By Jim Boyce
I got a bit picky in this January post when auction house Acker et al used the word “great” and its derivatives 29 times in one press release. Whoever writes these things must have listened because he / she / they took it down a notch for the latest missive and only used “great” 20 times. But he / she / they more than made up for it by using “superlot” a half-dozen times.
“Superlot” is not a word, at least not in my dictionary, but it apparently generates excitement among those bidders tired of plain old lots. Kind of like when you get so bored with ’82 Lafite that you’ll only pay attention when it becomes available in large-format bottles. Anyway, the next set of Acker auctions is just over a week ago away and includes a bunch of collections, including the “superlots” from California. From the press release:
… [the] next Hong Kong sale [is] to be held on 22 and 23 March at Island Shangri-La and Grand Hyatt Hong Kong. Over 950 lots valued at HK$40+ million/US$5+ million will be offered in the auction, featuring some of the world’s most outstanding collections of fine wines….
Acker has played the leading role in bringing the best Burgundy wines and particularly rare Domaine de la Romanée Conti (DRC) masterpieces to the auction market in Asia. Taking center-stage in this sale is the treasure trove of its epic vintage and one of the last of its kind: an original banded wooden case of 6 bottles of 2005 Romanée Conti (estimate: HK$720,000-960,000 / US$90,000-120,000, Lot 251, illustrated above). Further DRC treasures are 12 bottles of 1999 DRC Assortment in original wooden case (estimate: HK$280,000-400,000 / US$35,000-50,000, Lot 688), two 3 bottle lots of the great 1999 Romanee-Conti (estimate: HK$260,000-380,000 / US$32,000-48,000, Lot 365 and Lot 713), 3 bottles of 2001 Romanée Conti (estimate: HK$200,000-260,000 / US$24,000-32,000, Lot 690) and 3 bottles of 2004 Romanée Conti (estimate: HK$180,000-240,000/ US$22,000-30,000, Lot 691).
Stellar offerings from the cellar of a great collector bring together two of the most famous properties from France (Lots 704-713). Gems include an original wooden case of 12 bottles of 1982 Château Pétrus (estimate: HK$480,000-640,000 / US$60,000-80,000, Lot 706, illustrated on P.1) as well as seven vintages of Romanée Conti in multiple bottle lots highlighted by an original wooden case of 12 bottles of 1988 (estimate: HK$800,000-1,120,000 / US$100,000-140,000, Lot 707), 3 bottles of 1990 (estimate: HK$320,000-440,000 / US$40,000-55,000, Lot 709) and one of two lots in this auction of 3 bottles of the great 1999 (estimate: HK$260,000-380,000 / US$32,000-48,000, Lot 713).
A half-dozen bottles from a vintage a mere eight years ago is expected to sell for US$100,00 or more. Interesting auction times. And there is plenty more wine listed, including Lafite, Margaux, Haut Brion, Latour, Lafleur, Leroy Richebourg and Rousseau Chambertin. It’ll be interesting to see how the white Burgundies from Roulot, Sauzet, Henri Boillot and others fare. And also, last but not least, the “superlots”:
Marcassin is one of California’s most adored and collectible wines, and it has long been one of the more difficult wines to acquire. On offer is a Marcassin Superlot of 186 bottles of 12 great vintages (estimate: HK$320,000-480,000 / US$40,000-60,000, Lot 252, illustrated right) from a collector who purchased each and every bottle of this lot directly from the winery.
Another Superlot comprises 42 bottles of 7 vintages of Harlan, arguably California’s greatest Cabernet-based wine in the modern era (estimate: HK$200,000-280,000 / US$26,000-35,000, Lot 253). This magnificent vertical collection in pristine original wooden cases spans 1991-1997 and is from a consignor who has been a long-time collector of Napa Valley wines. This is a great opportunity to obtain very rare, early vintages of this cult legend.