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Friday, January 26, 2007

Major Wine Auction in Chicago Next Weekend

Posted By on 01.26.07 at 09:29 AM

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Next weekend Hart Davis Hart, the Chicago-based wine auction house, will be hosting two days of events leading up to the "largest value wine auction in Chicago history" on Saturday, February 3, which they will be holding at the new location for all their wine auctions, Tru. The value of the wine? Between $3.5 and $5.2 million.

Thursday, February 1, there's a comparative tasting of 1989 and 1990 vintages of Bordeaux at the Casino club; included in the twenty Chateaux they are pouring are all five of the Bordeaux First Growths. Then on Friday, February 2, there'll be a $1,250-a-plate, five-course dinner at Tru, featuring a vertical tasting of all vintages (ranging from 1990-2002) of legendary California Harlan Estate wines. Many 100-pointers both nights.

The auction itself promises international bidding for such glamorous lots as a 20-case, 240-bottle vertical of "ultra-rare" Chateau Lafleur (est. $300,000-$450,000); five vintages of California cabernet Colgin in 18-liter melchiors (est. $400,000- 600,000); a bottle of 1949 Chambertin Rousseau (est. $4,000-$6,000), a methuselah (gotta love these names!) of 1999 Romanee Conti (est. $120,000-$180,000); and three bottles of 1985 Musigny Roumier (estimate $9,000-$14,000). Mark Fisher, who writes the Uncorked wine blog for the Dayton Daily News, posited about the auction's offerings: "Is heaven’s wine list this good?"

Find more kvelling about the sale in this Bloomberg article which describes the growing importance of the Chicago wine scene, and in this Decanter piece about HDH's role in it. There's also an interesting article here from the San Mateo County Times quoting HDH's Paul Hart, regarding a wine robbery this month in the SF area that reflects vintage wine's increasing value.

Reservations are needed for the Thursday and Friday events, but the auction, which starts at 9 AM on Saturday, is open to the public and free of charge--though, of course, you'd need some serious clams to actually buy anything. There's a $75 buffet at lunch and HDH will also be pouring wines from their retail cellar during the event for all registered bidders. The timing is great: hit the auction Saturday, then fill your Bears beer hat with Chateu Petrus 1975 the next day and hook up the plastic tubing in time for the Super Bowl.

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