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Wine Collection of Indicted Oil Exec Who Died
is Being Auctioned in Chicago

by Greg Trotter
August 26, 2016

 

A photograph shows Lot 551 - 2000 Chateau La Mission Haut-Brion from the Hart Davis Hart auction of the wines of Aubrey McClendon. The auction will be held Sept. 17 at Tru restaurant in Chicago's Gold Coast neighborhood, but online bidding has already begun. (Hart Davis Hart Wine Co.)

 

In the market for a double-magnum of 1990 Chateau Le Pin that once belonged to Oklahoma oil-and-gas magnate Aubrey McClendon?

Well then, you're in luck. McClendon's collection of more than 4,600 bottles will be auctioned Sept. 17 at Tru restaurant in the Gold Coast neighborhood, according to Hart Davis Hart, the Chicago-based wine vendor conducting the auction.

McClendon, 56-year-old CEO of American Energy Partners and part owner of the Oklahoma City Thunder NBA basketball team, died in a car wreck March 2, a day after he was indicted by a federal grand jury over alleged bid-rigging. His wine is expected to garner as much as $7.6 million.

 

Chesapeake Energy Corp. CEO Aubrey McClendon is photographed in 2009. McClendon died in a car wreck in March, a day after he was indicted by a federal grand jury over alleged bid-rigging. His wine collection is going up for auction and is expected to garner as much as $7.6 million. (AP)

 

Ben Nelson, president of Hart Davis Hart, called McClendon's stock "one of the largest collections of Bordeaux we've ever seen."

McClendon was known for his fondness of large-format bottles, which he would often open and share at business meetings, Nelson said. At the end of the meeting — and the bottle — everyone would sign the label as a sort of keepsake for McClendon.

"It's a special sale. It's really a large quantity of large-format bottles, the likes of which I just haven't seen in my career and probably won't see again," Nelson said.

The auction's open to the public, but thrifty drinkers should probably look elsewhere. The wine will be sold in lots, varying in quantity, at an average estimated price of about $7,000.

The cheapest lot is a single double-magnum bottle of 1998 Joseph Phelps Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon with a wine-stained label, estimated to sell in the range of $80 and $120. The most expensive lot, a case of 2000 Chateau Petrus, is expected to range up to $55,000.

On March 1, the Department of Justice said in a statement that McClendon was suspected of orchestrating a scheme between two large energy companies, which were not named in the indictment, from December 2007 to March 2012. In a statement released the same day, McClendon denied the charges.

In early June, following an autopsy, the Oklahoma medical examiner's office ruled McClendon's fatal crash to be an accident.

The auction begins at 8:30 a.m. Online bidding has already begun.

 

Read this article directly from Chicago Tribune.