Cellar of Parker’s friend nets $5m in NYC

The cellar of philanthropist Park B. Smith has sold in New York for US$5 million, making it the highest value single owner auction held by Sotheby’s this year.

Described as a “close” friend” of critic Robert Parker, Smith’s collection was sold at the weekend and exceeded its pre-sale high estimate by more than 20%.

Featuring a number of classic fine wines spanning many decades and numerous large formats, with the big bottles alone making up $3m of the overall total.

Bidding was particularly keen from North American and Asian buyers and the auctions top lots were two separate Jeroboams of 1990 La Tâche from Domaine de la Romanée-Conti and a 12-bottle of 1990 Petrus which all sold for $43,050 apiece.

Other top lots included a Methuselah of 1988 DRC Montrachet, an imperial of 1989 Petrus, five magnums of 1998 Le Pin, six bottles of 1989 Coche-Dury Corton Charlemagne and three double magnums of 1989 Château Haut-Brion.

Jamie Ritchie, worldwide head of Sotheby’s Wine, commented: “The sale of wines from the Cellars of Park B. Smith was the highest value single owner sale this season totalling $5 million, with over 50% being sold to North American buyers and over 45% to Asian buyers.

“Park Smith has a passion for large format bottles, which accounted for just under 60% ($3 million) of the total, selling for more than 20% of the high estimate. The strongest categories were Burgundy (50% over the high estimate), followed by First Growth Bordeaux (20%) and Italy (15%), which shows market strength and diversity across formats and regions. This brings our global sale total to $57 million, with two sales in London and one in New York to go.”

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