James Halliday is selling some of his favourite wines

1 Jun, 2020

Wine lovers now have the chance to own some of the world’s finest wines – from James Halliday’s personal collection.

James Halliday is selling about 250 of his treasured bottles of Burgundy from revered producer Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, which is widely acclaimed as one of the greatest in the world. The celebrated pinot noirs – spanning 2015 to 1973 from the French region’s fabled Grand Cru sites in the Cote de Nuits – are listed for bidding through Langton’s until June 28. James's collection is believed to be one of the most significant holdings of Domaine de la Romanee-Conti in the country.  
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I'm selling the bottles, but I haven't sold the memories. 
The decision to sell is bittersweet, but James, who turns 82 this year, says the timing is right. “I’m selling the bottles, but I haven’t sold the memories,” he says. These include a lot of incredible dinners where it was not unusual to find many wines of this calibre in the evening's line-up. Such was the case at Len Evans's 60th birthday celebrations, which showcased 22 vintages of la Romanee-Conti – the jewel in the crown of the Domaine – as well as a Hunter Valley red dating back to 1855, among others. “I’m certainly going to leave myself with more than enough wine to drink," James says. "I’m not going to die of thirst!” 

James Halliday and his expansive wine cellar

As a long-time lover of pinot noir and Burgundy, James is happy he can offer people a taste of these coveted wines, which have become extremely limited and difficult to access, also now priced way out of most people’s reach. “I wanted to auction them bottle by bottle rather than one lot, so I’ve been pleased to be able to do it this way, which will give innumerable people out there who haven’t been able to taste these wines the chance to do so,” he says. James particularly likes the idea of wine-loving friends forming syndicates to enable them to bid for the wines. 

There are plans to auction more wines from James's collection in the coming months, which will cover a range of styles and producers from Australia and overseas. For more details on the Domaine de la Romanee-Conti auction, visit Langton’s.  

To hear James discuss his collection and most memorable wine experiences, listen to his episodes on the Halliday podcast.