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Petrus tops Hugh Johnson cellar auction

Organisers have said they are 'very pleased' with the auction of Hugh Johnson's wine cellar, which fetched hammer price sales of £88,000.

Organisers have said they are ‘very pleased’ with the auction of Hugh Johnson‘s wine cellar, which saw three bottles of Petrus 2000 fetch £6,600.

The Petrus lot was the best-selling of the day, achieving a price in the middle of its estimated range, said George Schooling, of auctioneer Sworders.

He told Decanter.com that hammer price sales reached £88,000, with a buyer’s premium expected to take total sales up to around the £100,000 mark. Several lots remained unsold.

‘Our low estimate for the whole sale was £81,000. Generally speaking with wine, we expect to get around that figure, so to get it over that estimate is good,’ said Schooling. ‘We’re very pleased.’

Johnson, a Decanter contributor and author, put the majority of his wine cellar up for sale after deciding to leave Saling Hall in Essex, where he and his family have lived for 40 years. He is moving closer to London.

Schooling said the second best-selling lot was 12 bottles of Haut-Brion 1990, which fetched £3,900 at hammer price, against a top estimate of £4,000.

Then came a dozen bottles of Margaux 1996, at £3,800, followed by 12 bottles of Cheval Blanc 1998 for £3,100.
A bottle of Latour 1945, described as having ‘slight capsule damaged’, sold for £2,000, at the high end of its estimate.

Among a hefty proportion of German wines at the auction, a bottle of Egon Muller Sharzhofberger Trockenbeerenauslese Gold Cap 1989 fetched £1,950, slightly under the low estimate hammer price of £2,000.

Prior to the sale, Johnson told Decanter.com that it was ‘agony’ deciding which bottles to sell. ‘We’re trying to be realistic about what we would actually drink in the next few years,’ he said.

Written by Chris Mercer

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