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The oldest Macallan and Karuizawa ever bottled, and legendary Bordeaux, lead Sotheby's Wines & Spirits sales
Cheval Blanc 1947. Est. £130,000-170,000 (11 bottles) and £140,000-190,000 (12 bottles). Courtesy Sotheby's.

LONDON.- Sotheby’s Finest & Rarest Spirits features the oldest Macallan and Karuizawa ever bottled alongside landmarks of luxury in the world of whisky.

Jonny Fowle, Sotheby’s Spirits Specialist, commented: “We are delighted to present such a strong selection of bottles consigned directly from producers as well as from private collections to begin our 2020 sales in London. Among the most exciting bottles in this sale are the Gordon & MacPhail Private Decanters, all of which are numbered 1 of their respective outturn. This is the first time that any number 1 decanter from G&M has been offered for sale rather than kept within the Urquhart Family archives. Offering these alongside such iconic bottles as Karuizawa 52 Year old from Cask #5627 and so many Macallan in Lalique decanters showcases the strength of current demand for the very best in the world of whisky.”

Finest & Rarest Spirits features the highly sought after Karuizawa 52 Year Old Cask #5627 Zodiac Rat 1960, the most coveted bottle from this closed Japanese distillery that is fortuitously offered this year, the Year of the Rat. In 2018, a bottle of this Japanese single malt broke the record for the most expensive bottle of Japanese whisky ever sold at auction, superseded several months later by a rare bottle of Yamazaki 50 Year Old 1st Edition.

Among the most notable bottlings in this auction is an impeccable array of old Gordon & MacPhail releases from previous decades with vintages stretching back to the 1930s, which culminate in a collection of four highly aged and very limited Crystal Decanters from the G&M Private Collection. These decanters have been consigned to Sotheby’s directly from the Urquhart family and each is number 1 out its respective outturn. This is the first time that any decanter numbered “#1” has been released for sale from Gordon & MacPhail rather than being kept in the Urquhart family’s own collection.

A truly impeccable lineup of aged Macallan Whiskies ranges from an independently bottled 48 Year Old through an unbroken vertical of The Macallan in Lalique Six Pillars Collection – six crystal decanters ranging from 50 to 65 years old, rarely seen in an unbroken vertical – to the inimitable 72 Year Old Genesis Decanter, the oldest whisky to be released from this exemplary distillery.


JAPANESE WHISKY – 4 lots with a combined value in excess of £235,500

• Karuizawa 52 Year Old Zodiac Rat Cask #5627 1960, 51.8% est. £160,000-220,000 adorned with unique Zodiac Rat netsuke (carved wooden figure)

• Karuizawa 51 Year Old Cask #1917 1964, 51.6% est. £50,000-90,000

GORDON & MACPHAIL – 27 lots with a combined value in excess of £90,000

Gordon & MacPhail Private Collection Decanters numbered 1, including:

• Linkwood Gordon & MacPhail 60 Year Old 1956, Longmorn Gordon & MacPhail 57 Year Old 1961, Longmorn Gordon & MacPhail 57 Year Old 1961, and Glenlivet Gordon & MacPhail 70 Year Old 1943 with an Exclusive Experience in Scotland est. £70,000-100,000

THE MACALLAN – 21 lots with a combined value in excess of £522,000

• The Macallan in Lalique Six Pillars Collection est. £320,000-480,000

• The Macallan Lalique Genesis Decanter 72 Year Old, 42% est. £70,000-100,000

• The Macallan Duncan Taylor The Rarest of Rare Collection 48 Year Old 1969, 40% est. £24,000-32,000

• The Macallan 50 Year Old Anniversary Malt 1928, 38.6% est. £50,000-70,000

Glenfarclas Family Cask Trunk est. £55,000-75,000
A vertical of 50 vintage bottles ranging from 1954 to 2003. The first time this trunk has been offered at auction.


