On 20th October, get yourself down to London for what promises to be “one of the finest and most comprehensive collections of old and rare wine ever to appear at auction.”
Christie’s auction house has announced that it will be auctioning a large part of the Avery family cellar – one of Bristol’s oldest and best-known fine wine merchants.
The auction will feature 900 lots of wines from both the Old and New Worlds, with some “deep” selections of classic Bordeaux and Burgundy names where the Averys bottled their own signature barrels and cuvées well into the 1970s.
Highlights on the day will include a 1875 Lafite, a 1923 Richebourg and cases of old Champagne, Rhône and vintage Port. The 1945 vintage is well represented, with five bottles of ‘45 Clos de Tart, eleven bottles of ‘45 Latour and five of the famous ’45 Mouton. Also on offer are “extensive” vintages of Penfolds Grange, 1990 Petrus, 1982 Cheval-Blanc and 1971 Lafleur.
The Avery family wine cellar
Founded in 1793, and still operational to this day, the Avery Family Cellar has made their name over 6 generations, mainly under the guidance of Ronald Avery (1899-1976) and John Avery MW (1941-2012).
John Avery is famous for importing wines into the UK from all over the world – Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the US – many of which were virtually unknown in the 1960s and 70s and are now household names.
Jancis Robinson published a tribute to John Avery upon his death in 2012, writing:
“John was not a natural businessman. Like many in the wine trade, what he loved was the wine itself, and he was lucky enough to have been brought up with constant access to some of the world’s finest, including some legendary bottlings. The Averys were famous for blurring the line between the company’s stocks and their own personal cellars.”
“It was John Avery who first brought wines from the likes of Tyrrell’s and McWilliams of Australia and Matawhero of New Zealand into the country. He was also a founding member, with the late Harry Waugh and Hugh Johnson, of the Zinfandel Club (through which I met my husband) which celebrated fine California wine in the 1970s and 1980s. Right up to the end he continued to travel throughout Australasia and South Africa and was particularly well known as an international wine judge.”
Space for new vintage wines
The family is parting with some of their rarities to make way for much-needed newer vintages, to develop the collection further into its 4th century of acquisition.
Michael Broadbent MW, founder of Christie’s wine department, works as a Consultant for the 250 year-old company and is a close friend of the family, remarked – “this is undoubtedly one of the finest and most comprehensive collections of old and rare wine ever to appear at auction.”