March 23, 2010 / 11:45 AM / 9 years ago

Larger-than-life wine collection nets $1.2 million

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - Lloyd Flatt was a man who lived life large and had a passion for large bottles of wine. One of those bottles - a six-liter Methuselah of Romanee Conti 1976 sold for $42,350 at Sotheby’s New York more than double its presale estimate.

Flatt, an eye-patch sporting American who began collecting wine long before there were wine critics and magazines such as the Wine Spectator, died in January 2008 after amassing a collection that became almost as famous as he was.

The total sale of his some 1,500 bottles netted more than $1.18 million, handily beating the $573,000-$824,000 pre-sale estimate range at the auction Saturday. Sotheby’s said the winner of the Methuselah was “an Asian buyer.”

“I know that Lloyd, wherever he may be, is smiling at the fun we had in celebrating his wine,” his widow, Laure Flatt said in a statement adding, “We are all happy that Lloyd will be thought of when the corks are pulled on today’s purchases.”

Flatt’s collection (his second, the first was lost in a divorce) was part of a larger wine auction at Sotheby’s which netted $3.4 million.

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