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Sotheby’s presents the most valuable wine collection ever to hit the market

Sotheby’s expects to fetch a record $50m when it auctions off Taiwanese entrepreneur Pierre Chen’s ‘mythical’ wine collection.

The auction house described it as ‘the largest, most important and by far the most valuable wine collection ever to come to the market’.

It features a huge array of fine and rare wines, including two six-litre Methuselahs of Domaine de la Romaneé-Conti La Tâche 1985, which have an estimated price of up to $190,000 (£156,000) apiece.

There will be around 25,000 wines in total, which Chen accumulated over a 40-year period, forming ‘the most broad-ranging, valuable cellar ever’.

Further highlights include six magnums of Henri Jayer Vosne Romanée Cros Parantoux 1er Cru 2001. It was the last wine that Henri Jayer, dubbed the ‘godfather of Burgundy’, made before retiring. Each magnum has an estimated price of $50,000 to $70,000 (£41,000 to £58,000).

The auction will also feature a six-litre Imperial of Petrus 1982, along with a magnum of Château Latour 1961 and three magnums of Salon Le Mesnil Blanc de Blancs 1971.

The first wines from the collection will go under the hammer in Hong Kong in November. The sale will run until autumn 2024, taking in further auctions in Beaune and New York.

‘This is the ultimate wine collection, which comes to the market at a time when global interest in fine wine has arguably never been greater,’ said Nick Pegna, global head of wine and spirits at Sotheby’s.

‘This is a cellar in which every bottle has a story, and in which every wine is the best you could wish to own and enjoy.’

Chen is the founder and chairman of Yageo Corporation, which produces electronic components for mobile phones, computers and cars.

He was ranked 446th in the 2023 Forbes Billionaires list, with an estimated fortune of $5.5bn (£4.52bn).

Chen was born and raised in Kaohsiung, the largest city in southern Taiwan. He graduated from National Cheng Kung University in Taiwan and founded Yageo in 1977.

He is a renowned art collector, and he regularly loans famous works to institutional shows around the world. Most recently, he loaned pieces including David Hockney’s Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures), Picasso’s Buste de Femme and Francis Bacon’s Study for a Pope VI to the Tate Modern.

Chen is known to love art, music, food and wine in equal measure, and he attains a synesthetic pleasure from combining them.


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