domaine Leroy Corton-Clarlemagne 1995 and Vega Sicilia Unico 1970, both in their original wooden cases.

Meanwhile, the online sale will feature over 400 lots, including five bottles of Château Cheval Blanc 1945 expected to sell for £5,000, with estimates beginning at just £31.

Trotter, 52, was among the first to popularise tasting menus and was an early advocate for cooking with fresh, seasonal ingredients, offering vegetarian menus and even a raw menu for guests.

He is currently pursuing a graduate degree in philosophy and plans to open another restaurant after he finishes his studies, though remains tight-lipped about any further details.

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