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Life beyond Burgundy for US auctions

If Burgundy has been grabbing the headlines in this season’s US wine auctions, Chicago’s Hart Davis Hart hopes to redress the balance with its first Bordeaux only sale this Thursday.

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“We’re trying to re-emphasise Bordeaux a little bit, where some of the older stuff has been doing very well” the firm’s Marc Soler explained. To get punters in the mood, HDH is hosting a comparative tasting of the 2009 vs 2010 Bordeaux the night before at US$800 a pop. All the First Growths will be there.

Auction highlights in a sale estimated to bring in US$3.7 – 5.5m, include Cheval Blanc, Montrose and Pichon Lalande, all direct from the châteaux. “It depends on the wine, but I think serious collectors are willing to pay more for great provenance,” said Soler, who sees no shortage of saleable collections. “It’s competitive, but our business is up 30%. We’re capturing a larger share of a market that’s growing a bit.”

Meanwhile Zachy’s knocked down a case of 2000 Château Lafite for US$26,950 on October 21st, though the main draw was Burgundy including a 6 litre bottle of 1969 Dujac Morey Saint Dennis which went for US$8,575. The day before, Acker, Merrall & Condit grossed US$3 million in a sale that included its ‘Conquistador’ collection from Spain which sold “definitely above the high estimate,” said CEO John Kapon. “We’re thrilled to see Spanish wines get some attention. Probably the best value in aged wines in the world is aged Rioja.” Upcoming highlights include a New York sale on November 20th. “It’s my birthday auction,” said Kapon. “I’ve got a lot of birthday gifts from close friends.”

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