Acker Bicentennial Auction Electrifies NYC Setting 277 New World Records in 12 Hours
In the historic ‘The Pool’ of The Seagram Building, Acker, the leading wine auction house of the past decade, ushered in longtime friends, clients and winemakers to fête its 200th Anniversary as America’s oldest wine shop, with an auction that brought in USD $10 million.
Big bottles flowed among the packed house of more than 200 guests across the 12-hour auction, and bidders in the room clamored alongside internet and phone bidders for more than 1,500 lots of the world’s finest and rarest wines. Over 200 lots directly sourced from 40 of the top Domaines in the world helped generate 277 new world records at this spectacular auction. Numerous winemakers who supplied these pristine treasures were present in the auction room to witness the sale of these iconic wines.
The Top Ten Lots of the auction came from all corners of the star-studded catalog. The Top Lot of the sale went to a sixteen-vintage vertical from 2002–2017 of magnums of Comte Liger-Belair La Romanée in original wooden cases — every vintage produced under winemaker Comte Louis-Michel Liger-Belair, which sold directly from his cellar for $198,400. The remaining of the Top Ten were peppered with even larger format bottles, beginning with an Imperial of 1961 Château Palmer in original wood case, which realized $86,800.
The fourth through seventh lots were dominated by Domaine de la Romanée Conti with six bottes of 2011 Romanée Conti, one Jeroboam of 1998 Romanée Conti, one Methuselah of 2007 Montrachet and two magnums of 2011 Romanée Conti selling for $86,800, $80,600, $80,600 and $62,000, respectively. Bordeaux stars returned, tied for eighth place with one Imperial of 1982 Château Petrus and six magnums of 2000 Le Pin each of which sold for $55,800. The final spot in the top ten went to another Domaine-direct lot, this time from Jean-Louis Chave, as an eight-bottle vertical of every vintage produced of Ermitage Cuvée Cathelin, 1990–2010, which realized $55,800.
An incredible 277 world records were achieved at this historic auction, and among innumerable highlights, the 200+ Domaine-direct lots stood out proudly with Comte Liger-Belair, Jean-Louis Chave and Domaine Dujac leading the way in the parade of producer lots which exceeded the opening estimates by almost 50%.
While thirteen total records were set across the entire sale by Domaine Dujac, four of the Domaine-direct lots set new world records — specifically a magnum of 1985 Clos de la Roche which sold for $39,680, a magnum of 1978 Echezeaux which sold for $22,320, and then two more Clos de la Roche records via a Methuselah of 1996 and a three bottle lot of 1978 which sold for $19,840 and $47,120, respectively.
The great Liger-Belair brought home additional world records for three Jeroboams of 2009 Vosne Romanee Aux Brulees ($13,640), 2010 Aux Reignots ($24,800) and 2015 Clos Vougeot ($13,640). Outside of the Domaine-direct segment, DRCs also came to play, unsurprisingly, with demand driving 11 new world records, upstaged by the Queen of Burgundy, Domaine Leroy, which set an impressive 21 new world records, including single bottles of the 1999 and 2002 Musigny, both of which sold for $18,600. Also from Burgundy, a bottle of extremely rare 1949 Henri Gouges Nuits St. Georges Les St. Georges sold to a lucky bidder for $5,208.
The great Champagne house Bollinger brought its best game with eight new world records, featuring a Brut Moonraker 007 Edition magnum in custom packaging which sold for $5,580; and powerhouse Champagne producer, Krug, also performed optimally with its own seven record slice, featuring a magnum of 1966 Krug Collection which sold for $10,540. A 1975 Egon Muller Scharzhofberger TBA goldkapsule sold for an unprecedented $18,600 for a single 700ml bottle, just one of the 6 total new world records earned by the storied producer.
From the New World, a fabulous 6L Imperial of 1997 Herb Lamb Vineyard direct from California cult producer Colgin crushed a previous record by bringing in $12,400, while a Salmanazar of 2013 Opus One also set a new world record at $6,820.
“I have been rendered speechless after this celebratory, Bicentennial sale and the accompanying festivities of the weekend,” said Acker Chairman, John Kapon. “Very few companies have endured 200 years, surviving through the lion’s share of the history of the United States of America. It was a thrill to witness the ravenous market for fine and rare wine this weekend, and everything was perfect at The Pool in New York, a fitting landmark at which to host such a momentous event. To have a room bursting with wine lovers, including several of the producers who dug deep in their cellars to join us to mark the occasion, was incredible. It is with a great sense of pride and responsibility that I look forward to leading this company into its next 200 years — the best has yet to come!”
The auction season continues for Acker with live auctions throughout the spring, and consignments continue to roll in during this historic year for the auction house. Weekly web auctions are closing every week, and the next live auction will be March 7th in New York City.