Sotheby's May 26 auction in London will include 108 cases of fine wine from the cellar of the Earl Spencer (brother of the late Princess Diana), located at Althorp, Northampton. Said to reflect "the tastes and drinking habits that have defined the palate of the English nobleman," the consignment includes rare Vintage Port, Champagne, claret, Cognac and Madeira.
The Earl Spencer is thinning out some of the family cellar in order to purchase younger wines for his collection, said Serena Sutcliffe, head of Sotheby's international wine department. She added, "The present Earl's father was also very proud of his wines and followed their development closely."
Highlights include nine bottles of Cockburn and Dow Ports from the 1912 vintage, estimated at $315 to $420 per bottle, and a four-bottle lot of Quinta da Noval 1934 estimated at $875 to $1,050. Other celebrated Port vintages from the cellar include 1924, 1935, 1945 and 1963.
Among classified-growth claret, there's a three-bottle lot of Château Léoville Las Cases 1945 estimated at $490 to $630 and a three-magnum lot of Château Calon-Ségur 1945 estimated at $1,400 to $1,750. More contemporary Bordeaux offerings include châteaus Haut-Brion, Margaux and Pétrus from the 1989 vintage.