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Wine Spectator: Roy Welland Will Consign His $15 Million Wine Collection To Wally’s

June 12, 2014

Just a year after it opened for business, Wally’s Auctions has snagged one of the world’s most impressive collections of Burgundy for the auction block, Wine Spectator reports. Roy Welland, owner of the now-closed Cru, the New York restaurant that became a clubhouse to the city’s top wine lovers, is consigning his collection to Wally’s. The New York-based house plans to sell the 100,000-bottle trove largely at two auctions this fall. Wally’s staff estimates the collection is worth $15 million.

Michael Jessen, Wally’s Auctions president and CEO, says the first auction will likely be in September in New York, with a second auction later in the fall in Los Angeles. Some of the wines will be sold in online auctions while others will be sold by Wally’s retail team.

While the wine auction market has grown slowly recently, demand for Burgundy has risen. And because the past few harvests have been small ones on the Côte d’Or, the appetite for older vintages has only grown. A collection of this size, much of it sourced direct from producers, will attract plenty of attention. The wine includes a total of 2,000 cases of Grand Cru Burgundy. There are 160 cases of Domaine Bachelet, 250 cases of Domaine Joseph Drouhin, 150 cases of Domaine Georges Roumier, 40 cases of Domaine Armand Rousseau and more than 750 cases of Chablis, including 200 cases of René & Vincent Dauvissat.

Wally’s Auctions was started in summer 2013, not long after brothers Armand, Maurice and Paul Marciano, founders of the fashion house Guess, bought control of Wally’s Wine, one of Los Angeles’ better-known retailers. Founder Steve Wallace was retiring and his partner Christian Navarro was looking for investors. Navarro and the Marcianos recruited Jessen and much of his team at Zachys Auctions and their first sale was in New York last November. Their most recent, on June 5, raised $2.8 million.

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