After several months of suspense, Sotheby's wine department has announced that it will be conducting its wine auctions in New York with Aulden Cellars. Last November, Sotheby's and its former retail partner, Sherry-Lehmann, parted ways because they could not arrive at a mutually satisfactory contract. In the interim, speculation on Sotheby's replacement included several prominent local retailers, such as Morrell & Company.
New York state law requires that live wine auctions be conducted with a licensed retailer of 10 year's standing. According to Michael Davis, Sotheby's North American wine director, Aulden Cellars is a New York retailer that is a division of Connoisseur Encounters -- a multimillion dollar wine and gourmet food operation that does business in four states.
"Aulden Cellars is a relatively small firm that is focused on limited-release boutique wines and has acquired a license that meets all [New York] qualifications," he said. "For now, wines held for auction will be stored in a professional temperature and humidity-controlled facility just outside of Manhattan."
Aulden Cellars/Sotheby's first Manhattan auction will take place at Sotheby's York Avenue location on April 15. Highlights will include a dozen bottles of Chbteau Mouton-Rothschild 1928, a case of Chbteau Haut-Brion 1961, and a jeroboam of DRC La Tbche 1962.
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