Aubrey K. McClendon, the controversial energy magnate who pioneered shale gas drilling, considered a hero by some and reckless by others, lost his life in a car accident on March 2nd a day after being indicted by a federal grand jury.
In the words of Ben Nelson, President of Hart Davis Hart: “Mr. McClendon was a constant presence in the wine auction world; there was a time when it was no exaggeration to say that he was the most important wine buyer in America. He took great pleasure in sharing his wines with family and friends, a fact reflected in the vast array of large format bottles included in his collection ranging from magnums to 18 liter Melchiors. Aubrey took great care in the procurement and storage of his collection. A majority of the wines were purchased on release and all have been stored in pristine, custom-built cellars.”
The collection is very heavily endowed with the greatest Bordeaux wines in the most famous vintages. The amazing 2000 vintage alone has a lineup that’s expected to be worth over a million dollars. McClendon was a big fan of Petrus and Le Pin as well as first growths (of which his collections as more than $2.4 million worth wine). The collection also includes some cult Napa wineries such a Screaming Eagle and Harlan.
The auction will be held at TRU restaurant in Chicago on September 17th. Bidders can attend the auction online through auction.hdhwine.com. Marc Smoler, the Marketing Manager of Hart Davis Hart, says that attendance in the auction is open to the public and free of charge and that they’re expecting a crowded room with hundreds of bidders.
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