• Press release
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  • London
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  • For immediate release
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  • 19 April 2022

Generations of Jayer: Burgundy from the Historic Cellars of King’s College, Cambridge

LONDON - Christie’s June auction of Finest and Rarest Wines and Spirits will present a selection of superlative Burgundy from the historic, vaulted cellars of King’s College, Cambridge – one of the world’s most ancient and prestigious educational institutions. The auction will take place on the evening of 8 June at Christie’s King Street, offering 45 lots of some of the rarest and most extraordinary Burgundies ever bottled.

Noah May, Head of Christie’s Wine & Spirits Department, London: “Christie's Wine & Spirits Department are delighted to present these exceptional Burgundies from the historic cellars of King’s College, Cambridge as a highlight of our Luxury auctions this June. The College has a long history of wine collecting, with the wine cellars of King’s almost as legendary as the College itself. The wines of Henri Jayer and his nephew, Emmanuel Rouget, are known to be incredibly elegant, pure and profound, with these bottles boasting the finest provenance and condition. This is a collection that is sure to resonate with wine collectors the world over.”

Adam Bilbey, Christie’s Global Head of the Wine and Spirits Department: “The hallowed cellars of King’s College, Cambridge are steeped in such history and tradition that this sale will garner the imagination and attention of wine lovers around the world. This small glimpse into the King’s College cellar will most certainly be a highlight of Christie’s wine sales this season. Combined with the successful launch of online sales in Los Angeles, three highly important single owner sales in Hong Kong, including ‘The Visionary’s Spectacular Cellar, Sold to Further the Impact of London Business School’, this Spring is shaping up to be one not to be forgotten.”

Professor Peter de Bolla, King’s College Cambridge: Over time every serious collector of fine wines begins to regard their precious purchases as long-term friends, even proudly, and absurdly, thinking of them as if they might in some curious way be their children. But of course they are not, they are the progeny of extraordinarily skilful, dedicated, even obsessive winemakers. Over the course of my approaching thirty-year stewardship of the cellars of King's College, Cambridge I have been lucky and privileged to meet many such winemakers and have carefully observed the unique maturation profiles of the wines I have bought from them for the college cellar. None have given me as much instruction and education in the amazing arts of winemaking, as well as the wonder and sheer hedonistic enjoyment of wine at its very finest as the wines of Henri Jayer and his nephew Emmanuel Rouget. The time is right to let these 'children' find a new home and provide vinous magic for their lucky new collectors.”

Cambridge University has a long association with wine; the University Wine Society was founded in 1792. King’s has one of the finest of all the Oxbridge colleges’ wine cellars and its inventory includes a superb range of the most coveted bottles. Throughout the 20th and 21st century there have only been four Wine Stewards, whose role is to act as custodians of the cellar and to nurture and develop its collection.

The auction will present Burgundy from Henri Jayer and Emmanuel Rouget, all with the finest provenance and storage history. These wines were all bought on release by the College, from the UK importer for Henri Jayer, Richards-Walford, and transferred on purchase to King’s cellars, from where they have never moved until now.

Henri Jayer was one of Burgundy’s most revered winemakers, and his nephew, Emmanuel Rouget who now owns many of Jayer’s most famous vineyards, makes wines that follow in his uncle’s legendary style. Highlights of the collection include two of the finest terroirs of Jayer and Rouget – Echézeaux and Vosne- Romanée Cros Parantoux.

About Christie’s

Founded in 1766, Christie’s is a world-leading art and luxury business. Renowned and trusted for its expert live and online auctions, as well as its bespoke private sales, Christie’s offers a full portfolio of global services to its clients, including art appraisal, art financing, international real estate and education. Christie’s has a physical presence in 46 countries, throughout the Americas, Europe, Middle East, and Asia Pacific, with flagship international sales hubs in New York, London, Hong Kong, Paris and Geneva. It also is the only international auction house authorized to hold sales in mainland China (Shanghai).

Christie’s auctions span more than 80 art and luxury categories, at price points ranging from $200 to over $100 million. In recent years, Christie’s has achieved the world record price for an artwork at auction (Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi, 2017), for a 20th century artwork (Andy Warhol’s Shot Sage Blue Marilyn, 2022) and for a work by a living artist (Jeff Koons’ Rabbit, 2019). Christie's is also recognised as a reference for prestigious single owner collections, having auctioned 8 of the 10 most important collections in history.

Christie’s Private Sales offers a seamless service for buying and selling art, jewellery and watches outside of the auction calendar, working exclusively with Christie’s specialists at a client’s individual pace.

Recent innovations at Christie’s include the groundbreaking sale of the first NFT for a digital work of art ever offered at a major auction house (Beeple’s Everydays, March 2021), with the unprecedented acceptance of cryptocurrency as a means of payment. As an industry leader in digital innovation, Christie’s also continues to pioneer new technologies that are redefining the business of art, including use of hologram technology to tour life-size 3D objects around the world, and the the creation of viewing and bidding experiences that integrate augmented reality, global livestreaming, buy-now channels, and hybrid sales formats. 

Christie’s is dedicated to advancing responsible culture throughout its business and communities worldwide, including achieving sustainability through net zero carbon emissions by 2030, and actively using its platform in the art world to amplify under-represented voices and support positive change.

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