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  • Jancis Robinson
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  • Jancis Robinson
5 Feb 2012

7 Feb - See also Don Cornwell - fine wine bidders' hero.

This Wednesday evening a sale of very fancy wine is scheduled to take place at London's Mandarin Oriental hotel. Organised jointly by Spectrum and Vanquish, it has excited considerable online comment. See, for example, this thread on our forum and another on

You may be interested in the background to Spectrum Wine Auctions of the US and its partner in this venture, London-based Vanquish Wine. See below for the content of two emails I have been sent by their publicist Gabby Wickham of Quintessentially Communications, the more recent one first. The words are very much theirs not mine. I had never come across Vanquish, but then I do not buy spirits and champagne for nightclubs, nor wine for investment. I have inserted the odd comment below in italics.


Creating a New Landscape for Global Fine Wine Auctions

Powerful Joint Venture Between Spectrum Wine Auctions And Vanquish Wine Ltd Brings Auction Excitement Back To London

(January 13, London) Spectrum Wine Auctions LLC, one of the world's leading wine auction houses based in Irvine, CA, and global fine wine dealer Vanquish Wine Ltd, London's leading fine wine specialists [eh? JR], have joined forces to hold a spectacular auction of the finest and rarest wines in London on February 8, 2012 at the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park known as the 'The Evening Sale.'

Following successful auctions in California and Hong Kong which have realized over $30 million USD in sales since 2009, Spectrum Wine Auctions has continued to expand into new markets and form strategic alliances with top-notch partners to further enhance its reputation as the worldwide leader in wine auctions. Thanks to this new partnership with Vanquish Wine Ltd, the premier luxury drinks specialist and wine merchant powerhouse in London, the company is set to re-define the conventional fine wine auction concept through 'The Evening Sale', an exclusive selection of incredibly rare, valuable and coveted collectible wines with a 177 lots and a pre-sale estimate in excess of £2,000,000.

As capital of the auction world, the hub of cosmopolitan travel in 2012 and birthplace to Vanquish Wine, London will play host to the most esteemed oenophiles from around the globe. Taking place in the Grand Ballroom of the Mandarin Oriental, Richard Brierley (head of Vanquish Fine Wine and former head of North American Wines Sales for Christie's) will offer consignors and collectors a new city in which to enjoy the Spectrum Wine experience with a Vanquish twist [love that phrase! JR] at a fresh, fun and an exciting European venue. The evening will guarantee much excitement by hosting the event in the evening away from traditional auction rooms allowing respected wine collectors to attend and battle it out for their favored vintages from across the room. The event will welcome experienced collectors from around the globe as well as non-collectors and friends, providing the exclusive chance to make the world of fine wine more accessible for potential new bidders [neophytes seem to be especially welcome at this sale - JR].

The auction is already set for success [really? - JR] with the Burgundy offerings alone reaching a preSpectrum_Vanquish-sale estimate of £1.5 million, suitably accompanied by such prestigious selections as 36 lots of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Romanée Conti, 13 lots of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti La Tâche, and Grand Cru offerings such as Henri Jayer Richebourg, Domaine Dujac, Bonnes Mares, Domaine Comte Georges de Vogüé Musigny, Cuvée Vieilles Vignes and a very exclusive and extremely rare vertical of Domaine Coche-Dury Corton-Charlemagne. The exclusive champagne lots come directly from Maison Krug and Maison Ruinart in Champagne and have been donated by Moët Hennessy UK. These lots will waive any buyer's premiums with the proceeds going to a UK based charity [which one? JR]. Bordeaux aficionados will find numerous lots to choose from, including the legendary 1945 La Mission Haut-Brion and the renowned 1961 vintage from Château Latour, Château Haut-Brion, Château La Mission Haut-Brion, as well as champion wines from other notable vintages such as 1982 Château Lafite Rothschild, 2005 Château Petrus and 2000 Le Pin.

'We look forward to welcoming new and existing clients alike to our inaugural auction to bid on an exceptional selection of lots covering many of the coveted wine regions of the world. It is going to be a great privilege to hold the gavel at this inaugural sale, made possible by the joint efforts of our teams at Vanquish and Spectrum Wine and its technology, considerable global reach and exceptional client service.' says Brierley, Vanquish's Head of Fine Wines and a world-renowned auctioneer and former vice president, head of North American wine sales at Christie's.

'Richard Brierley and Vanquish's team are tremendously talented and have quickly become one of London's most trusted sources for fine wine [Amazing feat to become so trusted so quickly! JR],' says Spectrum Wine Auctions' President, Jason Boland. 'We look forward to working closely with Vanquish to bring the world's best consignments to auction and to jointly service the London collectible wine market in the best way possible.'

