Billionaire to sell 25,000 bottles of wine worth $50M

Sep 29, 2023, 7:00 AM

The collection includes some of the "most sought-after and iconic vintages" ever produced at the La Tâche vineyard. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Sotheby's

(CNN) — Taiwanese billionaire Pierre Chen is auctioning off 25,000 bottles of wine from his vast collection, with some of the rarest items expected to fetch as much as $190,000 each.

Predicted to sell for up to $50 million, they form the largest and most expensive wine collection ever to be offered at auction, said Sotheby’s, which is organizing the five-part sale.

Chen’s wine knowledge puts him in a “league of his own,” said George Lacey, Head of Sotheby’s Wine for Asia in a statement, describing the collection as “staggering both in volume and range.” The auction house said the billionaire, who is founder and chair of electronics giant Yageo Corporation, had assembled the bottles over four decades.

“There is currently more wine in his cellars than any one individual could ever hope to drink in a lifetime, but wine is for drinking,” said Lacey.

While the auction house would not confirm the exact size of Chen’s collection, a spokesperson told CNN via email that the number of bottles in his cellars runs “well into six figures” — and those on sale represent only “a fraction” of his total holdings.

Forbes currently ranks Chen as Taiwan’s 10th — and the world’s 515th — richest person, with an estimated fortune of $5.5 billion. In a press release, Sotheby’s said he began collecting wines from Bordeaux in the 1970s, before expanding to the “then much-less-fashionable wines” from the Burgundy winemaking region.

Red burgundies, namely rare vintages from the storied La Tâche vineyard, account for the most valuable lots on offer. Among them are two “methuselahs” (a term for six-liter bottles) from 1985 valued at between $120,000 and $190,000 each. Another of the vineyard’s methuselahs from 1999, is expected to fetch $100,000 to $130,000, while a 1971 three-liter “jeroboam” (or double magnum) is valued at $110,000 to $140,000.

Elsewhere, a rare six-liter bottle of 1982 Château Pétrus, a Bourdeaux red described by Sotheby’s as having “legendary status amongst wine collectors,” is expected to fetch up to $65,000.

The sale also includes white burgundies and Champagnes by Dom Pérignon and Krug.

The five sales — collectively dubbed the “The Epicurean’s Atlas” — will take place over the course of a year, and each will focus on different regions and types of wine. The first takes place in Hong Kong this November, with sales also planned for Paris, New York, and Beaune, Burgundy.

Chen will also soon open his first restaurant, Le Restaurant Blanc in Paris, which he will supply with wines from his collection and serve as chief sommelier. The billionaire meanwhile continues to produce his own wine at the highly regarded Grand Cru Musigny vineyard, where he acquired a parcel of land in 2015.

The sales come less than five years after Chen auctioned off $15 million’s worth of wine, also through Sotheby’s. He is also a prominent art collector, and owns works by painters including Pablo Picasso, Gerhard Richter and Francis Bacon.


We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Business + Economy

helping single mothers in Utah...

Emma Keddington and Waverly Golden

Employment rate for U.S. women is at all time high, report shows

A report found that the employed women rate in America is at an all-time high, contradicting previous beliefs that it would lower following the pandemic.

3 hours ago

Spotify headquarters in London...

Hanna Ziady, CNN

Spotify to cut 17% of its staff

Spotify’s layoff of staff aim to make the company more efficient, taking it back to its startup roots after a massive hiring spree.

10 hours ago

Alaska Airlines airplane takes off from the south runway at the Los Angeles International Airport, ...

Eva Rothenberg, CNN

Alaska Air to buy Hawaiian Airlines for $1.9 billion

Alaska Air (ALK) on Sunday announced it will buy rival Hawaiian Airlines (HA) for $1.9 billion.

1 day ago

are you doom spending?...

Curt Gresseth

Are you ‘doom spending’?

What is doom spending? A KSL NewsRadio producer describes her experience with — and motivation for — reckless buying.

3 days ago

The TikTok logo is displayed on signage outside TikTok social media app company offices in Culver C...

By Samantha Delouya, CNN

Judge blocks Montana’s TikTok ban from taking effect on January 1

(CNN) — A federal judge on Thursday halted Montana’s TikTok ban, which was set to go into effect at the start of 2024. In a filing, US District Judge Donald Molloy said that despite the state government’s attempt to defend the law, “the current record leaves little doubt that Montana’s legislature and Attorney General were […]

4 days ago

**This image is for use with this specific article only** Price hikes and spending cooled last mont...

Alicia Wallace, CNN

Price hikes and spending cooled last month, Fed’s preferred inflation gauge shows

The Commerce Department on Thursday delivered an early present to the Federal Reserve: The central bank’s favorite inflation gauge fell to its lowest level since the spring of 2021, and consumers lifted their foot off the gas pedal.

4 days ago

Sponsored Articles

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

Human hand holding a protest banner stop vaping message over a crowded street background....

Prosperous Utah Communities

Utah’s Battle to Protect Youth from Vaping Epidemic Faces New Threat as Proposed Rule Threatens Progress

Utah's strict standards of nicotine levels in vaping products are at risk, increasing health hazards associated with use. Read more about how you can advocate for a better future for Utah's youth.

Aerial photo of Bear Lake shoreline with canopies and people camped out on the beach...

Visit Bear Lake

Last-Minute Summer Vacation Planning? Check Out Bear Lake!

Bear Lake is the perfect getaway if you are last-minute summer vacation planning. Enjoy activities with your whole family at this iconic lake.

Billionaire to sell 25,000 bottles of wine worth $50M