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Norwegian collector sets record for Christie’s in LA

Blue-chip wines from the cellar of Norwegian collector Christen Sveaas sold for over US$6.8m this weekend, setting a record for a Christie's wine sale in Los Angeles.

The 6,400-bottle sale at NYWines/Christie’s refurbished galleries took place on 3 November.

Sveaas, a businessman, entrepreneur and philanthropist featured in Decanter magazine’s My Passion for Wine interview in November, said he would donate $1m of the proceeds to Elton John’s AIDS foundation in the UK.

Thirty 12-bottle cases of 1986 Chateau Mouton-Rothschild went for $288,000. A case of 1945 Latour made $126,000, narrowly overtaken by a case of d’Yquem from same vintage which sold for $132,000. Further highlights included a case of 1921 Cheval Blanc ($72,000) and a lone bottle of 1867 d’Yquem ($16,800).

Sveaas, who is an owner of Bagatelle, in Oslo – Norway’s only two-star Michelin restaurant – has provided many of the centerpieces crowning several stratospheric auctions in the past decade.

In 1997, a 19,000-bottle offering from the collector went for $11.3m at Christie’s in London. Two years later a 48,000-bottle consignment made $14.4m at the Sherry-Lehmann With Sotheby’s millennium sale.

Written by Howard G Goldberg in New York

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