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Sotheby’s reaps rewards in HK

Sotheby’s two-day Hong Kong auction last weekend, including the first ex-cellar sale from Domaine Clarence Dillon, was hailed as a resounding success and raised US$12 million.

The auction, celebrating the 40th anniversary of Sotheby’s in Asia, began on 4 October with the ex-cellar collection from Domaine Clarence Dillon, the owner of Château Haut-Brion, La Mission Haut-Brion and Château Quintus.

That sale, comprising 171 lots of Haut-Brion from 1891-2010, 123 lots of La Mission and the inaugural auction appearance of Quintus, made HK$18.5m (US$2.4m) and was 100% sold.

The top lot was a “console” of Domaine Dillon wines in a cabinet designed by Lord Linley, which made HK$800,000 – its low estimate.

A case of Haut-Brion 1961 and another of 1959 surpassed their high estimates and made HK$539,000 and HK$514,500 respectively.

The most frequently featured vintage though was 1989 in both cases and large formats.

The sale was followed on 5 October with two sales from private collectors, the first being a “magnificent” Bordeaux cellar in which Château Lafite dominated the top lots and the second being a Bordeaux, Burgundy mix where Domaine de la Romanée-Conti caused no surprises by taking the first two places.

The Bordeaux sale was led by three double magnums of 1982 Lafite which made HK$416,500 (hK$380,000 top estimate), followed by a case of the same for HK$392,000 (same high estimate) and then a case of 2000 Mouton Rothschild for HK$294,000.

Also appearing in that top 10 was a vertical of Vega Sicilia “Unico”, which made HK$208,250.

As mentioned, DRC dominated the other part of the sale with six bottles of Romanée-Conti 1990 making HK$1.1m (HK$850,000 high estimate), followed by nine bottles of 1989 Romanée-Conti on HK$857,500.

Henri Jayer’s 1991 Cros Parantoux also made an appearance thanks to HK$514,500 being paid for a case but 1990 Le Pin (HK$735,000 for a case), 1961 Hermitage La Chapelle (the same for 11 bottles) and a case of 1961 Latour à Pomerol (HK$563,500) knocked the usually strong contender into a lower ranking than normal.

Jamie Ritchie, president and CEO, Americas and Asia, Sotheby’s Wine, said: “Asian collectors continue to be the world’s most important wine buyers, as shown by the fact that this was our largest series of sales this year, totalling HK$94 million / US$12 million.

“The fact that so many large parcels (multiple cases of the same wine) achieved such strong prices, shows that demand remains strong for top wines with excellent provenance.”

Sotheby’s next sale will be held on 23 October in London and features the private cellar of Madame Lacoste-Loubat, former owner of châteaux Pétrus and Latour à Pomerol.

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