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Sotheby’s to sell $1 million ‘Time Capsule’ wine collection

A remarkable private wine collection which remained hidden away for years could bring close to $1 million when it hit the auction block at Sotheby’s next month.
The collection features an important collection of Henri Jayer wines, along with blue-chip vintages from Burgundy and Bordeaux amongst many others.

“This is a veritable time capsule of starry wines from six decades, a true ‘Sleeping Beauty’ of a collection, lying untouched for many years," said Serena Sutcliffe MW, honorary chairman, Sotheby’s Wine.

“Led by the rarities that are Henri Jayer’s landmark vintages, as well as splendid DRC and first growths from fabled years, this is a hidden, vinous treasure-trove. Above all, it is a glorious collection that is full of wines that one can experience with no waiting.”

With a new generation of collectors now seeking vintages they were too young to buy the first time around, the entire collection comes with an estimate in the region of £700,000 ($993,500).

Many of the Jayer wines remain sealed in their original cardboard boxes, untouched for decades since they were first acquired by the vendor’s parents. Notable highlights include six-bottle lots of the Richebourg 1972, estimated at £18,000-£24,000; full cases of the 1976 and 1978 vintage, valued at £36,000-£42,000 and £60,000-£72,000 respectively; and 11 bottles of the 1976 Echézeaux, estimated at £30,000-£36,000.

Further standout lots from the collection include 11 bottled of the Romanée-Conti 1972, valued at £30,000-£40,000; two sealed cases of the La Tâche 1976, priced at £11,000-£14,000 each; six bottles of the 1947 Lafite, priced at £4,000-£5,000; and eight bottles of the 1961 Haut-Brion, estimated at £5,500-£6,500.

"When we visited a half-forgotten cellar on the Continent, with nothing but a few magical names to entice us, it was a shock to discover not single bottles but full dozens of Pétrus, Yquem, Domaine de la Romanée Conti and, in particular, the stunning wines of Henri Jayer," said James Reed, director of Sotheby’s wine department.

“Aside from full cases of his Richebourg 1976 and 1978, we were confronted with no less than four cases of Pétrus 1978 plus further great claret, Burgundy and Cognac from the 1970s and beyond.”

The sale takes place at Sotheby’s in London on May 11.

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