Burgundy Reigns Supreme at Acker Merrall's January Hong Kong Auction - 107 New World Records, Two Featured Collections Combine to Achieve Over High Estimate, 100% Sold

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The World's and Hong Kong's largest wine auction firm begins year of the horse with strong results

We saw that demand for Burgundy continues to grow, and the most sophisticated collectors know there is more to Burgundy than just DRC.

Two remarkable, world class Burgundy collections and 158 charitable magnums from Burgundy’s top Domaines headlined a strong start to 2014 for Acker Merrall and the Hong Kong wine market. Burgundy alone set 91 new world records, and the featured “As Good As it Gets” collection and “The Executive Cellar” together were 100% sold and combined to achieve over high estimates. Acker Merrall was also incredibly proud to help raise money during the auction for two very young children in Burgundy affected by a terrible disease. Proceeds for the care of a young sister and brother both fighting an extremely rare disease, Fanconi Anemia, blew far past pre-sale estimates as collectors rushed to help, with 100% of the money raised, including Acker Merrall’s buyer’s premium, going to the family.

John Kapon, CEO of Acker Merrall & Condit, said: “Our first sale was a great one, and all about the Burgundy. We set 107 new World Records, 91 of which were Burgundy! Our two featured collections on Saturday combined to achieve over the high estimates and were 100% sold. It was an exciting start to 2014 with nearly US$5 million in sales, and we saw that demand for Burgundy continues to grow, and the most sophisticated collectors know there is more to Burgundy than just DRC. This was also special weekend for us in a human way, too. The charity “A Hope for Lucas and Luna” was incredibly successful thanks to the drive, energy and passion of our friend Vicomte Louis-Michel Liger-Belair, the Domaines in Burgundy who sent the remarkable magnums we sold, and our thoughtful and passionate clients here in Hong Kong. I feel fortunate to be a part of what this weekend accomplished, and to have such wonderful clients and friends as we do here in Hong Kong.”

91 new World Records were set for Burgundy this weekend in Hong Kong. Leroy led the pack with 18 records; Domaine Leflaive had 14, Rousseau 8, while Dujac and Comte Liger-Belair each had 6, showing the growing reach and strength of these Domaines here in Hong Kong. Some of the highlights included:

  • 2001 DRC Assortment: US$38,081 per case
  • 2009 Comte Liger-Belair La Romanee: US$13,963 per magnum
  • 1985 DRC Montrachet: US$7,933.50 per bottle
  • 1996 Leroy Richebourg: US$2,327 per bottle
  • 1985 Leroy Chambertin: US$2,115.67 per bottle
  • 2001 Mugnier Musigny: US$2,062.50 per magnum
  • 1993 Meo-Camuzet Richebourg: US$1,904.00 per bottle
  • 1999 Rousseau Chambertin: US$1,745.50 per bottle
  • 1993 Dujac Clos de la Roche: US$1,375.17 per bottle
  • 1999 Leflaive Batard Montrachet: US$952.00 per magnum
  • 2000 Rousseau Chambertin Clos de Beze: US$793.33 per bottle
  • 2009 Comte Liger-Belair Echezeaux: US$740.50 per bottle
  • 2002 Drouhin Musigny: US$740.50 per bottle
  • 1996 Dujac Clos de la Roche: US$687.50 per bottle
  • 1990 d’Angerville Volnay Clos des Ducs: US$449.58 per bottle
  • 2009 Denis Bachelet Charmes-Chambertin: US$402 per bottle

Bidding was very spirited in the special charity section of 158 magnums specifically donated from the greatest Domaines in Burgundy for a cause initiated by Vicomte Louis-Michel Liger-Belair. The lots sold for more than double pre-sale high estimates, raising over HK$1 million, including Acker’s full buyer’s premium, for the Charity “A Hope for Lucas and Luna” for helping Luna (aged 7) and Lucas (aged 5) who are suffering from an ultra-rare blood disease Fanconi Anemia.

