US auctions: Sotheby's start the season in style
- Thursday 12 April 2001
Michael Davis, the house's Chicago-based senior vice president, singles out the stellar attraction - a 168 lot that contains 21 vintages of Mouton-Rothschild, 16 of Lafite, 14 of Pétrus and Cheval Blanc, 13 of Latour and Margaux and 12 of Haut-Brion.
The consignment also furnishes the catalogue with its cover highlight, a jeroboam of 1990 Montrachet (pictured) from the Domaine de la Romanée-Conti (three are for sale, each estimated at US$3,250-US$4,500 / £2,030- £2,812).
For red Burgundy, three separate consignments offer a total of 22 bottles of the rare 1985 Mazis Chambertin, Hospices de Beaune, Cuvee Madeleine Collignon, from Leroy. The largest grouping, a dozen bottles, is estimated at US$10,000-US$16,000 (£6,250-£10,000).
As if constrained by a need to inaugurate the season quite properly with Bordeaux, the house then races, pell-mell, to early-morning offerings of cult juice from California: Harlan, Araujo, Maya Dalla Valle and Bryant Family, leavened with seemingly bottomless quantities of Williams-Selyem, as well as Opus One, Joseph Phelps, Caymus, Ridge, Groth, Turley and Plumjack.
Finally, from Australia, a 25-vintage vertical of Penfolds Grange (1966-1992, with 1969 and 1978 absent) is on the block for US$5,000-US$7,000 (£ 3,125-£4,375). On 23 October, for $125 (£21) a ticket the public can attend a Sotheby's tasting seminar with John Duval, Penfolds's chief winemaker since 1986.