1865 Lafite, ancient Burgundy in $5m auction

  • Thursday 18 May 2006

Venerable bottles of Bordeaux and Burgundy and other rare wines come under the hammer in an auction set to make up to US$5m this Saturday in New York.

In what shapes up to be one of the season’s top auctions, Aulden Cellars/Sotheby’s is offering a single-owner cellar on 20 May that could fetch $3. 5 to $5 million (excluding buyers’ fees).

To signal the value of the 1,219-lot sale, billed as The Magnificent Cellar of Russell H Frye, Sotheby’s has bound the catalogue in hardcover.

Frye, who lives in Massachusetts and Florida, specializes in technology startups. A software company he founded, Frye Computer Systems, is now part of Symantec.

Serena Sutcliffe MW, head of Sotheby’s Worldwide Wine Department, writes in the catalogue that Frye was a customer when Sotheby’s began its Manhattan wine auctions (with Sherry-Lehman) in 1994.

‘This is one of the most scintillating collections of wines that I have ever seen,’ Sutcliffe says. ‘It is international and eclectic, classic and modern, blue chip and state of the art.’

The 8,500-plus bottles include Lafite from 1865 to 2000, Latour from 1928 to 2000, Margaux from 1900 to 2000, Pétrus from 1947 to 2000, Le Pin from 1982 to 2000, Romanée-Conti from 1929 to 1996, Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Montrachet from 1982 to 1995 and Ramonet Montrachet from 1978 to 1999, Ridge Montebello cabernet sauvignon from 1963 to 1997 and a bottle of 1941 Inglenook cabernet.

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