Hart Davis Hart Wine Co. to Offer The Herbert Bridges Harris, Jr. Collection in a Spectacular Single-Owner Auction in Chicago on February 8, 2014

. January 8, 2014

Important Private Cellar with Remarkable Provenance and Brimming with Exciting Rarities Expected to Realize Over $6M

Featuring 740 bottles from Domaine de la Romanée-Conti; extensive offerings of Leroy, Rousseau, Leflaive, and verticals of First Growth Bordeaux & Château Pétrus spanning 32 vintages; provenance supported by extensive original receipts from purchases made in the 1970s and 1980s

(Chicago, IL) – Hart Davis Hart Wine Co., the #1 Wine Auction house in America and leading rare wine retailer, is honored to announce a spectacular single-owner auction on February 8, 2014, showcasing The Herbert Bridges Harris, Jr. Collection, the most prestigious cellar to appear at auction for some time. The offering of 986 lots is almost exclusively rare Burgundy and classic Bordeaux, and is estimated at $4-$6 million. Given the caliber and pedigree of the cellar, HDH anticipates collectors from around the world to converge on the auction saleroom.

Hart Davis HartThe vast cellar boasts an encyclopedic selection of highly-sought Bordeaux and Burgundy, along with Rhône and Champagne, and includes a remarkable and unprecedented selection of large format bottles, including hundreds of top wines in imperials, jeroboams and double magnums.

The late Mr. Harris, a well-known wine collector, passed away at the age of 78 in 2013. A native Texan, he enjoyed football and tennis while attending college at Baylor. Aafter receiving an MBA from the University of Texas, he settled in Houston and launched a successful career in real estate, among other ventures. Known to his family and friends as “Bubba,” he was warmly regarded in the wine collecting community and beyond for his humor, generosity, integrity and compassion. His interest in wine began when he was in his late 20s, and before long he was sampling wines regularly in various tasting groups in Houston. Along the way, he had the good fortune to become friends with Lenoir Josey, one of the most passionate, knowledgeable, and respected oenophiles in America. With Mr. Josey as a willing and eager mentor, he began to actively collect in the 1970s. His experience with the 1985 Burgundies spurred an epiphany, and prompted him to accelerate his collecting activity with a much greater focus on Burgundy. Eventually he acquired an additional apartment contiguous to his living quarters, installed extensive insulation and temperature and humidity control systems within it, and used the additional apartment exclusively for his wine cellar. It evolved into his sanctuary, with admission limited to an exclusive few.

A devoted Francophile, he befriended many iconic producers, and was close with many respected wine merchants. He was a leader and active member of the International Food & Wine Society, The 7th of April Wine Club, as well as the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, and was very involved with community organizations such as the Pin Oaks Charity Horse Show, Houston Livestock Show, Houston Club, River Oaks Tennis Club, and the First United Methodist Church in his hometown of Center, Texas.

Provenance, condition and storage were of great importance to Mr. Harris, and his wines remained in his highly customized home cellar until moved to professional storage in 1994, where they have remained undisturbed for the last 19 years. The vast majority of the wines were acquired as futures or upon initial release from reputable merchants. The details of the remarkable provenance were found in the volumes of original receipts and ledgers detailing his purchases back into the 1970s that were provided to HDH by the family.

The sale will feature unparalleled quantities of the world’s most sought after wines. Foremost among the group are 100 lots of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti worth an estimated $1.4-$2.2 million, featuring a full case of 1976 Montrachet, Domaine de la Romanée-Conti (12 bs), 221 bottles of La Tâche, including seven 6L methuselahs. The auction also contains one of the largest offerings of Leroy highlighted by two cases of 1990 Chambertin (12 bs) (owc) (estimate $16,000-$24,000), four cases of 1990 Clos Vougeot (12 bs) (owc) (estimate $7,000-$10,000) and eight cases of 1990 Vosne-Romanée, Beaux Monts (12 bs) (owc) (estimate $7,000-$10,000).

“This is by far one of the most important collections I have seen in my 23 year career at Christie’s, Davis & Company, Sotheby’s, and Hart Davis Hart. The vast quantities of rare wine combined with the impeccable provenance is unlikely to be seen again any time in the near future,” noted Paul Hart, CEO of Hart Davis Hart.

Other highlights include:
• 6 cases of 1985 Clos de la Roche, Vieilles Vignes, Domaine Ponsot (12 bs) (owc) (est. $26,000-38,000)
• 8 cases of 1985 Ruchottes-Chambertin, Maison Leroy (12 bs)
• 23 lots of Château Pétrus from 1967-1988
• 8 lots of Taittinger, Comtes de Champagne from 1961, 1966, 1971 and 1976
• 30 lots of Château d’Yquem from 1961-1983 with seven Imperials of 1983
• 250 bottles of Domaine Leflaive from 1976-1989

Top 10 lots from the February 8th auction:
1976 Romanée-Conti, DRC (12 bs) (est. $50,000-75,000)
1985 Richebourg, Henri Jayer (6 bs) (est. $48,000-75,000)
1976 Romanée-Conti, DRC (4 mags) (est. $35,000-55,000)
1976 Romanée-Conti, DRC (1 meth (6L)) (owc) (est. $35,000-55,000)
1971 La Tâche, DRC (6 mags) (est. $35,000-55,000)
1976 Montrachet, DRC (12 bs) (est. $32,000-48,000)
1971 Romanée-Conti, DRC (1 jeroboam (3L)) (est. $30,000-45,000)
1978 La Tâche, DRC (12 bs) (owc) (est. $30,000-45,000)
1985 Vosne-Romanée, Cros Parantoux, Henri Jayer (6 bs) (est. $30,000-45,000)
1985 Clos de la Roche, Vieilles Vignes, Domaine Ponsot (6 mags) (est. $30,000-45,000)

As an added service to collectors, photos of the top lots in the auction will be available for viewing on www.hdhwine.com beginning Thursday, January 16th, enabling prospective bidders an opportunity to view bottle conditions before bidding.

Upcoming Auction Calendar
March 22, 2014
May 17, 2014
June 28, 2014

Bidding Information
Auction catalogs are available through the website or by calling Hart Davis Hart (hdhwine.com; 312.482.9996). The expanded website allows bidders to view and search the auction catalog and place absentee bids online.

Hart Davis Hart’s state-of-the-art technology allows bidders worldwide to participate in the Chicago-based live auctions via the Internet. Bidders can follow the auction in the salesroom, hear the live auction, and bid against the room, all in real-time. More details about online bidding can be found at www.hdhwine.com.

Category: Auction News

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