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Acker to auction Saunier collection

Acker Merrall & Condit is to auction the personal collection of American importer Martine Saunier in Hong Kong this month.

Saunier is renowned for helping introduce the US to estates such as Henri Jayer, his nephew Emmanuel Rouget, Domaine Leroy, Meo-Camuzet, Domaine du Pegau and Château Rayas and these wines are the cornerstones of her personal collection that will be going under the hammer on 31 January.

Saunier made it clear that this would be the fist and last time she would open up her cellar for auction.

“Let me make this very clear,” she said. “This consignment is going to be the last of its kind. I will never again be able to select such a fantastic range of Henri Jayer wines, and I literally cleaned out most of my private cellar…. I have a few nice bottles left for my own drinking, but this is really most of my Jayer holdings you have gotten here, so take good care of it and enjoy it while you can.”

All of the wines from her cellar were purchased directly from the cellars of the estates and have been stored in optimal conditions ever since.

Saunier began importing Jayer in 1974 – starting with the 1972 vintage – and has been dealing with Lalou Bize-Leroy since 1986.

Highlights from the sale include six bottles of 1990 Chambertin from Domaine Leroy (HK$96,000 – $128,000), 12 bottles of Echézeaux 1990 from Emmanuel Rouget (HK$80,000 – $120,000), a magnum of 1988 Echézeaux from Henri Jayer (HK$56,000 – $80,000), three bottles of Jayer’s 1978 Richebourg (HK$280,000 – $400,000) and six bottles of 1991 Richebourg from Méo-Camuzet (HK$40,000 – $56,000).

“Honoured and proud are not strong enough words to say how I feel personally that Martine, with her rigor in every element of how her wine is selected, cared for and handled, has chosen Acker Merrall as the firm to auction what will be remembered by generations of collectors as one of the most remarkable and legendary cellars ever to be offered,” said Acker Merrall & Condit’s CEO, John Kapon.

“As Martine’s aid, there will be no more after we finish auctioning her personal collection. Neither provenance nor care gets any better.

“The selection of Jayer is nothing short of staggering, and likely the last opportunity to acquire this kind of quantity of single owner Jayer. Jayer is revered and adored, and there will never be more of his wine, unfortunately. His influence still lives today in greats like Emmanuel Rouget and Louis-Michel Liger-Belair. Martine brought Jayer to the world. It will be clear as collectors review the catalogue that this is a chance to acquire the best of the best from a wine icon.”

A full list of the wines and an interview with Saunier can be found here.

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