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Second El Bulli auction brings total to $2.7m

The second auction of more than 8,000 bottles from El Bulli’s wine cellar has taken place in New York, bringing the total raised from the two auctions to US$2.7m.

Bulli for you: dinner with Ferran Adria, $36,750

This auction, which took place at Sotheby’s New York on Friday 26 April, raised US$913,605 for the El Bulli Foundation, chef Ferran Adrià’s experimental culinary centre. It followed the April 3 sale at Sotheby’s Hong Kong.

Among the top lots from the 139-page, 1,600-bin wine list created by Adrià’s business partner Juli Soler, were four bottles of Domaine de la Romanée Conti, Romanée Conti 2004 which went to a private Asian buyer for US$52,062 — well above the estimated range of US$32,500 to US$47,500.

Other highlights included a Domaine de la Romanée Conti La Tâche vertical (US$10,412), and lots from two celebrated Ribera del Duero estates: four magnums of Vega Sicilia Unico 1991 (US$52,062) and six bottles of Pingus 1995 (US$10,412).

The Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Montrachet – the estate’s only white wine – commanded the highest price of the estimated 1,000 bottles of white Burgundy that went under the hammer, with six bottles of Montrachet from 1988 and 1990 and a magnum of 2004 fetching a combined total of US$28,787.

In addition to the contents of the renowned Michelin-starred Catalan restaurant’s cellar, which closed in July 2011, the auction included several ‘lifestyle’ lots, including a dinner for four with with Adrià at his brother’s restaurant Tickets in Barcelona, a collection of Laguiole knives and Adrià’s chef’s jacket, signed.

The dinner, which started bidding at US$5,000, ended up the second highest-earning lot at US$36,750; the knives fetched US$6,125 and the jacket US$3,063.

The money raised from the auction will go towards the proposed 2014 re-opening of the restaurant, which will be known as the El Bulli Foundation, a not-for-profit ‘gastronomic think tank’ that will offer scholarships to chefs and front-of-house professionals and aims to create an ‘encyclopedia of contemporary cuisine’.

Written by Courtney Humiston

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