Paying up for Provenance

jayer_cros_parantouxWhen fear of wine counterfeits remains high in the wine wine auction market, bidders will pay a premium for wines with superlative provenance. Such was the case with the Burgundies from the H. B. Harris collection, which fetched $7.5 million over the weekend in Chicago at Hart Davis Hart.

Harris, a real estate developer known to his friends and family as “Bubba,” got into wine in his twenties. He amassed a trove of fine wine that he kept initially in an apartment that he had customized into a wine cellar but then switched to professional storage in 1994. He died last year at the age of 78.

The 986 lots at the Hart Davis Hart auction all sold and the total of the auction exceeded the $4 – $6 million estimate. HDH printed some of the original receipts in the catalogue. I liked the fact that Mr. Harris bought the ’85 Jayer Cros Parantoux for $68.99 a bottle or $828/case back in the day. Six of those bottles ended up selling for $101,575 on Saturday.

Related Posts with Thumbnails

2 Responses to “Paying up for Provenance”

  1. I wonder which wines the family kept.

  2. “I wonder which wines the family kept.”

    So did I. One candidate: there is an invoice for 2 cases of 1978 Romance [sp] Conti, but none showed up at the auction. If Bubba didn’t drink it all up, I’d keep this one as well.

    I enjoyed flipping through the receipts for the various wine misspellings (Ch. Marjax) and hand-written notes. This was my favorite:

    “Bubba, Sorry for the broken bottle of 1971 R.C. [Romanee Conti], but it can’t be replaced at any price, none remains at the Domaine!”

    Of all the bottles to break!


Wine Maps

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

See my op-eds in the NYT
"Drink Outside the Box"
"Red, White, and Green"


Monthly Archives


Blog posts via email



Wine industry jobs


One of the “fresh voices taking wine journalism in new and important directions.” -World of Fine Wine

“His reporting over the past six months has had seismic consequences, which is a hell of an accomplishment for a blog.”

"News of such activities, reported last month on a wine blog called Dr. Vino, have captivated wine enthusiasts and triggered a fierce online debate…" The Wall Street Journal

"...well-written, well-researched, calm and, dare we use the word, sober." -Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher, WSJ

jbf07James Beard Foundation awards

Saveur, best drinks blog, finalist 2012.

Winner, Best Wine Blog

One of the "seven best wine blogs." Food & Wine,

One of the three best wine blogs, Fast Company

See more media...


Wine books on Amazon: