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Liquid Icons boss raises £1.4 million at private cellar auction

Sotheby’s sale of wines from the cellar of Lewis Chester, CEO of Liquid Icons and founder of the Golden Vines Awards, concluded on Thursday, surpassing the auction house’s pre-sale estimate to total £1.4 million.

Liquid Icons boss raises £1.4 million at private cellar auction

The ‘No Reserve’ auction attracted more than 15,700 bids with participation from 35 countries across the globe. All 774 lots were sold to some 200 buyers across Europe, the US and Asia – 30% of them new to Sotheby’s.

The auction house described the sale as consisting of “a fraction of one of Europe’s most extensive and comprehensive cellars”, giving it an estimated combined value of more than £1 million. However, the private cellar auction exceeded this estimate, raking in a total of £1,382,309 ($1,727,886) when it closed on 1 June at 10am BST.

The inaugural selection was dominated by wines from five key regions: Burgundy, Champagne, Bordeaux, Rhône, and Piedmont.

On offer were 251 lots of Burgundy, covering Domaines including Rousseau, Dujac, Roumier, de Vogüé, Leflaive, Raveneau and Dauvissat. The sale also boasted 91 lots of Krug and Dom Perignon from the very rare Clos of d’Ambonnay and du Mesnil to P3 vintages and large formats. A further 70 lots encompassed the cuvées of Vilmart, Philipponnat and Pol Roger, among others.

The selection also featured a selection of wines from Bordeaux, with First Growths Lafite, Latour, and Margaux plus Haut-Brion Blanc representing the Left Bank, with the Right Bank supplying double-magnums of Le Pin and magnums of Lafleur, described by Sotheby’s as extremely rare.

Fine Wine from the Loire and Mosel valleys, Tuscany, Switzerland, and Santa Cruz Mountains, with Clos Rougeard, Markus Molitor, Sassicaia, Gantenbein, and Ridge Vineyards are also on offer as part of the private cellar auction.

Among the most highly priced lots was 12 bottles of Château Latour 2009 Pauillac, 1er Cru Classé, which sold for £10,000. Six bottles of Château Rayas Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Cuvée Réservée 2005 also sold for £8,125.

Gary Owen, head of auction sales, UK, Sotheby’s Wine, said of the sale: “We knew that Lewis’s cellar was extraordinary in terms of quality and quantity, as he’s such an ardent, focussed collector. It’s a huge joy to have had such a positive result, and it’s a thrill for the team in London to have brought these wines to the market and to see such magnificent results. The prices provide a strong and positive signpost into the second half of the year, underlining Sotheby’s strength in the marketplace and connection to collectors, both new and existing.”

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