The joint collaboration boasts several decades of auction experience [I think Spectrum have considerable expertise in numismatic auctions -JR] and a global database of loyal clients, immediately establishing the Spectrum Wine-Vanquish team as a leading force in the London wine auction market [I wonder what Christie's and Sotheby's think of this claim - JR].

'The Evening Sale' Auction highlights include:

· Lot 99: 12 bottles of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Romanée Conti 1971 (estimate: GBP £80,000)

· Lot 127: 12 bottles of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Romanée Conti 1959 (estimate GBP £70,000)

· Lot 133: one bottle of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Romanée Conti 1945 (estimate GBP £25,000)

· Lot 9: 12 bottles of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti La Tâche 2005 in OWC (estimate: GBP £35,000)

· Lot 146: seven bottles of H. Jayer Richebourg 1978 (estimate: GBP £45,000)

· Lots 64: 13-bottle Domaine Coche-Dury Corton-Charlemagne vertical, 1995-2008 (estimate: GBP £22,500)

· Lot 139: one imperial (6L) of Château Lafite Rothschild 1982 (estimate GBP £15,000)

· Lot 78: six magnums of Château Haut-Brion 1945 in OWC (estimate GBP £32,500)

· Lot 117: six magnums of Château Mouton Rothschild 1949 (estimate GBP £25,000)

· Lot 162-163: one bottle of The Macallan in Lalique III: 57 Years Old in OWC (estimate GBP £8,500)

Total lots: 177

Pre-sale estimate: GBP £2,229,000

Contact details:

· UK and Europe: Richard Brierley +44 20 7529 4312 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            +44 20 7529 4312      end_of_the_skype_highlighting or Gabby Wickham +44 20 3073 6756 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            +44 20 3073 6756      end_of_the_skype_highlighting 

· Americas: Amanda Keston +1 949 748 4845 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            +1 949 748 4845      end_of_the_skype_highlighting 

· Asia: Powell Yang +1 949 748 4845 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            +1 949 748 4845      end_of_the_skype_highlighting

Spectrum Wine Auctions Upcoming Live Auction Calendar:

  • The Spring 2012 Auction, March 16 and 17, 2012, Grand Hyatt, Hong Kong
  • The Summer 2012 Auction, June 22 and 23, 2012, Hong Kong

About Spectrum Wine Auctions

Following in the grand tradition of its sister auction companies, Spectrum Wine Auctions is a subsidiary of Spectrum Group International, Inc. (SPGZ:PK), a consolidated global collectibles network. The company is a leading auctioneer of stamps, coins, and other memorabilia, targeting both collectors and dealers. Building a strong financial foundation, Spectrum Group International is also a merchant/dealer of certain collectibles and trader of precious metals. The company's collectibles offerings range from the modest to ultra high-end in value and span the globe. Spectrum Wine Auctions also conducts semimonthly online auctions through The company offers competitive incentives for consignors, including 30-day payouts in full for all lots sold regardless as to whether the firm has collected from each buyer, and the ability to consign both highly-collectible and commonly found wines.

Backed by many decades of auction expertise and driven by a team of dedicated wine specialists and enthusiasts, Spectrum Wine Auctions is committed to offering buyers and sellers alike the most accessible and expansive auction opportunities of what is simply the world's greatest consumable and collectible product-wine. For more information on Spectrum Wine Auctions, please call at 949.748.4845 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            949.748.4845      end_of_the_skype_highlighting or visit

About Vanquish Wine Ltd

Vanquish is London's leading Luxury Drinks Specialist focusing on the sale of fine wines, Champagne and premium spirits to an international group of private and trade clients. Vanquish is an innovative and energetic business with a defined goal to be the best possible supplier, investor and drinks service provider in the luxury beverage market. The significant experience and knowledge base within the Vanquish team means that they are able to offer customers expert advice on product selection, aid in support from brand owners and advise and build cellars for collection, investment and consumption.

Such attention to detail has enabled them to secure the most discerning buyers in the world as clients [good sales pitch this; you're a plebean mug if you don't buy from them - JR]. By being customer focused, it provides them the understanding and the ability to address needs and expectations; enabling Vanquish to provide unsurpassed value in both product and services offered.

For more information please contact Gabby Wickham on: or call 020 3073 6756 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            020 3073 6756      end_of_the_skype_highlighting


I wanted to drop you a line to tell you that I am now working with the lovely guys at Vanquish Wine - Jimmy Metta and David Elganayahan. I am sure you know of them and have seen their meteoric rise and huge success earning them one of the most esteemed and highly regarded reputations in the Fine Wine and Luxury Sprits industry.

