Henry Tang Ying-yen to part with fraction of beloved wine collection

Estimated HK$29m worth of connoisseur’s bottles of Burgundy go on sale at Christie’s

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 06 February, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 06 February, 2013, 5:42am

Former chief secretary Henry Tang Ying-yen is well known for his exquisite taste in wine - and wine lovers will have an opportunity to savour his selection in an auction next month.

Thousands of bottles of Burgundy will go under the hammer in a Christie's sale, titled "The Henry Tang Collection", to be held on March 15 and 16.

The auction house said the sale offered 810 lots, all Burgundy, and was expected to raise more than HK$29 million.

It quoted Tang as saying: "I realised I have far too much wine, and I would never be able to consume it in a lifetime."

He added that "after all, the best wines are those shared".

Representing just a small portion of Tang's store, the sale features a wide range, from top-level Grand Cru to village-level and renowned Domaines to lesser-known up-and-coming producers. Many of the bottles had been shipped directly to the collector and were in pristine condition, Christie's said.

Highlights include 12 bottles of 1978 DRC Montrachet estimated at between HK$400,000 and HK$600,000.

It is Christie's first sale of a single-owner wine collection from a well-known Asian owner.

The company described Tang as "a fine wine enthusiast and experienced collector".

"Henry Tang's love for wine began over 30 years ago. Besides his long career in business and politics, Tang has spent half of his life visiting vineyards all over the world and searching for ideal bottles," it said.

"One of Tang's earliest and greatest loves is Burgundy, and he has travelled back to the revered region many times in the past decades."

The 60-year-old retired city official and unsuccessful chief executive candidate was quoted by The Wall Street Journal as saying that the whole of his collection could not be consumed over "multiple lifetimes".