Bonhams has held its first ever wine auction in Hong Kong.
On 24 April, Bonhams sold 246 lots – over 96% – for a total of HK$11,503,597 (£744,392/US$1,474,820), which the London-based auction house said was above its high estimate.
The auction was the first to be held in Hong Kong since the elimination of wine duty, as well as the first ever to be held at Crown Wine Cellars, a former World War Two munitions bunker-turned-wine storage facility and private members club.
‘It was a stunning evening, and a lot of fun,’ Stephen Wickens, Crown’s restaurant and events manager, told decanter.com. He confirmed that most of the buyers were existing Crown clients.
‘I think it reinforces how much of an appetite there is in Hong Kong for fine wine.’
Among the top 10 lots (all top Bordeaux) were two cases each of 1990 and 2000 Chateau Pétrus, both of which sold for HK$452,200 (£29,270;US$58,022, six bottles of 1982 Chateau Lafite Rothschild for HK$285,600 (£18,477/US$36,646) and a case of 1982 Chateau Latour HK$232,050 (£15,011/US$29,774).
American lawyer Alec Tracy, who buys a lot of wine, said it was his first time buying at auction.
‘It was great fun – and very exciting to be in the room in person,’ he said. ‘There was a bit of tension.’
Among other things, Tracy bought the 2000 Pétrus, a case of 1989 Haut-Brion and a mixed case of Barolo.
Wickens said Crown was working with several other auction houses on plans to hold more auctions.
New York wine merchant Acker Merrall & Condit will hold an auction in Hong Kong in May.
Written by Maggie Rosen