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Thursday, 17 April 2014

Sir Alex Set to Score With Wine Auction

Sir Alex Ferguson is best known for coaching Manchester United's "Red Devils" but he is now set to offload a few star reds of his own.

Former soccer manager Sir Alex Ferguson has built some successful teams and won many trophies over the years, but it’s his wine collection that is drawing admiring looks now.
Ferguson, who coached Manchester United through its most successful period in the game – and the most successful period for any English soccer club in history – didn’t just collect cups, trophies and medals in his 26 years at the helm: he also built up an enviable collection of wine, which is now up for auction, starting at Christie’s in Hong Kong in May.

The collection of about 5000 bottles will be sold, along with memorabilia signed by Ferguson, and the pre-sale estimated value is £3 million ($5 million), which should ease any financial worries he might have for his retirement.

Much of the interest will focus on the lots of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, which Christie's International Director of Wine David Elswood said "is probably the wine in vogue, the wine of the moment in terms of demand. So hopefully that's going to draw the attention of not just Alex Ferguson fans but wine fans too."

Other lots include signed six-litre bottles of 2005 Sassicaia and 2006 Ornellaia, along with various vintages of Petrus and Bordeaux first growths.

Elswood expects big interest among Asian buyers, who have been snapping up top-flight wines for years and where about 60 per cent of the lots will be on offer on May 24. About a third of the cellar will be offered in London in June and the rest through Internet sales later that month.
"Even if you disregard the Alex Ferguson connection, the quality of the wine, the type of wine, is generally what sells very strongly in Asia at the moment.”

The cellar covers every year of Ferguson's Manchester United career, from 1986 until he retired in 2013. It includes lots from 1999, the year the team famously won a treble of the English Premier League, the UEFA Champions League and the FA Cup, a feat not accomplished before or since.

"People keep saying: 'What was the best moment of your life as a manager?' And 1999 is without question," Ferguson is quoted as saying in an interview with Elswood to promote the sale.
"There was always this thing about my career that I never had won the Champions League, so to win it in the way we did win it was absolutely fantastically special. And it coincided with a vintage; you were talking about Romanée-Conti '99, a really special year. I think we deserved that.”

Ferguson said that collecting wine was a way of distracting himself from the high-pressure job of managing the most successful Premier League team of all time, and he would famously invite opposition coaches to have a drink with him after a game.

And while he might be selling off a lot of wine at the auctions, he won’t be lining up at a liquor store for a jug of red anytime soon – he still has some 800 bottles at home that he intends to keep.

Source: http://www.wine-searcher.com/