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Sotheby’s Sells Lloyd Webber’s Wines for $5.6 Million

Chateau Latour 1982
Two bottles of Chateau Latour 1982. The wine was estimated to sell for between HK$160,000 and HK$240,000 per case at Sotheby's Jan. 22 auction in Hong Kong of wines from the collection of the composer Andrew Lloyd Webber. The auction raised HK$43.3 million; it had been estimated to raise as much as HK$32 million. Source: Sotheby's via Bloomberg

A Sotheby’s sale of wine collected by Andrew Lloyd Webber, composer of Phantom of the Opera and Cats, raised HK$43.3 million ($5.6 million) in Hong Kong.

All 746 lots sold at today’s auction, with the proceeds exceeding the high estimate of HK$32 million. About 97 percent of the lots fetched prices in excess of their high estimates, Sotheby’s said in an e-mailed statement.

Wine sales in Hong Kong by Sotheby’s raised HK$410.4 million in 2010, 60 percent of its global total and more than New York and London combined, the company said in the statement.

Today’s sale marked Sotheby’s 12 consecutive “white glove” wine auction in Asia in the last 21 months, an industry term that means all the lots were purchased. Unidentified Asian collectors bought the 12 most expensive lots, according to data provided by the auctioneer.

“This was a tremendously exciting sale which reflected the great quality and range of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s cellar,” Serena Sutcliffe, head of Sotheby’s international wine department, said in the statement. “Top Bordeaux and red Burgundy really ‘took off’, but it was particularly warming to see knowledgeable Asian buyers snapping up the fabulous white Burgundies.”

Six-Hour Sale

Bidders filled the Mandarin Oriental Hotel room where the six-hour sale was held and participated through telephone and the Internet, Sotheby’s said in the statement.

A lot of 12 bottles of Chateau Petrus of the 1982 vintage was the most expensive. It fetched HK$605,000, 26 percent more than the high end of its estimate, according to data from the auction house.

The second-dearest, 12 bottles of Chateau Lafite’s 1982 vintage, sold for HK$459,800, 15 percent more than Sotheby’s had expected.

“I hope the new owners enjoy my wines as much as I have and look forward to reacquainting myself with them in restaurants all over China when Cats starts its national tour in Mandarin,” Lloyd Webber, 62, said in the statement.

Sotheby’s sold three bottles of Chateau Lafite’s 1869 vintage at HK$1.8 million each in Hong Kong in October, the most expensive standard-sized bottle ever sold at a Sotheby’s auction.

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