Press Release

Sotheby’s to Present ‘No Reserve’ Sale of Wines from the Cellar of Lewis Chester

By Sotheby's
This expansive auction represents a fraction of one of Europe's most extensive and comprehensive cellars, curated over many years by the collector, fine wine and rare spirits writer, and founder of the “Oscars of Fine Wine”: The Golden Vines® Awards

The Cellar of Lewis Chester | The Inaugural Selection | No Reserve
Open for bidding from 18 May to 1 June

LONDON, 18 MAY 2023 – This May, Sotheby’s Wine presents an exceptional Single Owner collection to kick off its summer auction wine series: The Cellar of Lewis Chester | The Inaugural Selection | No Reserve.

Opening for bidding on 18 May, this remarkable “No Reserve Auction” represents a mere fraction of one of Europe's most extensive and comprehensive cellars, curated over many years by an extraordinarily determined collector and fine wine and rare spirits writer, and the founder of the “Oscars of Fine Wine”: The Golden Vines® Awards, Lewis Chester DipWSET.

Having decided the time is right for fellow fine wine devotees to have the opportunity to acquire these superb wines, Lewis explained his motivation to offer a tranche of his collection at auction.

“The extraordinary quality of the wines on offer in this No Reserve auction will undoubtedly appeal to both new and seasoned collectors, with the no reserve aspect adding an exciting new dimension to the sale. It has been a complete privilege for the Sotheby’s Wine team to work with Lewis in bringing this inaugural selection of wines from his personal cellar to auction; we cannot wait for fellow wine lovers to glimpse through this vinous window into his world-class collection.”
Gary Owen, Head of Auction Sales, UK, Sotheby’s Wine
“As a collector, I began - like most fine wine lovers and collectors - buying Bordeaux En Primeur. Within a few years, I had developed a taste for Champagne and Burgundy - after all, as I like to say, ‘all roads lead to Burgundy’. However, once I started studying wine, my interests in fine wine became fairly broad. I had been collecting the top wines from Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Tuscany and Piedmont for a number of years, but now my interests extended to California, Australia, the Rhône Valley, the Loire Valley, the Alsace and the Mosel Valley. I had also studied and experienced the aging benefits of large formats, particularly for sparkling wine. Therefore, over time, my growing collection began to have an outsized exposure to large formats. The vast bulk of the collection was purchased on release and is held in bond. Provenance has always been of utmost importance to me. Today, my collection is far too big to contemplate consuming it all, although I have been giving it a good crack! Further, I own some incredible wines in large quantities, making perfect sense to let some of these available for other fine wine lovers to enjoy.”
Lewis Chester

With an estimated combined value in excess of £1 million, the 776-lot sale includes individual estimates as a guide. On offer are 251 lots of Burgundy alone, covering the great Burgundy Domaines – Rousseau, Dujac, Roumier, de Vogüé, Leflaive, Raveneau and Dauvissat. In addition to more accessible but very high quality Domaines such as Rossignol-Trapet, Lignier-Michelot and Follin-Arbelet.

Turning the spotlight on Champagne, the sale boasts 91 lots of Krug and Dom Perignon from the very rare Clos of d'Ambonnay and du Mesnil to P3 vintages and large formats. Also, perfect for the coming summer are double magnums of Krug Rosé. A further 70 lots encompass the finest cuvees of Vilmart, Philipponnat and Pol Roger, among others.

The selection also features exceptional wines from Bordeaux, with First Growths Lafite, Latour, and Margaux plus Haut-Brion Blanc representing the Left Bank, with the Right Bank supplying extremely rare double-magnums of Le Pin and magnums of Lafleur.

The Rhône is comprehensively covered with the very best producers, featuring lauded estates such as Rayas, Chave, Guigal, Clape, and Rostaing.

Nebbiolo, in all its tantalising perfumed glory, brings with it the very finest names in Piedmont, featuring Barolo and Barbaresco from long established masters such as Giacosa, G. Rinaldi, Bartolo Mascarello, Conterno, Gaja, and countless others.

Beyond these five central regions, this consignment also includes Fine Wine from the Loire and Mosel valleys, Tuscany, Switzerland, and Santa Cruz Mountains, with Clos Rougeard, Markus Molitor, Sassicaia, Gantenbein, and Ridge Vineyards plus numerous others all flying the flag for their respective appellations.

All bottles in this collection have been purchased either direct from the respective Domaines via allocation or from only the most reputable UK merchant, then carefully cellared in professional temperature-controlled storage.

The online-only auction of The Cellar of Lewis Chester | The Inaugural Selection | No Reserve will close for bidding on 1 June at 10am BST.

Earlier this year, Sotheby’s Wine announced a new multi-year partnership with The Golden Vines® Awards and the Gérard Basset Foundation. Sotheby’s will conduct the Golden Vines® Live Auction which raises money exclusively for the Foundation’s work around diversity and inclusivity in the wine, spirits and hospitality sector. The Golden Vines (known as the ‘Oscars of Fine Wine’) is one of the world’s most coveted and exclusive wine events, held over three days and attended by 300 guests. The centerpiece of the annual celebration are two gala dinners: the Dress to Party Charity Gala and the Awards Ceremony & Gala. This year’s auction will be held during the Golden Vines® Dress to Party Charity Gala on Friday 13 October 2023 at Pavillons de Bercy in Paris.


Sotheby’s Communications Department

London | +44 (0)20 7293 6000 | Matthew Floris |
Hong Kong | +852 2822 8129 | Nancy Wong |
New York | +1 212 606 7176 | Zoe Malliaros |

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