Tycoon’s Petrus collection ‘at risk’ as AC fails

A fine wine collection worth £16 million belonging to British tycoon James Stunt is reportedly “at risk” after the temperature controls failed at his Los Angeles mansion during a heat wave.

Located in a cellar in the huge, £88m, 123-room property he owns in Beverly Hills, Stunt’s collection is said to include the largest collection of Petrus in North America, as well as wines from Le Pin, Domaine de la Romanée-Conti and six bottles of 19th century Château Lafite. Despite this enviable collection, Stunt is reportedly a teetotaler and his collection has been acquired purely as an investment.

Some of the wines are also housed in a cabinet made by Viscount Linley, the Queen’s nephew, who has made several display cabinets to house fine wines in the past.

As reported by the Daily Mail, the electricity supply to the mansion was “interrupted” although there was no indication as to how or when this happened or for how long.

However, conditions in LA remain very warm, with temperatures expected to hit 30° centigrade today (Monday 9 October) and 29°C tomorrow, while last month saw 19 days over 27°C and five of those at and over 32°C.

If the wines have been sitting with the temperature and humidity controls off for some time then the risk of damage could be quite high but if the cellar is below ground and well insulated then it could take weeks or even months before it cooled down enough to cause problems.

Nonetheless, as the wines have been acquired as an investment and thus the quality of their storage is paramount, Stunt is said to be “concerned” about the news.

Furthermore, Stunt is currently going through a bitter divorce battle with Petra Ecclestone, daughter of F1 magnate Bernie Ecclestone, with the pair wrestling over a shared £5 billion fortune, with the wine collection part of their pre-nuptial agreement. The outcome is expected to become known after a hearing later this month.

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