One of the World’s Great Wine Collectors Is Auctioning Off Bottles From His Private Stash

Oenophiles may be familiar with the Golden Vines Awards, known as the “Oscars of fine wine.” Now they’re being offered a look into the cellar of the awards’ founder, Lewis Chester—plus a chance to take home some of those bottles themselves.

On Thursday, Sotheby’s opened up bidding for “The Cellar of Lewis Chester,” a no-reserve auction including 776 lots from the collector’s personal stash. In total, the fine wines have an estimated value of more than $1.2 million, and the selection includes some pretty notable bottles of red, white, bubbly, and more.

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A peek inside Lewis Chester's cellar
A peek inside Lewis Chester’s cellar

“Today, my collection is far too big to contemplate consuming it all, although I have been giving it a good crack!” Chester said in a statement. “Further, I own some incredible wines in large quantities, making perfect sense to let some of these available for other fine wine lovers to enjoy.”

Among the offerings are a whopping 251 lots of Burgundy alone, including some from the finest domaines, such as Rousseau, Roumier, Leflaive, and Dauvissat. In fact, the lot expected to hammer down for the most money is a selection of six bottles of Bonnes Mares 2014 Domaine Georges Roumier, with a high estimate of more than $16,000.

Elsewhere, you’ll find a heavy emphasis on Champagne: There are 91 lots of Krug and Dom Pérignon, plus another 70 of labels like Pol Roger, Vilmart, and Philipponnat. Bordeaux First Growths from Lafite, Latour, and Margaux are also available, as are a number of bottles representing the Rhône and featuring Nebbiolo grapes. Beyond these categories, the sale also includes vintages from Tuscany, Switzerland, the Santa Cruz Mountains, and other locales.

A selection of the Champagnes on offer
A selection of the Champagne on offer

“It has been a complete privilege for the Sotheby’s Wine team to work with Lewis in bringing this inaugural selection of wines from his personal cellar to auction,” Gary Owen, the head of U.K. auction sales for Sotheby’s Wine, said in a statement. “We cannot wait for fellow wine lovers to glimpse through this vinous window into his world-class collection.”

“The Cellar of Lewis Chester” will take place online only, with bidding closing on June 1 at 10 a.m. BST. That gives you more than enough time to take a look at the extensive catalog and figure out which precious bottles you’d like to add to your own cellar.

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