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End of a (Restaurant) Era

Cellar from Manhattan restaurant Montrachet brings in $1.2 million at auction

Peter D. Meltzer
Posted: May 15, 2007

A substantial portion of the vast wine collection of Manhattan restaurant Montrachet was sold at auction at Zachys on May 10 and 11 in New York. The 5,057-bottle collection, consigned by Montrachet owner Drew Nieporent, brought in $1,200,889 (inclusive of the 19 percent buyer's premium). Montrachet was a TriBeCa trailblazer that opened in 1985, setting the stage and style for downtown Manhattan dining. It won a Wine Spectator Grand Award in 1994, and currently holds a Best of Award of Excellence. The restaurant closed for renovations in February 2007.

Nieporent cited partnership differences along with "bills to pay" as the principal reasons behind the decision to sell the cellar. He said that he was not at liberty to the reveal the next step for the restaurant, but added that he has kept part of the legendary wine collection for future use.

Highlights of the consignment included six bottles of G. Roumier Musigny 1995 that fetched $20,230 (68 percent above the first-quarter 2007 Wine Spectator Auction Index average). Six magnums of Jacques-Frédéric Mugnier Musigny 1993 sold for the same price (down 26 percent) and nine bottles of Coche-Dury Corton Charlemagne 1999 brought $19,040 (up 57 percent). At the low end of the price spectrum, two cases of Michel Coutoux Meursault Perrières 1999 were snapped up below estimate, for $309.

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