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Sotheby's to Auction elBulli Wine and Memorabilia in NYC

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Hillary Dixler Canavan is Eater's restaurant editor and the author of the publication's debut book, Eater: 100 Essential Restaurant Recipes From the Authority on Where to Eat and Why It Matters (Abrams, September 2023). Her work focuses on dining trends and the people changing the industry — and scouting the next hot restaurant you need to try on Eater's annual Best New Restaurant list.

[Photos: Sotheby's]

It's not too late to bring home something from the now shuttered elBulli. Tomorrow in New York City, Sotheby's will continue its auction of elBulli memorabilia and wines from the elBulliCellar that began in Hong Kong earlier this month. Proceeds from the auction will again go to the elBulliFoundation. Sotheby's is auctioning off an evening with Ferran Adrià that includes dinner at Albert Adrià's Barcelona restaurant Tickets ($5,000).

The auction features a staggering collection of wines including three bottles of Domaine de la Romanée Conti, Romanée Conti 1990, whose estimated value is $32,500 - $47,500. Souvenirs from elBulli that are up for auction include: a chef's jacket signed by Ferran Adrià ($1000); a foam syphon signed by Ferran Adrià ($50 - $100) a collection of wine lists and menus ($250 - $500); elBulli's cutlery collection ($2000). The Hong Kong auction brought in $1.8 million; perhaps this one will add another million to the elBulliFoundation coffers. Below, the press release:

The elBulli Wine Cellar to be sold at Sotheby's In New York and Hong Kong In April 2013 Proceeds To Benefit The elBulli Foundation "ElBulli restaurant is transforming into the elBulliFoundation. Thanks to this sale, our work on gastronomic creativity can continue" - Ferran Adrià

Sotheby's is delighted to announce the dates for the much anticipated auction of the elBulli wine cellar. On 3 April 2013 in Hong Kong and 26 April 2013 in New York, Sotheby's will offer wines from the cellar of the celebrated Catalan restaurant that closed last year. Founded over 50 years ago in 1961, elBulli was led by Ferran Adrià for the last 27 years. Further details and an elBulli video on the Foundation can be found at
Ferran Adrià, said: "The elBulliCellar comprises an exceptional and unique collection of wines, that was created and developed by Juli Soler and the elBulli sommelier team (Agustí Peris, Eloi Sànchez, Isabelle Brunet, Lucas Payà, David Seijas and Ferran Centelles). Due the transformation of elBulli, from a restaurant to a Foundation, we decided this very special and personal collection should be used to make a founding contribution to help ensure the successful launch of the elBulliFoundation. In order to make this possible, we contacted Sotheby's, who have already shown themselves to be a very special and enthusiastic partner, immediately understanding the purpose of the elBulliFoundation. Thanks to Sotheby's, we now have a wonderful objective: to raise funds for the elBulliFoundation. Both personally, and on behalf of all the elBulliFoundation team, I would like to thank collectors all over the world for their contributions. Also, my special thanks to Juli Soler - this story would never have been possible without his work and dedication during all these years."
Serena Sutcliffe M.W., Head of International Wine Department at Sotheby's said: "Those of us lucky enough to have dined at elBulli will never forget the extraordinary sensations laid before us. There was both an explosive genius about the food and a calm, professional way in which it was delivered, so that one could discover with awe all the secrets of smoke, foam and spheres of liquid involving melon to olives. There was surprise, delight and elation in every dish, a seamless procession of magic that opened up before one's eyes, only to disappear in a moment of bliss! The extra ingredient in these meals was the intuitive pairing of these creations with the enticing, and phenomenally interesting, wine list. We are delighted to be able to bring these wines to auction so collectors all over the world can share the enchantment of elBulli."

Under the leadership of Ferran Adrià and Juli Soler, the cutting edge gastronomy of elBulli is recognized as having changed culinary history by reworking ingredients into new forms and combinations. It was feted with awards including topping the Restaurant Magazine list of the world's 50 best restaurants five times, with Adrià frequently named the world's greatest chef. Since closing in July 2011 elBulli is transforming to become the elBulliFoundation, an experimental centre looking at the process of innovation and creativity and sharing the results via the new website Bullipedia.

Juli Soler has been Director of elBulli since 1981, and was responsible for hiring Ferran Adrià with whom he has been a long-time partner at elBulli. In reference to the elBulli Cellar, Juli has always had a special love for classical wine regions, such as Burgundy, Bordeaux, Sherry, Rioja, Cava and Champagne among others, and his areas of expertise are very well reflected in this personal collection.He has been a keen participant at the annual Hospices de Beaune auction and has also received prestigious national and international awards, such as: Chevalier de Champagne, "Gueridón de Oro 2011" and "National Gastronomy Award to the best Service Manager".
Juli is one of the most knowledgeable figures in the world of gastronomy and a universal reference among dining room staff and sommeliers. He has been and is an inspiration for all those associated with the world of cooking. Juli announced in October that he will retire from his executive management position at the elBulliFoundation. However, the elBulliFoundation team are more committed than ever to preserving Juli's legacy and work in gastronomic history through the elBulliFoundation project.

