Opus One, the celebrated Napa Valley joint venture between the Mondavi and Rothschild winemaking families, will donate all proceeds from its 42-lot consignment at Aulden Cellars-Sotheby's Nov. 17 auction in New York to the World Trade Center Disaster Relief Fund, run by the New York State. Additionally, Sotheby's has waived its vendor's fee for the Opus portion of the sale.
"It occurred to us after the 9/11 tragedy that we could really donate all of the proceeds that we garnered from the auction and put all of our eggs in one big basket," said Opus One director of public relations Roger Afleson.
The 646-bottle consignment, which bears an estimated value of $168,000 to $238,600, celebrates the release of the 20th vintage of Opus One. It comprises full cases of Opus One from 1979 to 1998, plus magnums, double-magnums and imperials from 1979 to 1996.
"Opus One is more than a benchmark, it is an all-enduring classic," said Serena Sutcliffe, head of Sotheby's international wine department, at a presale tasting.
Highlights from the Opus One consignment include a super-lot containing the four, first-ever released salamanzars from the 1993 through 1996 vintages, estimated at $12,000 to $20,000. There's also a 240-bottle super-lot featuring full cases of Opus One from 1979 through 1998, estimated at $35,000 to $45,000. Current sale prices in the Wine Spectator Auction Index correspond with the auction house's estimates.