Recently ennobled Evgeney Lebedev is selling part of his wine collection in an online auction.
Lebedev, the politically connected socialite and son of a former KGB spy, whose elevation by Boris Johnson to the House of Lords drew accusations of cronyism earlier this year, built up a wine collection that demonstrates his love for rich and rare reds. It consists mostly of vintage Bordeauxs, Burgundies, Barolos, and Barbarescos, dating from the 1960s through to the 2000s.
Timed perfectly to coincide with the current lockdown, the auction is being hosted online, thereby offering an outlet for oenophiles temporarily unable to to summon the sommelier in their favourite restaurant.
The platform, Whisky.Auction, is well respected for its sales of spirits and memorabilia, including a quarterly auction of miniatures, but this is its first dedicated wine auction.
Lebedev, who co-owns The Grapes pub in Limehouse with Ian (Gandalf) McKellen, has put around 950 mostly classical bottles under the hammer, including prizes such as a selection of Bordeaux wines from Château Pétrus (a favourite of President Kennedy), a selection of vintages from Château Margaux (which produces some of the best wines in the Médoc), and rare Italian bottlings.
The auction will provide a great opportunity for lovers of fragrant, textured reds to get their hands on some bottles of interesting provenance.
The auction is running 15-24 November at www.whisky.auction.