By Andy Young
US billionaire Bill Koch auctioned more than 2700 lots of wine over the weekend, with the sale total exceeding US$21.8 million.
The auction saw over 20,000 bottles of wine sold over three days, with many selling for over the estimated auction price.
Ten bottles of Château Mouton Rothschild 1945, considered one of, if not the most famous Mouton vintage, attracted bidding from around the world before being sold for $343,000.
Speaking after the first day of the auction CEO and president of Sotheby’s Wine Americas and Asia, Jamie Ritchie, said: “We have seen an astonishing start to the Koch Cellar sale.
“The offerings on our opening day represent some of the greatest vintages from the world’s best wineries, with the likes of Mouton Rothschild 1945, Haut-Brion 1959, Palmer 1961 making rare appearances at auction. The prices realised are a testament to the reputation of one of the greatest cellars in the world.”
Other notable sales from the weekend included a methuselah (six-litre bottle) of Romanee Conti 1991, which sold for $159,000 and six magnums of Vosne Romanee, Cros Parantoux 1989, which sold for $171,000, well over the $110,000 estimate.
Ritchie added: “Bill Koch has one of the greatest cellars in the world, packed full of legendary wines that all collectors want to try. Bill focused on the highest quality: the greatest producers from each region, together with the best vintages.”
The auction represents almost half of Koch’s wine collection and the billionaire industrialist said: “I did some simple arithmetic. I have over 43,000 bottles and it would take me 150 years to drink them all. Since I am turning 76, I don’t have enough time for that.”