Spectacular Italian Collection Generates Big Interest in Investing in Wine

By: Tsveta van Son
Tsveta van Son
Tsveta van Son is part of Invezz’s journalist team. She has a BA degree in European Studies and a… read more.
on Feb 28, 2013

The most recent auction at Acker Merrall & Condit has provided further evidence of a revived interest in investing in wine, with buyers snapping up both Burgundy and Bordeaux offerings. But according to The Drinks Business magazine in reporting on the event, it was an Italian collection that became the highlight of the auction.

**Italian Collection in Focus at Acker Merrall & Condit’s Auction**
Acker Merrall & Condit’s recently concluded February sale brought in a total of $3.1 million (£2 million), with 94 percent of the lots being sold. Although the auction saw the continued dominance of Bordeaux and Burgundy wines which tend to be the preferred choice of those investing in wine, The Drinks Business quoted John Kapon, Acker Merrall & Condit’s CEO, as saying that the auction featured “the most spectacular collection of Italian wines I have ever seen”.

The majority of the Italian lots at the auction were verticals (wines from several vintages), with the highlights including a four magnum collection of Bartolo Mascarello Barolo made up of the 1952, 1971, 1986 and 1988 vintages, which sold at $7,995, comfortably above its high estimate of $4,800. A 12-bottle mix of Soldera Brunello was knocked down for $6,150 and an 18-bottle lot of Gaja Sori San Lorenzo went for $7,995, 30 percent above its high estimate.

Italian wines have also performed well at other recent fine wine auctions, with Sotheby’s (NYSE:BID) reporting that among the highlights of its February auction in New York was a collection from the Tuscan coastal vineyard Tenuta dell’Ornellaia, which went under the hammer at $147,123, well over its upper estimate of $110,000.
**“Bordeaux Renaissance”**

In addition to the impressive performance of Italian wines, the Acker Merrall and Condit auction saw a robust Bordeaux demand, with The Drinks Business reporting that 15 of the top 25 lots sold were from the region and spanned vintages from 1945 to 2009, prompting Acker to note that it continued to see a “Bordeaux renaissance”.
The top three lots sold were however Burgundian, with three bottles of Domaine de la Romanee-Conti 2006 in an original wooden case selling for $27,060. Decanter magazine quoted Mr Kapon as commenting that Burgundy’s momentum was continuing apace. Bloomberg reported that in January a six-magnum case of Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Assortment 1990 had sold for HK$541,200 (£45,092) at an Acker sale in Hong Kong.

**Fine Wine Market in “Recovery Mode”**
The most recent Acker auction results add to a series of successful auctions which taken together point to revived interest in investing in wine. Sotheby’s February auction in New York saw 99.4 percent of lots sold, with most wines exceeding their high estimates. Bloomberg reported that Christie’s found buyers for 97 percent of the lots at its February 21 auction, with the total of £960,569 raised surpassing last year’s sale by 10.1 percent.
!m[“Bordeaux Renaissance” Continues At Acker Merrall & Condit Auction](/uploads/story/1537/thumbs/pic1_inline.png)
On February 26, Decanter magazine quoted Miles Davis, co-founder and partner at Wine Asset Managers LLP, as seeing the fine wine market in recovery mode. “We’ve just come out of a 30 percent market correction, so it’s a good time to be buying,” commented Mr Davis, adding that the longer-term investment trend looked positive heading further into 2013. Both collectors and investors have been showing renewed interest in investing in wine this year, with many doubtless looking to take advantage of lower prices registered during the market decline in 2012.

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