Acker Auctions Go 50/50 in First Half of 2020

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$50M Sold, 50% Greater Than Nearest Competitor

Acker finished up the first half of its 2020 auction season late last week with a “live online” auction in New York totaling $3.2M and setting 106 New World Records, a fine finish to what has been an amazing season amidst global uncertainty. Despite the roller coaster of this year thanks to the worldwide Covid-19 pandemic, with the June sale’s close, Acker surged to over $50M worldwide sales for the first half of 2020, outpacing its nearest competitor by over 50%, dominating the fine wine marketplace with an estimated 40% market share in its bicentennial anniversary year.

The initial six months of 2020 showed that buyers continued their hunt for fine wine at an even greater rate, with a 33% increase in the number of overall bidders in auctions over the first six months of 2020, compared with 2019, and 1,679 New World Records set overall. Of the $50M sold, the United States accounted for 45% of the buying power, while greater China (mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan) was at 40% percent of all purchases, in comparison to China’s slight edge of 45% to 43% over the U.S. in the first half of 2019. Other notables include Brazil’s growth from 5% of the market in the first half of 2019 to 7% in 2020 thus far. Additionally, European buyers collectively made their mark, coming in as the fourth largest buying segment in worldwide auctions. As Acker shifted from monthly online auctions to a weekly model, weekly web auction sales continued to grow at an impressive 37.8% over 2019.

Domaine de la Romanee Conti once again took the first spot in the Top Ten Producers for the first half of 2020. Chateau Lafite Rothschild stood as the highest-grossing Bordeaux and the only Bordeaux chateau in the first five positions. Domaine Dujac, Domaine Leroy, and Armand Rousseau emphasized Burgundy’s strong presence in the marketplace with the third, fourth, and fifth places. Chateau Latour and Chateau Petrus kept Bordeaux relevant in sixth and seventh positions, while Coche-Dury stood as the only white Burgundy-focused producer to grace the Top Ten, in an impressive eighth place. Rounding out the list were the newest First Growth, Chateau Mouton Rothschild, and the rare Burgundian icon, Henri Jayer, despite the fact that the Domaine ceased making wine after 2001.

The top wines sold in the first half of 2020 reiterated DRC’s dominance in the world of fine wine, as the top brand held seven of the Top Ten Lots. However, it was a vertical lot of sixteen magnums 2002-2017 Domaine du Comte Liger-Belair La Romanee that was the Top Lot sold in 2020 thus far, realizing $198,400 in Acker’s Bicentennial New York auction, where over 200 lots direct from the cellars of 40 of the world’s top producers held the spotlight. DRC emerged in second through fifth places, with six magnums of 1995 DRC Romanee Conti selling for $179,200, while six bottles of the 1999 vintage realized $140,800. The fourth and fifth slots went to an exceptional twelve bottle lot of 1999 DRC La Tache and six bottles of 2002 Romanee Conti, both of which sold for $108,800. Sixth place was a three-way tie between six magnums of 1995 Henri Jayer Vosne Romanee Cros Parantoux, six bottles of 2003 DRC Romanee Conti, and a Jeroboam of 1979 Romanee Conti, which went for $102,400 a piece. The ninth and tenth lots of the year were also a tie, at $86,800, as six bottles of 2011 DRC Romanee Conti and the only Bordeaux to grace the Top Ten, an Imperial of 1961 Chateau Palmer rounded out the outstanding lineup.

“2020 started off as a year of incredible celebration for Acker,” said Acker Chairman, John Kapon. “It marked our 200th anniversary, a milestone achieved by only a handful of companies in the history of the United States of America. Despite our 200-year history, the present became immediately uncertain. We quickly pivoted to a virtual world for our auctions, our tastings, and our retail sales, and were overwhelmed by the support shown to us by our longtime clients and friends. To achieve more sales in 2020 than we did in 2019, to have so many more bidders, to be clearly positioned so far ahead of our competitors, and to be working directly with so many of the world's greatest winemakers, I am so grateful and humbled. With great privilege comes great responsibility, so there will be no break this summer. We are currently working on an incredible Fall season, one befitting of a bicentennial. The wine market continues to blaze and amaze.”

“We thank everyone who has supported us during these tumultuous times, and we look forward to continuing this historic year for Acker in the finest fashion. To achieve the wine auction market’s Triple Crown of #1 in the World, #1 in America and #1 in Asia is always a thrill, and we are beginning the Fall season ahead of schedule with our first-ever July Hong Kong sale on Thursday, July 9th and Saturday, July 11th, live online, of course. The Fall season is already here!”

Acker is currently accepting consignments for its Fall auction season. Weekly web auctions are closing every week. For more information, email info@ackerwines.com.

About Acker
Established in 1820, Acker is the oldest wine shop in America and the world’s largest fine and rare wine auction house. Since third-generation wine merchant John Kapon, Chairman of Acker, started the auction business in 1998, the house has gained worldwide recognition. Acker offers a vast array of services, including cellar consultations, a deep retail inventory of fine and rare wine for immediate sale, first-class wine education amenities, and its ne plus ultra – fine and rare wine auctions.

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Marisa Symeonides
5W Public Relations
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