S otheby’s Wine is delighted to present an exceptional Single Owner sale to kick off our May auction series: The Orr Collection | Majestic Bordeaux, Burgundian Gems & Champagne Sensations. This remarkable auction presents wines from the cellar of Matthew Orr. Matthew is not only an esteemed art collector, but also the custodian of one of the country’s great cellars. The selection of beautiful bottles offered here has been carefully curated over many years, and he has decided that the time is now right for fellow wine lovers, near and far, to have the opportunity to acquire and enjoy these superb wines.
The sale contains a selection of only the most coveted names from Bordeaux, Burgundy, and Champagne, alongside selected icons of Spain, Italy and Australia. These bottles offer a glimpse into Matthew’s extraordinary collection, and one thing is abundantly clear when browsing these exceptional lots; his unflinching dedication to utmost quality, and enormous appreciation of the world’s very best wines. It is a great privilege to offer such a comprehensive collection of wine’s most illustrious names, particularly such a broad array of peerless Prestige Cuvée vintage Champagne. This brilliant sale is a fitting way to continue what has so far been a record-breaking year for Sotheby’s London wine auctions.
The Orr Collection | Majestic Bordeaux, Burgundian Gems & Champagne Sensations will open for online bidding on Wednesday 11th May, culminating in an online-streamed, live auction on Wednesday 25th May at 12pm BST.
The Orr collection is truly one of the most outstanding cellars to be found throughout Europe and the United States. This brilliant cellar has been meticulously assembled by Matthew Orr and Sybil Robson Orr over many years. The focus with which they have sought to acquire and, most importantly, share only the wine world’s very best names is entirely self-evident from the tightly curated selection of estates on offer. Of particular note is the extraordinary depth of Prestige Cuvée Champagne, and outstanding volume of top class Bordeaux from across both banks.
Provenance and Inspection
All of the wines in this sale were purchased on release from Berry Bros. & Rudd; one of the UK’s most historic and highly-trusted merchants. Since purchase, they have been stored undisturbed within their professional, temperature and humidity controlled bonded warehouse in the UK, where they remained until transfer to Sotheby’s own bonded storage at Octavian, for inspection by our expert team in April 2022.
“In the course of building their collection, Matthew Orr and Sybil Robson Orr have shown not just extraordinary dedication to acquiring the world's best wines, but also an exceptional flair for entertaining, and enormous generosity. It has been a great privilege to have been on the receiving end of this, and shared many wonderful bottles with them throughout the time I have known them! Their generosity, already experienced so regularly by many of their friends and family, is now extended to Sotheby's lucky bidders who have the exciting opportunity to acquire these perfectly stored bottles via auction.”
“It is entirely appropriate that this selection of wines, from Matthew and Sybil’s superb cellar, is featured in a stand alone Single Owner sale that highlights the excellent provenance and condition of the wines, which were purchased directly from Berry Bros & Rudd. There is only so much that one can consume and it is now time for others to appreciate and enjoy these pristine wines.”
“Matthew and Sybil’s love of sharing great wines at wonderful gatherings with good friends is most clearly evidenced by the weight of top-quality Champagne to be found here! Throughout this collection, we find an incredible depth of top tier Bordeaux, alongside parcel quantities of extraordinary vintage Champagne, with a number of cuvées offered for which it is rare to find such significant volumes, with pitch-perfect provenance. It is a delight to be able to offer such a wonderful collection of pristine bottle to our worldwide community of passionate wine lovers and collectors.”
From My Cellar To Yours – A Note From Matthew Orr
In the summer of 1984, I was lucky enough to be taken to dinner by a great friend and wine expert, Lance Jefferson of Berry Brothers and Rudd. It was the beginning of a beautiful journey with wine. My epiphany came when Lance suggested we pair a Côtes du Rhône with a spicy menu at his favourite Chelsea restaurant. I will never forget the sensation of a smokey wine with spicy food. As a consequence, wine took on a whole new meaning; wine to pair with food, wine as an aperitif, wine with dessert, and of course, champagne anytime. During the last thirty-eight years, I have been lucky enough to work with Lance and his team to collect wines that have been purchased En Primeur (at the time they were released from the Château), with all coming in their original cases. Since purchase, the wines have been held in bond in the same location. Wine should be drunk, and now is the time for others to enjoy some of this cellar. Happily, unlike many other investments, if all goes upside down, this one can be consumed with joy.
Matthew Orr, May 2022