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Record bidders for Avery family’s Latour 1945 & Montelena ’74

A record number of bidders produced strong results at Christie’s auction of The Avery Family Cellar in London, featuring rare wines from Bordeaux, Burgundy and the New World.

The 11-hour, three-session sale attracted more than 150 bidders – a global record for any Christie’s wine sale – vying for wines amassed over six generations by the Bristol-based Avery family. Sales totalled just over £2 million, including buyer’s premium.

Among the highlights were 11 bottles of Latour 1945, which fetched £38,000, three bottles of La Tâche 1985, sold for £11,495, and four bottles of Chambertin 1990 from Domaine Armand Rousseau, which went for £9,680.

All wines were sourced from the Avery family’s pivate cellar, rather than its commercial arm.

John Avery MW, who died in 2012, was known for importing New World wines in the 1960s and 70s when such wines were little-known. This was reflected in the sale of a 12-bottle case of California’s Chateau Montelena 1974 for £1,936.

The Averys established their wine business in Bristol in 1793, and decided to sell a selection of wines from the family cellar to ‘make space’ for newer vintages.

‘This perfect provenance sale from one of the UK wine trade’s well-established families pushed the prices of historic Bordeaux and Burgundy to new levels,’ said Christie’s.

Michael Broadbent MW, retired Decanter columnist who attended the sale and is marking the 50th anniversary of the wine department he founded at Christie’s, had earlier described it as ‘one of the finest and most comprehensive collections of old and rare wine ever to appear at auction’.

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