Morrell and Company is kicking off the New York auction season with a spectacular $8m (€8.6m) sale from a single California cellar.

The 2,384 lots in the 20 and 21 September sale, reported on decanter.com in July, are described by managing director Nikos Antonakeas as ‘a single-owner cellar like no other in the world.’

The catalogue trumpets a ‘once-in-a-lifetime offering of the finest Bordeaux in pristine condition.’ Classified growths ‘are solidly represented from most of the notable vintages from 1900-1996.’

In announcing 19 October and 16 November sales, an aggressively competitive Morrell emphasises a new zero percent sellers’ commission.

NYWinesChristie’s inaugurated the auction season on 5 September in the dark shadow of the imminent 11 September anniversary, but it was not possible to see unease in the results. Of the Burgundy-oriented catalogue’s 538 lots, Christie’s sold 90%, grossing $2.03m (€2.05m). The top seller was a dozen bottles of 1978 Romanée-Conti, which fetched $69,000 (€69.5m).

The Aulden Cellars/Sotheby’s team reopens for business on 13 and 14 September with a 2,133-lot inventory that features the cellar of Patrick Leahy, an ‘active collector for 32 years.’ It offers jewels for every taste, including tempting Champagnes, a range of Opus One, plenty of Beaulieu Vineyard Georges de la Tour Private Reserve and an abundance of Silver Oak cabernet sauvignon.

Acker Merrall & Condit will offer 1,744 lots on 14 September. The marquee attraction is 195 lots, among them an outstanding collection deep in claret, Sauternes, major Burgundy, Champagne, Barolo and vintage Port.

Written by Howard G Goldberg in New York4 September 2002