He put it up for sale because he wanted to share some of the best wine ever made with the rest of the world. And now Sotheby’s has revealed that the first of five sales from Taiwanese billionaire Pierre Chen’s wine collection has fetched an incredible £13.28m.
The collection, which is expected to raise more than £40m in total, was lovingly assembled over 40 years and numbers 25,000 bottles, including rare and legendary vintages. The first sale, called The Epicurean’s Atlas: The Encyclopaedic Cellar, took place in Hong Kong on November 24 and 25. The highest earners were 10 bottles of Vosne Romanée, Cros Parantoux 1999 Henri Jayer (£189,740); 12 bottles of Chevalier Montrachet 2007 Domaine d’Auvenay (£189,740); and three magnums of La Tâche 1971 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti (£126,493).
Six magnums of 1982 Pétrus sold for £40,478. They were described by Serena Sutcliffe, Master of Wine and head of Sotheby’s international wine department, as having “a great nose of prunes, spices, huge character and presence”. She added: “Unbeatable and stunning, with great meaty character. Leave it in the glass and it opens out gloriously.”
The next two auctions from Mr Chen’s collection will take place in July next year in Paris and Beaune, followed by one next September in New York and a final one in Hong Kong in November next year. Each auction will focus a different type of wine or aspect of the collection, with the Paris event spotlighting champagne.