Sotheby’s Will Host the Highest-Estimated Wine Auction in History

A 12-bottle case of 1982 Chateau Mouton Rothschild in Sotheby’s auction house in 2012. Oli Scarff/Getty Images

Wine connoisseurs with well-trained palates and bottomless pockets are an insatiable bunch, and toward the end of March the ever-excessive and reliably decadent Sotheby’s will cater to the highest-caliber oenophiles with Tran-scend-ent Wines, a three-day sale extravaganza of 16,889 fine bottles of vin de table—and the highest-estimated all-wine auction in history.

All of its wines were sourced from the private cellars of a collection owned by a single man referred to only as “the Transcendent Collector,” and an Observer email sent to Sotheby’s confirmed that the sole benefactor wishes to remain anonymous.

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The auction has been estimated to fetch up to $26 million U.S. dollars in profit and will take place in Hong Kong, an established global capital of wine expertise and industry.

Last year, a Sotheby’s auction in New York broke the world auction record for the sale price of a single bottle of wine two separate times during the same event, when twin bottles of Romanée Conti 1945 sold for $558,000 and $496,000, respectively. Shortly after that, a bottle of Macallan 1926 (of which only 40 bottles were ever produced) went for $843,200, a record sale for both Sotheby’s and North America.

If you (like so many other strung-out metropolitan office drones desperate for a way to temporarily detox) have been diligently suffering through Dry January, you’re likely itching for that celebratory glass of fragrant vintage (though we’re sure you’ve come to appreciate the hangover-free existence that accompanies sobriety). Plus, who in their right mind would deny themselves a rarity as “transcendent” as a super-long-preserved bottle of vino?

So if you’ve got a cool spare million dollars lying around come the 29th of March, you can conceivably treat yourself to some Bordeaux; a matured champagne; more than 600 accumulated lots of Domaine Coche-Dury, a French Burgundy known for its inimitable consistency and quality; and, of course, Montrachet 1993 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, the likes of which would bring any self-respecting sommelier to tears.

Sotheby’s Will Host the Highest-Estimated Wine Auction in History