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By Jim Boyce
Last year’s slate of high-profile auctions did a great deal to solidify Hong Kong as a fine wine hub but little to empty the pockets of bidders, it seems. On January 23, auction house Sotheby’s held its first sale of the year in Hong Kong and raked in RMB46.5 million (HKD52.9 million / USD6.78 million), which it reports is its highest total ever for a one-day wine sale. Sotheby’s reports that all lots sold and that online bidders participated in two-thirds of them.
The 10-hour auction saw many new and existing buyers competing from throughout Asia. The auctioneers fielded bids from the room, the telephones, the online bidders and bidders from the secondary sale room that was set up due to the unprecedented demand from clients to attend the sale, while Louis Roederer Blanc de Blancs 2003, Haut Brion 1998, Léoville Lascases 1996, Lynch Bages 2000 were served – the Bordeaux were from the 6 litre Imperial format from The Classic Cellar. There was particularly strong participation from collectors and connoisseurs from Hong Kong, Mainland China and Taiwan, who were the most significant buyers of today’s sale.
Bids for Lafite, Latour, Petrus, and Romanee-Conti again led the way. An imperial of Lafite 1982 sold for RMB319,000 (HKD363,000), while 12 bottles of Petrus 2000 sold for RMB361,000 (HKD411,400). The auction was the fourth installment from an American collector. So far the take has totaled RMB158,548,095 (HKD158,548,095 / USD20,326,687). The next installment will be held in Hong Kong, April 3-4.
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