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New Chicago auction house brings back glamour

A new Chicago wine auction house, Hart Davis Hart Wine Company, holds its debut sale this Saturday 29 January.

Auction glamour vanished here in October 2001 when Sotheby’s held its final auction before shifting sales to Manhattan.

Michael Davis and Paul Hart, principals in the new firm (with John Hart, no relative of Paul’s), owned Chicago-based Davis and Company until Sotheby’s bought it in 1998 and named them directors of its North American wine department.

The catalogue for the 1,483-lot sale, at the stately 115-year-old Chicago Athletic Association, features a dozen vintages of Latour and eight vintages of Lafite and such Burgundy producers as Coche-Dury, Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, Roumier and Lafon.

A rare vertical of Screaming Eagle magnums representing every commercial release from 1992 to 2001 (estimated at US$17,000- US$30,000) is featured. Among other California cult wines is a case of 1994 Bryant Family cabernet (US$4,500-US$6,000).

Two one-bottle lots of Barbeito 1795 Terrantez Madeira (each 1,700 milliliters, each estimated at US$1,500-US$2,000) and two single-bottle lots of Oscar Acciaioly 1802 Terrantez Madeira Special Reserve (each US$1,500-US$2,000) are offered.

Hart Davis Hart, charging a 17% buyer’s premium, has scheduled three more 2004 auctions. The next is May 7.

Hart Davis Hart replaces John Hart Fine Wine, a no-storefront retailer that will continue selling fine and rare wine, including cellars. Auction bids can be placed on www.hdhwine.com.

Two other local houses hold live auctions: the small-scale Edward Roberts International and the low-key Chicago Wine Company, a merchant.

Written by Howard G Goldberg in New York

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