I would love to introduce you to Jimmy and David who are two of the most inspiring businessmen I have ever had the pleasure of working with. Within less than five years, not only have they revolutionised the Fine Wine industry but they have dominated the Champagne and premium spirits on-trade market in London. By only dealing with the best, be it staff or product and never faltering on their respect and level of service for the client, Vanquish continues to rise year on year offering an array of services unparalleled in the market.

They are particularly passionate about establishing Fine Wine as a serious investment option vital to any investment portfolio (akin to art/property) they have Richard Bierley [sic JR] (previously Vice President Head of North American Wine Sales at Christie's NY, and who oversaw the 2008 recession and top wine auctions in NY and LA) as head of their Fine Wine team. I think this is a very interesting feature idea for your publication especially with the recent sales of Fine Wine at auction and the huge expansion of Fine Wine interest in the B.R.I.C countries, this insider information is essential for interested investors.

Please see below the Vanquish overview and biographies on Jimmy and David for your information.

If you would like anything further from me please don't hesitate to contact me as they are also ideal for commentary surrounding the luxury market and growth areas and trends in the fine wine and premium spirits arena.

About Vanquish

The award winning Vanquish is London's leading luxury drinks specialist. Focused on the sale and investment of fine wine, champagne and premium spirits to global private clients, international institutions and UK on-trade, Vanquish boasts one of the most esteemed and highly regarded reputations in the industry.

Entrepreneur Jimmy Metta originally founded Vanquish Merchants in 2004 when he was offered the unique opportunity to sell a highly coveted Premier Cru Bordeaux cellar of a Swiss family member to international private clients. This opportunity ignited a passion that quickly developed into a business and in 2005 he teamed up with old-friend David Elghanayan to reinvent Vanquish Merchants as Vanquish Wine. With new investment and a defined goal to be the best in the business, the duo took the newly revamped company and quickly penetrated the market by taking advantage of the highly fragmented wholesale business to London's premium clubs, bars and restaurants.

Vanquish is now synonymous with impeccable and invaluable service, they have built their reputation on extremely competitive pricing and their unparalleled resources allow them to fulfil any luxury drink requirement from a single point of contact. Combined with their superior quality control and continuous commitment towards customer satisfaction, Vanquish's meteoric rise and instantaneous growth within private and on-trade clients has led them to dominate this niche market.

Vanquish Wine is split into distinct divisions and is run by an inspiring and experienced group of individuals offering an entire portfolio of services within the luxury drinks sector including:

· Fine Wine Team

o Collection Building and Investment Advisory

o Cellar Management and Sales of Private Fine Wine Collections

o Managed Personal Wine Portfolio (wine investment for the individual)

o Bespoke Private Wine Events

· On-Trade sales (sales of premium spirits and champagne to London's nightlife)

· Brand Management

In 2009 Vanquish launched Magenta Fine Wine Investors, a trading platform for an alternative investment strategy in fine and rare wines - making wine the investment opportunity of the future.

Early 2010 saw Vanquish Wine take new offices on Dover Street, Mayfair. Here they launched 'La Suite', their own interpretation of a modern tasting facility which comprises a fully functional bar, brand display capabilities and comprehensive audiovisual and conferencing equipment [very clever idea this - JR]. La Suite also showcases product that is sold exclusively through Vanquish Wine including Casa Dragones a premium 'Sipping Tequila'.

Today, Vanquish is London's leading luxury drinks specialist, a force in the global fine wine market and continues to dominate the supply of Champagne and spirits to the premium on-trade market, selling some of the rarest and most sought-after bottles of wine in existence. Vanquish consistently deliver in all elements of business with the same energy and ethos that created this stand-out company.


Jimmy Metta: Co-Founder, Director, Head of Purchasing

A graduate in Business and Italian from the European Business School, fluent in four languages, former analyst and entrepreneur Jimmy Metta founded Vanquish Merchants in 2004. The business was born from a unique opportunity given to Metta to sell a family members cellar of fine wines. This experience fuelled a passion which soon developed into an exciting business concept and in 2005 Jimmy partnered with old friend David Elghanayan and together they reinvented the company as Vanquish Wine.

Jimmy runs the purchasing side of the company for all divisions as well as overseeing the fine wine team.

David Elghanayan: Co-Founder, Director, Business Development

A graduate from Georgetown University, entrepreneur David Elghanayan made his name in property investment before joining forces with Jimmy Metta in 2005 to launch Vanquish Wine. With experience in working with some of the leading names in property including Mansford Holdings Plc and EPIC Holdings Ltd, David also co-founded Sourcery LLC, a promotional products distribution business based in New York. David runs business development and oversees the brand marketing and on-trade sales teams at Vanquish Wine.