Taiwanese billionaire Pierre Chen will be auctioning off an array of wines from his vast and priceless collection, with particularly rare bottles that may fetch $190,000 each.
One can never have too much wine, and that seems to be the philosophy behind Taiwanese billionaire Pierre Chen’s incredibly vast and world-class collection of rare vintage bottles. Recently, Sotheby’s announced that it will be auctioning off 25,000 bottles from his collection in a five-part sale that starts this November 24 to 25 in Hong Kong, as per Forbes. Succeeding sales will extend across the globe throughout 2024, including London, New York, Paris, and Beune (Burgundy’s wine capital), according to Artnet News.
As revealed in a report from CNN, Sotheby’s expects the spectacular collection to fetch an estimated $50 million. The selection of wines, which Chen assembled in the span of 40 years, is the largest and most expensive ever auctioned. However, it’s only a fraction of his entire collection, which contains “more wine […] than any one individual could ever hope to drink in a lifetime,” described George Lacey, Head of Sotheby’s Wine for Asia, in a statement.
“This is a truly Olympian wine cellar of global significance,” shared Serena Sutcliffe, master of wine and honorary chairman of Sotheby’s wine division, with the South China Morning Post.
The art world knows Pierre Chen as a leading and distinguished collector who’s been gathering artworks since he was a student in 1976. At present, he holds incredibly valuable pieces by artists like Pablo Picasso, Gerhard Richter, Mark Rothko, Francis Bacon, and Cy Twombly, as per the South China Morning Post.
As of October, Forbes placed the billionaire’s net worth at an estimated $5.4 billion, making him the 516th richest person in the world. The tycoon made his fortune as chairman of Yageo, an electronics-component maker for everything from electronics to automobiles.
Chen also takes deep interest in the world of oenology, as people have praised him for his discerning palate for wines.The billionaire’s carefully curated collection represents the best that the world has to offer, with bottles from the most esteemed winemakers across Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, and the Rhône, as per Sotheby’s.
The collection represents the finest bottles from winemakers like Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, La Tache, Chateau Petrus, and Latour, as per Forbes. With such a large and comprehensive collection, it’s no wonder that Sotheby’s named the upcoming auction series The Epicurean’s Atlas: The Encyclopaedic Cellar.
Rarest of the Rare
In Chen’s collection are some of the rarest and finest vintage bottles in existence, hailing from vineyards that only produce a few bottles annually, as per Artnet News.
Wines of note include two imperials (which are far larger than regular-sized bottles) of Domaine de la Romaneé-Conti La Tâche 1985, which cost around $190,000 each. An imperial bottle of what many consider the greatest of Bordeaux wines, the 1982 Pétrus, will also be available during the auction with an estimated price of $65,000.
Two magnums of 1985 Domaine Armand Rousseau Chambertin may fetch $32,000 each, while six magnums of Henri Jayer’s 2001 Vosne-Romanée Cros Parantoux 1er Cru could fetch $70,000 per bottle.
“To me, wine is the 9th art,” shared Chen in a Sotheby’s press release. “It is the only art form one can consume, using senses that other art forms don’t typically involve, such as one’s taste and smell, and it requires creativity on the part of the owner.”
Banner photos from the Sotheby’s website.