Bordeaux auction to have global appeal: Sotheby's

By Alice Baghdjian

LONDON (Reuters) - Sotheby's in London will sell what it describes as "one of the greatest" private cellars of Bordeaux in a two day sale expected to generate worldwide interest, the auction house said on Tuesday.

The collection features prized vintages of the five First Growth Bordeaux wines, including Château Lafite 1986, Château Latour 1996, Château Margaux 1986, Château Haut Brion 1995 and Château Mouton Rothschild 1995 -- all considered to be top red wines of the Gironde area in southwest France.

The 1475-lot auction of "pristine quality" is expected to top 2.1 million pounds ($3.2 million), Sotheby's said.

"Sales such as these do not occur very often, when all the necessary criteria of quality, provenance and condition all come together to create a perfect buying opportunity," Worldwide Head of Wine at Sotheby's, Serena Sutcliffe, said.

"It was awe inspiring to inspect and pack up this remarkable collection of wines, eliciting thirsty gasps as the process unfolded. As we saw favorite wines and Holy Grail wines, virtually all in original wooden cases, it was obvious that this was something special," she said.

The collection includes Château Lafite -- a wine that draws high prices due to the level of interest it commands among Asian buyers.

Sotheby's sold a standard bottle of Château Lafite 1869 for a record $232,692 in Hong Kong in 2010. But an auction lot of this quality will attract attention from across the globe, Sutcliffe said.

"A two-day sale of this nature will interest wine lovers worldwide which obviously includes Asia, but one has to remember South America," she told Reuters.

"This particular auction has such beautiful, pristine classic Bordeaux stock and therefore it has global attraction. Bordeaux stock of this type is the best 'currency'."

The collection, amassed over two decades by a successful entrepreneur, was kept in state-of-the-art underground storage that preserved the quality of the wine, the auction house said.

This collection of First Growth Bordeaux, with vintages from 1955 to 2004, is one of the most comprehensive Sotheby's has ever presented at auction.

They will be accompanied by a selection of high quality Bordeaux châteaux "snapping at the heels" of the First Growth collection, including Anglus, Montrose, and Palmer.

The auction lot comprises of 5,500 bottles, 730 magnums, 500 double magnums, 229 Jeroboams and 240 Imperials, and the sale will take place October 26-27.

($1 = 0.637 British Pounds)

(Edited by Paul Casciato)

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