Demand was incredibly strong for this magnificent collection (Lots 514-716). It was 100% sold and realized over its pre-sale high estimate. It featured all the greatest names of Burgundy such as Rousseau, DRC, Leroy, Vogue, Roumier, Dujac, Drouhin, Meo-Camuzet, Mugnier, Ponsot, Lignier, Dugat, Dugat-Py, Denis Bachelet, Roty, Mongeard-Mugneret, Angerville, Jadot, Leflaive, Lafon, Ramonet and more. The collection set over 40 new world records alone. The producers that led the world record way were 16 from Leroy, with 1996 Leroy Richebourg setting the pace at US$2,327 per bottle (Lot 663) and 7 from Rousseau, led by 2000 Rousseau Chambertin Clos de Beze at US$793 per bottle (Lot 542).

Demand was intense too for a case of 1993 Dujac Clos de la Roche (HK$127,920/US$16,400, Lot 223, illustrated left), and that demand created another new world record. As did the intense bidding for a towering methuselah of Dujac Clos de la Roche 1996 (HK$78,720/US$10,092, Lot 594). Other notable lots were 12 bottles of 2005 Comte de Vogue Musigny (HK$98,400/US$12,615, Lot 573) and a case of 1995 DRC Assortment (HK$270,600/US$34,692, Lot 578). The collection also presented top white burgundies led by 6 bottles of 2002 Comte Lafon Montrachet (HK$108,240/US$13,877, Lot 692).

There was equally active bidding for extraordinary and rare wines in a world class collection (Lots 733-887) from an executive who has been collecting wines for over three decades. This consignment also focused on Burgundy, fanning out to cover Bordeaux Rhone, Champagne, Italy, California and Australia.

The reputation of this collector drove intense demand for the collection’s DRC lots. Among the spectacular DRC Romanée Conti lots were 2 bottles of the highly coveted 1990 (HK$270,600/US$34,692 Lot 766), 3 bottles of 1997 (HK$246,000/US$31,538, Lot 768), 2 bottles of 1995 (HK$177,120/US$22,708, Lot 767).

Incredibly rare La Tâche lots generated competition in the room and on the phone. Hghlights included an extraordinary lot of 6 magnums of 1985 in owc (HK$418,200/US$53,615, Lot 757), illustrated right), 6 bottles of 1990 (HK$221,400/US$28,385, Lot 758) and 1 magnum of 1990 (HK$68,880/US$8,831, Lot 759). Leroy was represented by two very rare cases: 12 bottles of 1985 Chambertin (HK$167,280/US$21,446, Lot 772) and 12 bottles of 1992 Musigny (HK$167,280/US$21,446, Lot 773), both world records.

White Burgundy fetched consistently remarkable prices, with collections of Leflaive, Lafon, Sauzet and Jadot showing the increasing demand by Hong Kong collectors for white Burgundy. The highest selling white Burgundy lot was 8 bottles of 1985 Montrachet (HK$492,000/US$63,077, Lot 794, illustrated left) from the “Executive Cellar,” another world record. Eight lots of Leflaive magnums in OWCs from 1995, 1996, 1999 and 2003 also all sold for world record prices.

Legendary Bordeaux offered in the sale achieved spectacular results. Pétrus was highly coveted including a 12-bottle OWCs of the famed 1982 vintage (HK$442,800/US$56,769, Lot 731, illustrated right), and a 12-bottle case of 1989 (HK$369,000/US$47,308, Lot 732, illustrated right).
10 outstanding bottles of 1959 Lafite in owc realized HK$221,400/US$28,385, Lot 391, illustrated left) and 12 bottles of 2000 Lafite in owc fetched HK$167,280/US$21,446, Lot 487).
Mouton also fetched strong prices, including 32 bottles of vintages 1955 to 1986 (HK$246,000/US$31,538, Lot 376) and 12 bottles of 2000 in owc (HK$147,600/US$18,923, Lot 503.)

Acker Merrall’s next Hong Kong auction will be end of March on the 29th.

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