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Singapore fine wine auction fails to shift luxury bottles

An auction held by US house Acker fell short of projections by about S$2 million, prompting some to ask whether the country’s ultra-premium market is as robust as it once was.

Despite frenzied interest and a waiting list to attend, an Acker wine auction held on Saturday 14 October at the Marina Bay Sands hotel failed to meet the estimated value of lots for sale.

In the end, the anticipated auction achieved S$5.8 million, around S$2 million shy of the estimated total value of lots which was S$7.5 million.

Some of the top lots attracted little interest, with some exceptional spirits left unsold.

A 72-year old Macallan single malt in a Lalique decanter failed to sell, as did a 35-year-old Karuizawa single malt in an emerald geisha cask.

Fine wine lots fared better, with magnums of 1995 Domaine de la Romanée Conti and 14 back vintages of Château Latour, dating back to 1982, snapped up by bidders.

A record-breaking bid was taken for 12 bottles of 2006 Screaming Eagle Cabernet, which went for S$53,125. The sum was the highest ever achieved for the Napa Valley producer’s 2006 vintage.

Also on offer were 14 vintages of Krug Champagne.

The overall shortfall of the auction was made all the more surprising by the fact that buyers were not limited to paying by cash or credit card, with Acker also accepting payment by cryptocurrency, including Bitcoin.

John Kapon, chairman of Acker, said that the silver lining from the auction was that “55% of the buyers were new” and added that Acker would not be deterred by the worse-than-expected result.

“Our commitment to expanding our reach and presence in the region remains steadfast, and we eagerly anticipate our return in 2024 for another promising auction in Singapore.”

Kapon has previously said that the auction house’s focus “is definitely on Singapore and the surrounding regions like Malaysia, Indonesia, even Thailand.”


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