Bonhams to Auction Wine from the Estate of Actor John Forsythe

Bonhams has announced its September 24, 2011 three-city Fine and Rare Wine auction. The first session of the sale will be held in Bonhams’ New York sale room and will be simulcast to San Francisco and Los Angeles, while its second session will be held in Bonhams San Francisco sale room, simulcast to Los Angeles and New York – in a unique auction format, well received by Bonhams clients.

The highly anticipated sale will consist of important Bordeaux and Burgundy vintages, as well as a selection of wines from the Estate of award-winning stage, television and film actor John Forsythe.

Forsythe was best known for his roles in three television series, spanning four decades and three genres: in the 1950s sitcom Bachelor Father, as single playboy father Bentley Gregg; as Charles “Charlie” Townsend, the unseen millionaire on the 1970s crime drama Charlie’s Angels and as Blake Carrington, patriarch on the 1980s prime-time soap opera Dynasty.

Wine highlights from the Estate of John Forsythe include an eclectic mix, spanning seven decades, ranging from 1st growth Bordeaux through Burgundy to California. Wines of note include various Bordeaux from the 1950s to 1980s, such as a 1975 Chateau Petrus (est. $1,000-1,400); a 1959 Chateau Palmer (est. $700–950); a 1979 Chateau Lafite (est. $500-650); and a quartet of 1959 dessert wines by A. de Luze et Fils from the Haut Sauternes, Sauternes, Barsac and Graves. Also featured during the fall sale is a trio of Macy’s midcentury “Taster Selection” wines, including a 1949 Graves Blanc and a 1950 Vouvray. The lot is estimated to bring $150–200.

Additional property from the Forsythe Estate will be offered during Bonhams’ Sunset Estate Auction on September 25, 2011 and the Entertainment Memorabilia auction in December 2011. (Please see separate press releases.)

In addition, the sale will feature several private collections with Bordeaux and Sauternes from some of the most acclaimed vintages of the 20th century. Select highlights include the superb 1947 Cheval Blanc (estimate $2,500-4,000), which Michael Broadbent called “unquestionably one of the greatest wines of all time,” and a complete vertical of First Growth Bordeaux from the acclaimed 1982 vintage (estimates vary).

Many great clarets from the excellent vintages of ’53, ’55, ’59, ’61, ’70 and ’75 will be offered during the September auction. Wines of note include Chateau Latour, Chateau Lafite Rothschild, Chateau La Mission Haut Brion, Chateau La Conseillante, Chateau L’Evangile and Chateau Montrose, among others (estimates vary). Remarkable Sauternes will be offered, including Chateau d’Yquem from ’59 and ’67, and Chateau Caillou Crème de Tete from ’29, ’34, ’47 and ’59 (estimates vary),

as well as an array of Burgundies from outstanding vintages, including two bottles each of 1969 Romanee-Conti and 1969 Richebourg from Domaine de la Romanee-Conti (estimates vary). Domestic highlights from the September auction will include both modern and “classic” California rarities. Among the older offerings are several bottles of the 1958 Beaulieu Vineyard Private Reserve, named by James Laube as the greatest BV Private Reserve produced in their first 30 years (est. $650-850), the 1959 Inglenook Classic Claret (est. $500-700), as well as the extremely rare 1971 Ridge Vineyards Eisele Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, in both the 750ml bottle (est. $700-850) and magnum (est. $1,500-2,200). This Ridge bottling is part of a collection which includes seventeen vintages of Ridge Monte Bello Cabernet Sauvignon; including the premier release from 1962 (estimates vary). Representing modern California rarities will be numerous vintages of Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon ranging from 2002 through 2008 (estimates vary), as well as various offerings from Araujo, Colgin, Modicum, and Sloan.

A collection of large format bottles will also be featured during the sale. Wines of note include seven Imperials, thirteen Double Magnums and five Magnums of Caymus Special Selection, eighteen Double Magnums and four Magnums of Spottswoode Cabernet, a fiveliter of Dunn, Howell Mountain Cabernet, and five magnums of Moraga Cabernet, among various other highly collectible and large format bottles (range from $200-1,100).

The illustrated auction catalog for the Wine Auction will be available online for review and purchase in the weeks preceding the sale at

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