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Published:  23 July, 2008

The late Princess Diana's brother, Earl Spencer of Althorp, is putting a collection of historic cases of wine from the family cellar up for auction. London's Sotheby's will host the 26 May sale, which features more than 100 cases of vintage Port, Champagne, claret and Madeira dating back to the 19th century. The Earl's father was particularly enthusiastic about Port, and many of the bottles for sale - such as 1912 Cockburn's and 1924 Graham's - feature hand-written notes recording the wine's development. Highlights from Bordeaux include: 1945 Chteau Calon-Sgur, 1945 Chteau Loville Las Cases and a case of magnums of 1989 Ptrus. Numerous other vintages are offered from chteaux such as Haut-Brion, Latour, Margaux, Palmer and d'Yquem. Historic Cognacs and Madeiras from the 19th century are also offered. Lord Spencer feels he should renew some of his cellar and buy some younger wines, especially with a younger generation in mind, and this affords connoisseurs the opportunity to acquire some classics,' said Serena Sutcliffe MW, head of Sotheby's international wine department.