NEW YORK--()--Playing to a packed room full of enthusiastic and vocal collectors, Acker Merrall kicked off its 2013 NYC auction season with strong results, posting $3.1 million of sales and selling 94% of all lots. Collectors from eleven countries set 121 new world records, a total driven by a significant 79 records for Burgundy, led by 20 for Raveneau and 14 for Liger-Belair, two of the region’s elite producers. Those 121 new world records exceeded the firm’s 115 in Hong Kong barely a month ago, an important occurrence given Hong Kong’s current leadership in the global market for fine and rare wine. The balanced performance between Hong Kong and New York to begin 2013 bodes well for a healthy market in the coming year.
“Burgundy’s momentum continued, led by two extraordinary parcels of Raveneau and Liger-Belair that came to us directly from Europe. It is satisfying to know that the world’s greatest collectors continue to choose Acker Merrall to offer their collections.”
Bordeaux’s renaissance continued as fifteen of the top twenty-five lots were from that famed region. Noteworthy was the breadth of Bordeaux’ success among the top twenty five, coming as it did from old, recent and new vintages alike – 1945, 1982, 1989, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2008 and 2009. Leading the way for Bordeaux were the legendary 1989 Haut Brion, with a twelve-bottle case selling for $15,990, and the great 1982 Latour, selling at the same price for twelve bottles. Old news was new news, as Lafite was the overall winner for Bordeaux, taking seven of the sale’s Top twenty-five lots, more than any other estate.
Coming off the great success of the direct Dujac and Roulot consignments at Acker Merrall’s January Hong Kong auction, Burgundy grabbed the top three lots of the auction. Those lots were from three famed estates and three great vineyards. Number one was an original wood case (OWC) of three bottles of the outstanding 2006 Romanee Conti, which sold for $27,060. Its near number two was another OWC, a twelve-bottle case of the superb 1962 Leroy Romanee-St-Vivant, bought by a collector for $24,600. The third highest selling lot was the 1990 Rousseau Chambertin Clos de Beze, a rare twelve-bottle case that sold for $18,450. Burgundy demonstrated that collectors around the world are seeking more and more of its top producers beyond the headlines of Romanee Conti during 2013. Musignys from Mugnier and Roumier, along with Liger-Belair’s monopole vineyard of La Romanee, were also all among the top twenty-five lots in Saturday’s auction.
While Bordeaux and Burgundy battled it out for the sale’s top lots, this sale was really about Italy, featuring the greatest collection of Italian wines ever offered by Acker Merrall, and there was significant interest accordingly. Most lots were offered in vertical, instant collection lots, or the world records achieved probably would have been doubled. Highlights included a four magnum lot of Bartolo Mascarello Barolo from 1952, 1971, 1986 and 1988 selling for $7995 against a high estimate of $4800. A twelve-bottle mixed lot of Soldera Brunello went for $6150 verus a high estimate of $3000, while an 18-bottle vertical of Gaja Sori San Lorenzo also achieved $7995, over 30% higher than its high estimate.
“Saturday’s sale was a great way to kick off our 2013 NYC auction season. The room was full, packed and loud, just how we like it. Collectors came to bid and buy the great estates on offer. Diversity again proved to be the watch word for the market, led by the most spectacular collection of Italian wines I have ever seen,” said Acker Merrall & Condit’s CEO, John Kapon. “Burgundy’s momentum continued, led by two extraordinary parcels of Raveneau and Liger-Belair that came to us directly from Europe. It is satisfying to know that the world’s greatest collectors continue to choose Acker Merrall to offer their collections.”
Acker Merrall’s next auction will be Hong Kong on March 22nd and 23rd, followed by two NYC auctions on April 3rd and 27th.
About Acker Merrall & Condit
Founded in 1820, Acker Merrall & Condit is America’s oldest fine wine merchant and the world’s largest wine auction house. With affiliates in New York, Chicago and Hong Kong, the companies hold more than fifteen auctions a year, including Internet auctions. They are devoted to helping their customers buy and sell the best wines, and also to sharing with them the experience of enjoying wine. In recent years, the company has greatly expanded its services to education, tastings and the formation of wine clubs. Starting out as a family business, three generations of the Kapon family have been dedicated to bringing the best from the vine to their customers.