Finest & Rarest Wines
725 Lots with a Pre-Sale Estimate of £1.8-2.3 Million

The Ortiz Collection

Serena Sutcliffe, MW, Honorary Chairman, Sotheby’s Wine, commented: “It always gives us special pleasure when we are asked to evaluate a family collection of wine and then entrusted with bringing a part of it to auction. This is a collection that combines truly gasp-making, historic wines with other bottles (or cases) that we can all enjoy on a regular basis. The choice veers between First Growth 1947s to Super Seconds from the Nineties and the best of Médocain properties from this century at very accessible prices, with really exciting stops along the way, such as full cases of Margaux 1982.”

Wines from the amazing cellar of George Ortiz (1927-2013), one of the world's foremost collectors of antiquities, are headlined by two cases of the legendary Cheval Blanc 1947, together with majestic parcels of Margaux and Latour from the same vintage, further red Bordeaux spanning five decades, and rounded off with Yquem from the 1920s. The 1947s were all bought en primeur by Ortiz’s father, Jorge Ortiz-Linares and have been moved only once since original acquisition, thereafter left undisturbed under impeccable conditions in the vaulted stone cellar on the family estate in Switzerland.

• Cheval Blanc 1947, 11 bottles, est. £130,000-170,000 (267); 12 bottles, est. £140,000-190,000 (268)

The 1947 vintage is considered the greatest Cheval Blanc of the 20th century, being both very powerful and beautifully balanced. In 2015, Oliver Ortiz, the son of the late George Ortiz, witnessed the recorking process at the Château. Each bottle was tasted, topped up, relabelled, and closed with new corks and capsules, under the direction of Pierre-Olivier Clouet, Cheval Blanc's Technical Director, and packed in new original wooden cases.

• Latour 1947, with estimates ranging from £2,000-6,000 (269-274)
• Margaux 1947, with estimates ranging from £2,000 up to £11,000 (275-286)
• Yquem 1921, 3 bottles, est. £7,500-10,000 (369)

An Exceptional Cellar of French Classics
An Exceptional Cellar of French Classics features Bordeaux from the standout vintages of the 1950s through 2000 including myriad châteaux in the fabled 1982 vintage. The collection includes an abundance of large formats, notably Latour 1955, Lafite 1959 and Haut Brion 1982, all in double magnum, whilst the Right Bank selection boasts two superlative duos: Petrus and Lafleur 1982 and La Conseillante and Vieux Château Certan 1989. Burgundy shines with an extraordinarily rare, complete 1985 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Assortment case (lot 227, est. £35,000-45,000). The collection has been housed in an immaculately kept, purpose-built cellar, reflected in the outstanding condition of the bottles on offer.

Bordeaux Highlights
• Latour 1955, 1 double magnum, est. £4,500-5,500 (101)
• Lafite 1959, 1 double magnum, est. £12,000-16,000 (103)
• Lafite 1982, 12 bottles, est. £26,000-32,000 (129)
• Latour 1982, 12 bottles, est. £18,000-24,000 (130)
• Margaux 1982, 12 bottles, est. £5,500-7,500 (132)
• Haut Brion 1982, 12 bottles, est. £6,500-8,500 (133)
• Mouton Rothschild 1982, 12 bottles, est. £10,000-13,000 (136)
• Lafleur 1982, 12 bottles, est. £55,000-70,000 (154)
• Petrus 1982, 6 bottles, est. £17,000-22,000 (155)
• La Conseillante 1989, 12 bottles, est. £2,000-3,000 (211)
• Vieux Château Certan 1989, 6 bottles, est. £600-700 (213)

From the Private Collection of Earl Spencer
Unearthed from Althorp House, from the private collection of Earl Spencer, comes a spectacular array of Bordeaux stretching from the 1990s all the way back to 1945, spot lit by a case of the stupendous Haut Brion 1989, together with first rate Port and a superb selection of Cognac, in a wide variety of formats. The bulk of this collection was acquired by the current Earl Spencer's father and has never moved from the warren of interconnected cellars under Althorp House.

• Haut Brion 1989, 12 bottles, est. £12,000-16,000 (714)
• Quinta do Noval Nacional 1931, 6 bottles, est. £6,000-10,000 (733)
• Taylor 1955, 3 bottles, est. £600-800 (734)

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