Acker Merrall & Condit conducted its first wine auction in Hong Kong on May 31, which realized $8.2 million against a presale high estimate of $6.4 million and was 92 percent sold. The total was the highest for any wine auction held in Hong Kong to date. (On April 24, a Bonhams & Butterfields auction brought $1.5 million.) Both sales were held in the wake of new Hong Kong legislation that abolished all taxes and duties on wine.
Among the many records established at the Acker sale was a case of DRC Romanée-Conti 1990, which fetched a whopping $242,308 (113 percent above the wine's average price in the Wine Spectator Auction Index for the first quarter of 2008). John Kapon, Acker's auction director, donated the 21 percent buyer's premium on the lot ($42,000) to Habitat for Humanity, a charity that is helping to rebuild housing for China's earthquake victims.
Other highlights included a case of Château Le Pin 1982, which rose 76 percent from its index average to bring $105,487, and an imperial of Château Lafite Rothschild 1982, which commanded $49,641 (up 72 percent). The mostly Asian audience displayed a keen interest in vintage Champagne, sending a jeroboam of Dom Pérignon Rosé 1996 consigned directly from the property over the top estimate of $20,000 to fetch $34,128.
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