Ferran Adrià is widely seen as the most revolutionary chef of our time and the most original mind in contemporary gastronomic history. However, he is recognized beyond the world of gastronomy:
- Ferran Adrià was named as one of the "100 world ?s most influential people" by Time Magazine.
Sommelier Ferran Centelles with Juli Soler, Honorary President of the elBulli Foundation
- Ferran Adrià has also awarded honorary doctorates by the Universities of Barcelona and Valencia in Spain and Aberdeen in Scotland. Gold Medal of European Merit, Gold Medal of Merit in Fine Arts and Madrid Creativity Prize. In 2004, the Camilo José Cela University set up the Ferran Adrià Chair in Gastronomic Culture and Food Sciences in order to bring the world of gastronomy closer to the education system, promoting the study and research of food sciences at an advanced level.
- He is the only chef who has participated in the prestigious contemporary art exhibition Documenta (Kassel) in 2007 and also the only one to receive the most acclaimed design award in Europe: the Raymond Loewy Foundation's Designer Award.
- As chairman of the Advisory Board of Fundación Alicia (Food and Science), Ferran Adrià leads a unique project in search of new ways for a better and more balanced nutrition patterns in the future. The Fundación Alicia and Harvard University have recently reached a collaboration agreement entitled Dialogues between science and cooking.
- He has transformed the worlds of food and cuisine and his contribution to contemporary culture has been highlighted on many occasions.

The auctions will present collectors all over the world with an opportunity to acquire the wines that were enjoyed by diners at his restaurant, some of which were labeled exclusively for the three Michelin star establishment.
Proceeds from the sale will benefit the elBulliFoundation that will focus its activity on 'Creativity.' Over the two sales 8,807 bottles will be offered with a pre-sale estimate of $1.1/1.6 million. The Foundation will study the efficiency of the innovation processes, and how they are recorded and audited, using cooking as a language that interacts with other disciplines. All the results will be shared through Bullipedia, the technological platform of elBulliFoundation dedicated to codifying the knowledge and organizing new ideas and concepts. This work will be based on the following criteria:
- We will not have timetables.
- We will not allow reservations.
- We will not have routines.
- It must not be predictable
- A new challenge should be faced every day.
- It will need to take risks.
- We will have freedom.
- We will stay creative.
- There will be freedom of creativity.

Auction Highlights

Over 2,000 bottles of Spanish wine estimated at over $200,000 - $300,000
-Nearly 100 bottles and six different vintages of Vega Sicilia "Unico" from 1987 to 1996
-Seven different vintages of Vega Sicilia Valbuena from 1995 -2002 -Nine different vintages and 157 bottles of Pingus
-Six different vintages of Clos Erasmus
-Four different vintages of Clos Mogador
-Over 225 bottles from Bodegas Artadi, featuring their Grandes Añadas and Pagos Viejos
- Eight different vintages of Alvaro Palacios' Finca Dofi from 1994 - 2007
- Thirteen different vintages of Alvaro Palacios' L'Ermita from 1993 – 2007

415 Bottles from Château de Beaucastel
-Eight vintages of Château de Beaucastel Blanc
-Eight vintages of Château de Beaucastel Blanc Vieilles Vignes
-Thirteen vintages of Château de Beaucastel Rouge from 1983-2004 featuring bottles, magnums, and Jeroboams
-Four vintages of Château de Beaucastel, Hommage à Jacques Perrin featuring bottles and magnums Further highlights include multiple vintages of Hermitage from JL.Chave, Hermitage, La Chapelle from Paul Jaboulet Aîné and Côte Rôtie, La Landonne, La Mouline and La Turque from Guigal

-All five First Growths are present in multiple vintages highlighted by full cases of bottles and magnums of Château Latour 2005
-Over 20 Duclot Groupe Assortment cases from 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007 all available in parcel quantities
- Five vintages of Yquem from 1989 -2001 featuring 5 different formats
Over 1,400 bottles total
Estimate: $340,000 - $486,000
Over 124 Bottles of DRC including:
-7 Vintages of Echézeaux
-5 Vintages of Grands Echézeaux
-5 Vintages of Richebourg
-7 Vintages of Romanée St. Vivant
-7 Vintages of La Tâche
-5 vintages of Romanée Conti, including three bottles of 1990

Over 500 bottles of Lucien Le Moine including Romanée St. Vivant, Richebourg and Mazis Chambertin featuring multiple vintages, formats and parcel quantities of
-Pommard, Hospices de Beaune, Cuvée Dames de la Charité
-Corton Clos du Roi, Hospices de Beaune, Cuvée Baronne du Bay
Many additional offerings from other standout producers: Bouchard Père et Fils, Domaine Leroy, Méo- Camuzet, Marquis d'Angerville, Domaine des Comtes Lafon
Over 1,000 bottles
Estimate: $166,000 - $228,000
28 bottles of Montrachet from DRC from 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004
Over 600 bottles of Lucien Le Moine including Corton Charlemagne, Chevalier Montrachet and including multiple vintages, formats and parcel quantities:
Corton Vergennes, Hospices de Beaune, Cuvée Paul Chanson. Many additional offerings from other standout producers Domaine Leflaive, Maison Henri Boillot, Domaine des Comtes Lafon

-1,300 bottles of Vin de Pays de l'Hérault, Domaine de la Grange
des Pères available in parcel quantities from vintages spanning
1992 to 2001
- Multiple offerings of rare Oloroso and Solera Sherry dating back to 1830 - 70 bottles of Silex and Pur Sang from the late Didier Dagueneau

The highest value lot in the sale: 3 bottles of Domaine de la Romanée Conti, Romanée Conti 1990, est. $32,500 - $47,500

A selection of affordable lots in the sale:
12 bottles of Domaine de la Grange des Peres Rouge 2001, est. $600 – 800
6 magnums of Domaine Cheze St. Joseph Cuvée Prestige de Caroline 1999, est. $50 – 100 12 bottles of Les Laquets Cahors 2000, est. $200 – 300

· The elBullicellar sold to benefit the elBullifoundation [Sotheby's]
· All elBulli Coverage on Eater [-E-]