Cru owner to sell ‘unprecedented’ wine collection

12th June, 2014 by Rupert Millar

The former owner of New York restaurant Cru is to auction his Burgundy-dominated collection in the US later this year.

FineWineCellarWally’s auction house has announced it will conduct two sales, one in New York the other in Los Angeles in the autumn and expects to raise some US$15 million.

According to the Wine Spectator, Roy Welland has a collection of some 100,000 bottles from the cellar he built up at the Greenwich Village-based Cru, which, though now closed, was once the clubhouse of choice for wine-loving New Yorkers.

Welland told the WS it was “heartbreaking” to sell the collection but that he was doing so for “personal” reasons and would soon be buying wine again.

A passionate wine lover, in particular for Burgundy, Welland even bought a small plot of vineyard in Chambertin and leased it to Domaine Dujac in exchange for a share of the wine.

Most of the wine was bought directly at the domaine or through their agents and the collection is split between a warehouse in New York and another in Beaune.

It includes several cases of Dujac’s inaugural Chambertin vintage (2005), 250 cases of various wines from Domaine Joseph Drouhin, 150 cases from Georges Roumier, 40 cases of Armand Rousseau and over 700 cases of Chablis.

The collection also includes some cases of Champagne, Bordeaux, Californian, German, Piedmontese and Austrian wines, many of the latter old and rare vintages bought from a shop in Vienna that was closing down.

Wally’s auction president, Michael Jessen, called the collection an “unprecedented offering” that the house was “thrilled to bring to market”.

He continued: “Burgundy alone comprises two-thirds of the 100,000 bottles on offer and the majority of those wines were bought on release and unmoved from Beaune until now. That said, the depth and breadth of the cellar is unmatched.  Roy’s tastes are very broad and every important wine region is well represented.  There is something for everyone in the collection and we are eager to present it to the world.”

Other highlights include over 300 cases of famed Mosel producer JJ Prüm and 50 cases of Giacamo Conterno Barolo.

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