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  • Jancis Robinson
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  • Jancis Robinson
31 May 2010

1 Jun - And today Christie's report that at their Hong Kong sale last Saturday, their lot of 128 bottles and 40 magnums of Ch d'Yquem spanning three centuries sold for HK$8 million, creating a new record for the most expensive wine lot ever auctioned in Asia and the most valuable wine lot ever auctioned by Christie's.  Cripes!

Acker Merrall & Condit are cock-a-hoop over their record-breaking auction in Hong Kong last weekend. It realised HK$152 million, more than any other auction in this new Asian honeypot and the second biggest wine auction total ever. The majority of the 1,820 lots and more than 19,000 bottles were said to come from a single 'legendary' cellar which Acker dubbed 'The Imperial Cellar', presumably reckoning this might sound more appealing to the largely Chinese bidders than 'Eric Greenberg's collection'. See also this rather worrying thread on the forum about why the collection may be legendary. In the picture, Greenberg and Kapon flank Paul Pontallier of Ch Margaux, who donated wine to be sold in aid of the Great Wall heritage fund.

Here's Acker's excited report on the sale:

Asia's most serious wine collectors gathered in the saleroom to participate in tremendously spirited bidding and were rivalled by absentee bidders from around the world who used the phone and internet to compete for most of the lots. The majority of buyers, however, were from Asia and particularly Hong Kong with strong participation by mainland Chinese buyers.

'We are beyond thrilled with the results of this record sale, with many lots selling well above their estimated value,' said John Kapon, Acker Merrall & Condit's President and Auction Director. 'For the sale we had over 400 clients registered for the auction room alone, with hundreds of others participating live online and via absentee bid, indicating the fantastic strength of the Asian market for fine and rare wines. Owners of fine cellars around the world now understand that there is a keen demand for rare wines among buyers in Asia and especially in China.'

The owner of 'The Imperial Cellar', said: 'It is an honour and privilege to share my collection and passion for wine with Asia. This auction is a true indication that Hong Kong is the future of fine wine. I have fallen in love with the city, its incredible culture and particularly the people of Hong Kong and China.'

In addition to 'The Imperial Cellar' sale, five unique lots consigned directly by France's Château Margaux, were sold for a total of HK$3,098,800 (US$397,792) with net proceeds being donated to the Great Wall Society of China to assist with the preservation of this United Nations Cultural World Heritage site.

'I am delighted that the five very special Château Margaux lots have sold so remarkably well,' said Corinne Mentzelopoulos, owner of Château Margaux, 'and that the net proceeds will go to such a worthy cause as the preservation of the Great Wall of China.'

Top Ten Lots of the Sale:

• A Superlot of 96 bottles of 1988-1999 Henri Jayer Vosne Romanée Cros Parantoux realized HK$1,952,000/US$250,578 after spirited bidding, setting a New World Auction Record for any Henri Jayer lot ever sold.

• A Superlot of 702 bottles from vintage 2000 of top Bordeaux in their original wooden cases sold for HK$1,659,200 (US$212,991).

• 12 bottles of 1959 Richebourg by Henri Jayer also sold for HK$1,659,200 (US$212,991).

• A Superlot of 360 bottles (1978-2007) from the Château Margaux Private Cellar achieved HK$1,464,000 (US$187,933), setting a New World Auction Record for any Château Margaux lot ever sold.

• Two 12 bottle lots of 1996 DRC Montrachet each sold for HK$1,171,200 (US$150,346), setting a new world auction record for any DRC Montrachet lot ever sold.

• 12 bottles of 1971 DRC Romanée-Conti sold for HK$976,000 (US$125,289)

• 12 bottles of 1945 Château Mouton Rothschild sold for HK$927,200 (US$119,024)

• 12 bottles of 1996 DRC Romanée-Conti sold for HK$732,000 (US$93,967)

• 12 bottles of 1961 Château Lafleur in their original wooden case sold for HK$732,000 (US$93,967)

• 12 bottles of 1990 DRC La Tâche sold for HK$634,400 (US$80,410)