S otheby’s Wine will present Historic Vintages from a Great Bordeaux Cellar, a live single-owner auction in Hong Kong on 25 June which brings to the market one of the greatest private collections of Haut-Brion ever to be offered, with vintages spanning over a century. Estimated at HK$10.5 – 15 million/ US$1.4 – 1.9 million, the sale features a total of 466 lots of the finest Bordeaux wines.
“This is one of those rare windows into wine history that mark a lifetime of vinous discovery. When they come your way, it is always breathtaking, as they evoke times remembered, vintages that vary with the weather and social conditions, extraordinary memories of scent and taste, occasions of joy and wonder and the sheer delight of knowing that these bottles, magnums, double magnums, jeroboams and imperials still exist. It reminds me of childhood fairy tales, of treasures slumbering for decades and then miraculously revealed. In this case, the sleeping took place in perfect cellar conditions and these legendary wines emerge from over a century ago, in one instance, to shine a light on what fascinates us all – the mystery of how wines evolve. This collection provides an unrivalled opportunity to follow this thread, through the lens of the First Growths of Bordeaux”
All the wines from this impeccable cellar never left Bordeaux until shipment to Hong Kong for sale. The vast majority of the wines were acquired on release. The red wines from Chateau Haut Brion and Chateau La Mission Haut Brion up to and including the 1983 vintage have been reconditioned at the Chateau in 2020, with smaller number recorked in 1994. All of these wines have been relabeled and placed in new wooden cases at the Chateaux.
Packing and Inspection
All wines were inspected in Bordeaux in March 2020 by Sotheby’s consultant Michael Egan, before being shipped via temperature controlled airfreight to Sotheby’s storage at Crown Wine Cellar’s in Hong Kong.
My overriding impression of this stunning First Growth is that it is the silkiest, most perfumed, most fine-grained of all the legendary top châteaux of Bordeaux. Haut Brion has an inner 'spirituality' to it, a haunting quality that lingers long on the senses. Its unique position on the edge of the city of Bordeaux gives it a micro-climate that fosters ripeness and generosity - there is a velvety warmth to the wine. The extra 'plus' to the property is the family ownership and its long-standing link with three generations of another family, the Delmas, on the managing side, which has provided a totally beneficial continuity to the estate. Haut Brion often blooms early among the First Growths but, unlike human beings, it continues to grow more beautiful in middle age and retains the bone structure and elegance of a very distinguished old age!
Serena Sutcliffe, MW