James Halliday

James Halliday to auction wines from his private cellar

May 30, 2020
By Alana House

Wine critic James Halliday is selling Domaine de la Romanee Conti wines from his private cellar valued at over $1million.   

His collection of 250 bottles of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti (DRC) – widely considered the world’s greatest wine producer – will make the auction the biggest of its kind in Australian history.

“As I approach my 82nd birthday I have decided to sell a selection of wines from my collection,” Halliday said. “I hope it will give opportunities for the many wine lovers around the world to start or add to a collection of these wines.”

Halliday admitted to The Australian that the decision was a difficult one: “My heart is deeply saddened by this sale, but I hope it will be the opportunity for the many wine lovers around the world to start or add to a ­collection of these wines. And my sadness has been assuaged by the knowledge that my memories of the wines will never fade.”

The auction, which opens today, is held online through fine wine auction and private brokerage house Langton’s. The average bottle price is estimated at $4000, with prices starting from $2000 per bottle. The pinnacle of the collection is a Domaine de la Romanée-Conti La Tâche from 1999, which is valued to go under the hammer for $10,000.

“We are privileged to be selling Australia’s most significant cellar at auction. The wines have incredible provenance, purchased directly from DRC, and have been kept in immaculate cellaring conditions in James Halliday’s private cellar,” said Langton’s Head of Auctions Tamara Grischy (below).

James Halliday, Tamara Grischy

Burgundy’s DRC is renowned for its ethereal and mythical Pinot Noirs from the most expensive vineyard real estate in the world. Romanee Conti, La Tâche, Grands Echezeaux, Echezeaux, Romanee Vivant are plots of Grand Cru land that have consistently produced wines for at least 400 years.

“The wines of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti are the absolute zenith of the wine world, and are in essence magical. The demand vastly exceeds the supply,” Grischy added. 

Each of the wines going under the hammer will also come with a certificate of authenticity from Langton’s, personally signed by James Halliday.

“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to purchase not only some of the world’s greatest wines, but to get them straight from the private cellar of Australia’s most respected name in wine,” said Langton’s General Manager Jeremy Parham. 

Halliday’s private wine cellar, off limits until now, is a profound collection of Australian and Burgundy wines.

“I have been collecting – and consuming – wine for over 60 years, initially with a focus on Australian wine, then expanding to experience and gradually understand the great wines of the world,” Halliday said. “I’m looking forward to sharing these incredible wines with other enthusiasts.” 

The auction, offered in single bottle lots, will be held online through fine wine auction and private brokerage house Langton’s. The auction will go live on May 30, and close on June 28 at 7pm (AEST) on Langtons.com.au

The respected wine critic will also release a selection of Australian wines from his cellar later in the year, exclusively through Langton’s.

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