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Iconic Bordeaux vintages smash estimates at first live Christie’s Hong Kong auction of 2023

Christie’s Hong Kong beat estimates by 116% when it auctioned off a collection of celebrated Bordeaux vintages at its first live auction of 2023.

The city’s social restrictions have now been lifted, so collectors were able to descend upon Alexandra House to bid in-person for the iconic wines.

Bidders from four continents also took part over the phone and online, helping the auction achieve a sales total of HK$30,274,000 (£3,145,756).

That was more than double the low estimate provided prior to the auction, titled Grands Crus Part III: Finest and Rarest Wines from the Cellar of Christen Sveaas.

The highlight was a lot featuring 12 bottles of Château Latour à Pomerol 1961, which fetched HK$1,062,500 (£110,404) – more than double the low estimate.

Another lot featuring eight bottles of Château Mouton-Rothschild 1945 fetched the same price, making them the joint-top lots of the auction.

Sveaas, a Norwegian businessman who owns the Kistefos AS investment firm, said: ‘This is the first time a selection of wine from my cherished collection has been presented at Christie’s in Asia, and it has been a pleasure to witness it be so well received.

‘I am heartened to know that these special bottles have found new homes, and my wish is that their owners take great joy in savouring and sharing them.’

Sveaas is a renowned art collector and wine connoisseur, who was at one point rumoured to own the world’s largest private wine cellar.

Some of the other highlights at the auction included 12 bottles of Château Palmer 1961, six bottles of Château Cheval-Blanc 1921, 12 bottles of Château Haut-Brion 1959, 12 bottles Château Latour 1949 and 12 bottles of Petrus 1982, all of which beat low estimates. A magnum of Château d’Yquem 1900 also earned more than double the low estimate.

Aside from the Bordeaux vintages, a lot comprising six bottles of Paul Jaboulet Aîné Hermitage La Chapelle 1961 was sold for HK$600,000 (£62,346). Six bottles of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Montrachet 2007 and 10 bottles of Dom Pérignon Rosé 1996 were also sold.

There was a lively atmosphere at Alexandra House for the auction. ‘It was an honour to commence Christie’s 2023 live wine auctions in Hong Kong with a selection from Mr Sveaas’s stunning cellar – and a joy to welcome so many spirited bidders in person to our saleroom once again,’ said Adam Bilbey, Christie’s global head of wine and spirits.

‘The iconic bottles received a tremendous response from bidders in Asia and beyond, achieving remarkable prices – a testament to both Mr Sveaas’s superb taste and the demand for fine wine across the region.

‘The results reaffirm Christie’s strength in presenting the world’s most important single-owner wine collections to the market.’

Michelle Chan, head of wine for Christie’s Asia Pacific, added that the event provided ‘an excellent base’ for its upcoming Hong Kong Spring Auctions, which are due to take place in May.


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