In a series of events marking an unparalleled offering to the world of oenophiles, Sotheby’s is poised to auction the renowned wine collection of the celebrated Chinese collector and businessman, Pierre Chen. This collection, valued at an estimated US$50 million, is reputed to be the “largest and most valuable ever to come to the market.”
Chen, who spent four decades meticulously building his esteemed collection, is set to share a selection from his revered cellars, amounting to 25,000 bottles, at five dedicated auctions around the globe, starting this autumn. While representing only a fragment of his extensive collection, the sale arrives at a time when the allure and demand for wine have reached an unprecedented peak.
“To me, wine is the 9th art. It requires creativity on the part of the owner in pairing and creating unique encounters with every bottle,” says Pierre Chen, noting the singular artistry and consumable beauty found in the world of wines.
The collection is laden with extraordinarily rare and mythical vintages, offering not only existing connoisseurs but also wine lovers and enthusiasts globally, a chance to own bottles from the most diversified and valuable cellar ever formed. “This is a cellar in which every bottle has a story, and in which every wine is the best you could wish to own and enjoy,” remarked Nick Pegna, Global Head of Wine and Spirits, Sotheby’s.
The series titled “The Epicurean’s Atlas,” kick-starts in Hong Kong at the end of November, central to a three-day festival from November 23 to 25, slated to be held at the city’s premium locales, including the Mandarin Oriental hotel and the city’s leading restaurants (including 81⁄2 Otto e Mezzo BOMBANA and the 2 Michelin Star Arbor. It promises a confluence of extraordinary culinary and wining experiences, married with intellectual engagements like panel discussions led by industry stalwarts.
Successive auctions and related events will span Paris, Burgundy, New York, and London throughout the upcoming year, concluding in the autumn of the next year back in Hong Kong.
Chen’s collection boasts wines with exceptional provenance, hailing from legendary vineyards with often minuscule production volumes, ensuring not just unparalleled quality but also exceptional rarity. He acquired these prized bottles either directly from vineyards or from some of the most high-profile collections globally and the private cellars of Henri Jayer, the esteemed “godfather of Burgundy.”
Chen is also the owner of a coveted parcel of the prestigious Grand Cru Musigny vineyard, acquired in 2015, allowing him to produce his exclusive bottles. “For a collector like Pierre, having the opportunity to acquire one of these is a bit like acquiring a rare and extraordinary work of art,” noted Erwan Faiveley, Managing Director of Domaine Faiveley.
In addition to presenting his collection to the world, Chen is opening his inaugural restaurant, Le Restaurant Blanc, in Paris, later this month. Here, patrons will get to experience some of the world’s finest wines, personally curated and supplied by Chen, acting as the chief sommelier, who aims to raise the standards by instilling his unparalleled knowledge and standards in his team.