Christie’s Is Selling Lebanese Wine, $1,790 Per Bottle

Art collector Joel Mallin has engaged Christie’s International auction house to sell wines from his 6,000-bottle cellar, featuring top vintages from Burgundy, Bordeaux and Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley.

Mallin and his wife Sherry are best known for collecting sculpture, including works by Richard Serra and Andrew Goldsworthy.

Mallin, who began buying wine over three decades ago, plans to sell 700 bottles, he said in a telephone interview. He estimated that the collection -- which includes bottles from Chateau Latour in Bordeaux and La Tache from Burgundy -- would sell for approximately $200,000, or about $286 per bottle.

“Since I’m 80 years old, I’m not going to be able to drink it all,” Mallin said.

French billionaire Francois Pinault owns Latour as well as London-based Christie’s.

Mallin said that the most valuable wines in the sale are two cases of La Tache, from Domaine de la Romanee-Conti. He estimated that the wines, from 1986 and 1988, will sell for $2,000 to $3,000 per bottle.

The consignment also includes wine from Chateau Margaux, another premiere Bordeaux, according to documents that Christie’s filed on Aug. 23 with the New York State Department of State.

A rarity in the collection is Chateau Musar Gaston Hochar, a Bordeaux-style wine from Lebanon whose 1959 vintage, included in the offering, sells for as much as $1,790 per bottle.

Online Sale

Some of the wine will be sold during a two-week online auction that began this week, according to Mallin. The remainder will be sold at a live auction that Christie’s scheduled for Oct. 11 in New York.

Sung-Hee Park, a Christie’s spokeswoman, said that 700 lots of wine will be sold through the online auction, with each lot consisting of as little as one bottle or as much as an entire case. She declined to comment on whether any of the wine to be sold belonged to Mallin.

A semi-retired tax lawyer, Mallin and his wife began collecting sculpture in the 1980s and are now ranked among the world’s top 200 collectors by ARTnews. The couple has 70 outdoor sculptural installations at their 15-acre home in Westchester County, New York.

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