Sat. Jul 13th, 2024


A wine collection dubbed the most valuable ever sold – worth an estimated $50m (£41m) – will soon be up for grabs at auction.

The collection contains a total of 25,000 bottles of wine from the cellars of electronics billionaire Pierre Chen.

It is due to go on sale in five dedicated auctions by Sotheby’s over a 12-month period, which are together titled The Epicurean’s Atlas.

Pierre Chen. Pic: Sotheby's
Pierre Chen. Pic: Sotheby’s

Red burgundies account for the most valuable lots, with two 1985 methuselahs (six-litre bottles) from the La Tache vineyard valued at up to $190,000 (£155,000) each.

A rare bottle of 1982 Chateau Petrus, a Bordeaux red, is estimated to fetch around $65,000 (£53,000).

White burgundies and vintage Dom Perignon and Krug champagnes are also set for sale as part of the collection.

The auctions – extending around the world – will start and end in Hong Kong, with others in Paris, Beaune (one of the key wine-making regions in France) and New York.

The first, to be held in November this year, will offer a broader sense of the scope and quality of the collection up for sale.

The other auctions will focus on specific regions or types of wines.

A six-litre bottle of Romaneé-Conti La Tâche 1985 is estimated to be sold for between $120,000-$190,000 (£98,500-£155,000). Pic: Sotheby’s

Domaine Armand Rousseau Chambertin 1990 (12 bottles), estimate US$4,000-6,000 per bottle.jpg
Domaine Armand Rousseau Chambertin 1990 (12 bottles), estimated to fetch $4,000-$6,000 (£3,300-£4,900) per bottle. Pic: Sotheby’s

Mr Chen is the founder and chairman of Yageo, an electronics component maker whose parts are found in everything from mobile phones to tablet PCs and cars.

He has an estimated net worth of $5.4bn, according to Forbes.

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“To me, wine is the 9th art,” Mr Chen said in a statement. “It is the only art form one can consume, using senses that other art forms don’t typically involve, such as one’s taste and smell, and it requires creativity on the part of the owner.”

The Taiwanese businessman acquired his “encyclopedic collection” over a 40-year period, according to the auction house – and the bottles being sold are said to represent just a fraction of it.

“This is a cellar in which every bottle of wine has a story,” said Nick Pegna, the auction house’s head of wine and spirits, describing it as “the ultimate wine collection”.


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