Romanee-Conti 1990 Burgundy Fetches Record $297,400 at Auction

John Kapon of Acker leads wine sale
John Kapon, chief executive officer of Acker, Merrall & Condit, conducts a wine auction in Hong Kong in Sept. 2011. Photo: Acker, Merrall & Condit via Bloomberg

A rare case of Romanee-Conti 1990 Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Burgundy sold for HK$2.32 million ($297,400) in Hong Kong, a price auction house Acker, Merrall & Condit said set a world saleroom record for that vintage.

The wine was sold to a Hong Kong collector bidding by telephone, and capped a two-day auction ended Sept. 17 attended by 400 buyers in which HK$91.87 million went under the hammer.

Demand for top Burgundy comes as wine auction houses have seen buying interest this year from Chinese collectors for Bordeaux first-growth wines such as Chateau Lafite-Rothschild, even as prices for investment wine have cooled amid global volatility in stock and bond markets. Leading Burgundies are produced in much lower volumes, and so can command higher prices per bottle for the best vintages.

“This fall is going to be all about Burgundy,” said John Kapon, Acker’s chief executive officer, in an e-mailed statement after the sale in China’s wine hub.

A similar 12-bottle case of Romanee-Conti 1990 DRC sold for 126,500 pounds ($201,900) at Bonhams in London on Sept. 8.

Acker said producer records for their vintages were also set by a case of 1988 Romanee-Conti DRC, which fetched HK$1.17 million, and a 1990 Vosne Romanee Cros Parantoux Henri Jayer, which sold for HK$732,000.

Among Bordeaux wines on sale, a case of La Mission Haut-Brion 1961 fetched HK $463,600, a price Acker also said set a new high at auction for the producer from that vintage. A similar case with some bin-soiled labels sold at Christie’s International in New York on April 9 for $36,000, almost 40 percent less than the price achieved in Hong Kong.

The Liv-ex 100 Index of Fine Wines fell 4 percent last month after a 1.6 percent drop in July as global stock markets tumbled amid the debt crisis in Europe and the deficit battle in the United States. The index is up 2.5 percent this year.

New York-based Acker has now sold a total of $45 million of wine at its four sales in Hong Kong this year, and $70.35 million worldwide.

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