By Jim Boyce
The upcoming Acker Merrall & Condit wine auction in Hong Kong — the year’s first for the company — should be pretty, um, great if the press release is any indication. “Great”, or its derivatives, is used twenty-nine times (29!) in that missive. Not to be picky, but does anyone at Acker et al have a thesaurus?
Anyway, given the upcoming Chinese New Year, it seems appropriate this auction strikes me as somewhat of a two-headed snake. Not only because it is being held over two days (January 25 and January 26) but also because it features, on one head, Bordeaux and Burgundy from “two of the world’s greatest collections” and, on the other head, wines from Domaine Dujac and Domaine Roulot, “consigned treasures directly from their cellars for the very first time — their greatest wines, vintages, vineyards and formats for this exclusive auction”.
A company press release states that the auction will have ~1,000 lots and an estimated value of around HKD40 million/USD5 million.
And it quotes CEO John Kapon:
“Our two featured collections are massive and from gentlemen I consider two of the world’s greatest collectors. You will not find greater wines or greater collections anywhere in the world than theirs. Their consignments represent almost half of our January auction – the catalog is well worth your time for their wines alone, one focusing on impeccably stored, older jewels and buried treasures rarely seen, while the other represents perfect provenance, original case Bordeaux at its finest. We are also honored and proud that two of Burgundy’s greatest estates, Domaine Dujac and Domaine Roulot, have chosen Acker to consign treasures directly from their cellars for the first time ever. There is no greater provenance for collectors than these two direct consignments.”
My experience in fine wine auctions is limited but do you know what I think would be great? Knowing the names of the sellers. Especially given the focus on provenance not only in the excerpt above but elsewhere in the press release: “Most of the older wines were purchased in the 1980s from trusted and reliable sources, while many of them have remained untouched for decades” and “The provenance is superb“. Given the scandals of the past year — see here and here — and concerns in China re fakes, allaying fears re provenance is a wise move.
Anyway, among the bottles to be sold are a dozen of 1982 Petrus, three of 1961 Petrus, four of 1978 Montrachet, a Jeroboam of 1961 Latour, magnums of 1949, 1952 and 1961 Cheval Blanc and lots involving Angelus, Ausone, Haut Brion, Lafleur and Margaux and others.