Seldom-seen historic vintages dating back more than a century. Rare large format bottles. The largest quantity of wine direct from chateau cellars ever offered for charity. All this and more will go under the hammer at Sotheby’s in New York on May 21, thanks to Prince Robert of Luxembourg.
Over many years, Prince Robert has accumulated a collection of some of the most sought-after wines. As Chairman and CEO of Domaine Clarence Dillon, the family wine business, he oversees Châteaux Haut-Brion, which was purchased in 1935 by his great-grandfather Clarence Dillon, as well as La Mission Haut-Brion and Château Quintus, and also Bordeaux wine brand Clarendelle, two-Michelin-starred restaurant Le Clarence in Paris, wine shop La Cave du Château in Paris and Bordeaux, and Bordeaux fine wine merchant Clarence Dillon Wines. It is no wonder then that his personal collection is a reflection of his involvement in and passion for wine.
Prince Robert has put his entire wine collection, which boasts impeccable provenance and condition, up for auction to benefit The PolG Foundation, which raises awareness and funds for those suffering from mitochondrial conditions, something that his youngest son was diagnosed with in 2016. This decision has inspired family and friends to also contribute wines to the sale, further expanding the impressive offering.
“When I first entertained the idea of emptying out my cellar in this rather public fashion, there was not a minute of hesitation from my family. Soon after we were joined by other members of my family and our family company. In parallel, some of the very finest wine producers heard about our sale and donated some truly exceptional lots,” says Prince Robert. “Any bidders who are lucky enough to win one—or a number—of these lots will be certain to know that they will enjoy some of the very finest and rarest wines in the world. All the while, they will also be supporting a cause that will ultimately help all of us.”
Highlights of the upcoming auction include historic vintages of Château Haut Brion with bottles from 1908, 1918 and 1919, and from the 1920s, 1930s, 1940s—the War years, when the bottles were made from pale blue glass—as well as more recent vintages. There are also the exceptional 1924 and 1926 vintages in jeroboams. Other rare large format bottles include magnums of Haut Brion Blanc, La Mission Haut- Brion and Laville Haut-Brion.