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The 8th Premiere National Auction of Rare Wines

The Eighth Premiere National Auction of Rare Wines
Thursday, May 27, 1976
Grand Ballroom, Royal Sonesta Hotel
New Orleans, Louisiana
Presented by The Wine Companies of Heublein Inc.

Heublein Inc. has a long history.  It was founded as a restaurant and hotel business in 1862.  In 1895 they started making A1 Steak Sauce.  Throughout the 20th century there is a long history of acquiring and distributing wine and spirits.  In 1962 Alexander C. McNally joined the company where he organized their first wine auction held in 1969.  Michael Broadbent was the wine auctioneer until 1982 when the demands of travel and possible conflicts of interest between Christie’s and Heublein’s arose.

This auction has a range of 19th century Bordeaux, Madeira, and Port.  Most of the vintages are more contemporary such as 27 lots of 1971 Chateau Elysee du Pape, Puisseguin Saint-Emilion totalling almost 900 cases worth.  The only Rhone offering listed is 1970 Cuvee du Vatican, Chateauneuf-du-Pape again totalling almost 900 cases worth.  The handful of German wines are all from 1971 and 1973 vintages. 

A series of older wines came from a “spectacular and extensive” collection in Paris.  For the eldest wine, 1806 Ch. Lafite-Rothschild, it is noted “is believed to have been appreciated by Thomas Jefferson.” 

From the Bouchard Pere & Fils family cellar comes 1864 Beaune Clos de la Mousse.  One bottle was sampled in Beaune.  Here is the tasting note, “The precious potion is poured, tawny red like the blood of a long-sleeping giant awakened as a Brigadoon to breathe an instant in another age.  The pulse quickens and nostrils flare as the fragrant bouquet of a hundred years ago, captured as Lincoln lived, returns to life.”

Wines that were originally sold at a Heublein auction still make appearances today.  For example, this bottle of 1800’s Madeira found off of Savannah, Georgia coast by professional diver Bill Kinsey in the late 1970s.  It was originally sold at the 7th Auction and was just resold at the Spectrum Wine Auction in September 2010 for $4200.

In the back of the catalog is a per-case pricing list from previous auctions.  Particularly expensive wines are:

  • 1887 Inglenook Vineyards, Caberent Sauvignon, Napa Valley – $5000
  • 1866 New Jersey Currant Wine – $700
  • 1846 Cheateau Lafite, Paullac – $5000
  • 1929 Chateau Mouton-Rothschild – $12,000
  • 1893 Chateau d’Yquem – $2880
  • 1864 Beaune Clos de la Mousse – $6240
  • 1885 Chambertin, Cotes de Nuits. Tete de Cuvee – $2500
  • 1865 Clos Vougeot – $6240
  • 1921 Rauenthaler Huhnerberg, Riesling Auslese, Rheinegau: Estate Bottled – $1300
  • 1921 Steinberger, Riesling Spatlese – $1000
  • 1922 Tokaji Eszencia – $1400
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