When over 1000 mature and rare wines and Champagnes will go up for auction from 15 – 24 November it will be our first ever dedicated wine auction and the event will include the sale of a part of Lord Evgeny Lebedev’s carefully curated wine collection, including exquisite Bordeaux and rare Italian wines.
The recently appointed peer and owner of the Evening Standard and Independent newspapers (and GQ’s best dressed man of 2010!), Evgeny Lebedev has built up an impressive collection of wines with a focus on Bordeaux, Burgundy and coveted Italian classics. The collection, which has been managed by wine consultant, columnist and long-term curator of cellars Douglas Blyde, was all purchased through UK merchants and has been kept in humidity and temperature controlled cellars to ensure it remains in perfect condition.
As a prolific wine collector, Lord Lebedev’s tastes have changed over the years and as he hits his 40s he has chosen to work with us to sell a substantial part of his collection.
Douglas Blyde said: ‘the considerable, carefully stored collection of predominantly classical wines, including first growth Bordeaux and rare Italian bottlings, will offer huge pleasure to both wine connoisseurs seeking immediate gratification, as well as those looking, with confidence, to build a notable wine library.’
According to Blyde, gastronomy fanatic Lord Lebedev, who previously operated St. James’ restaurant, Sake No Hana and currently co-owns The Grapes pub in Limehouse with Sir Ian McKellen, sees wine as an essential component to elevate social occasions ‘and he will often match wines to his diverse guests.’ As for his own palate, Lebedev particularly favours the fragrant, textured reds of St. Julien and Margaux from the 2009 and 2010 vintages in autumn, best explored after a decent decant, while cool, mineral Vermentinos are his preference when in residence in summertime Italy. He has also been known to enjoy English and Russian wines.
This auction is the perfect opportunity for wine lovers to pick up the sort of wines that are not normally available, or for a budding enthusiast to purchase a well put-together collection.
I’m personally delighted that Lord Lebedev has chosen to release some of his superb wine collection through Whisky.Auction. The auction reads like a who’s who of the greatest wine names ever, providing some mature wines for Christmas or the perfect basis for starting a collection.
Here are some of the highlights to look out for:
The legendary Château Pétrus in Pomerol is one of the most famous wine estates in the world and, produced from low yields, in tiny quantities, to an extremely high standard, it has also become one of the most expensive wines in the world.
Pétrus began its rise to fame in the 1940s and by the 1960s President Kennedy had declared it was his favourite wine, but it wasn’t until the mid 1980s when it was discovered and championed by critic Robert Parker that this unclassified Right Bank began to eclipse its Left Bank First Growth neighbours.
1995 Château Pétrus
The world renowned Château Margaux estate is responsible for producing some of the greatest wines ever made in Bordeaux. The sale of Lord Lebedev’s collection includes:
1996 Château Margaux
2001 Château Margaux
Lord Lebedev cornered the market for regular and large format magnum bottles from one of the grandest of Burgundy Grand Cru vineyards, Corton Charlemagne.
Italy is superbly well represented in Lord Lebedev’s wine collection, with classic Barolo and Barbaresco, across vintages from the 1960s through to the 1990s, alongside multiple-bottle lots of SuperTuscans and single bottles from Veneto legend Giuseppe Quintarelli, and a fascinating 1949 Primitivo from Puglian Antonio Ferrari.