The first day of Sotheby’s (NYSE:BID) spring auctions showed a steady interest in investing in wine. The much anticipated sale of part of the elBulli cellar fetched HK$14.1 million (£1.2 million), whereas the eleventh part of “The Classic Cellar from a Great American Collector” was 99.8 percent sold by value.
**elBulli Collection Makes HK$14.1 Million**
On April 3, Sotheby’s reported in a press release that its sale of wines from the cellars of the famed Catalan restaurant elBulli raised HK$14.1 million, with 97.7 percent of the lots on offer sold. Burgundies were the top performers, highlighting continued interest toward Burgundy product among Asian investors.
A three-bottle lot of Romanee Conti 1990 Domaine de la Romanee Conti went under the hammer for HK$563,500, comfortably above its pre-sale upper estimate of HK$380,000, whereas a four-bottle lot of Romanee Conti 2003 Domaine de la Romanee Conti fetched HK$539,000 against a pre-auction high estimate of HK$280,000. Three bottles of Romanee Conti 2000 Domaine de la Romanee Conti sold for HK$465,500. All the top-performing lots were snapped up by private Asian buyers.
The proceeds from the Hong Kong auction of the elBulli cellar will benefit the elBulli foundation – a culinary research organisation set up by former elBulli chef Ferran Adria after the restaurant, located about 160 kilometres north of Barcelona, closed in 2011. As the Drinks Business recently reported, the foundation, which is due to open next year, will grant between 20 and 25 scholarships annually for chefs to spend a year working with chef Adria on new creations, with the results posted online.
**Classic Cellar from a Great American Collector**
Alongside the elBulli auction was another fine wine sale, namely the eleventh part of “The Classic Cellar from a Great American Collector”, which was sold 97.5 percent by lot and 99.8 percent by value. The top performers were two 12-bottle lots of Chateau Lafite 1982, each one selling for HK$1,041,250, well above the pre-sale high estimate of HK$280,000.
As Sotheby’s noted in its press release, the collection raised a total of HK$29 million, bringing the cumulative sales total for the series to HK$408 million.
**Upbeat Start of Spring Auctions Season**
!m[Traders and Collectors Investing in Wine Show Interest in elBulli Selection](/uploads/story/1800/thumbs/pic1_inline.png)
Sotheby’s Hong Kong sales suggest that the healthy interest in investing in wine seen in the past few months would continue in April. Some notable upcoming April auctions are Sotheby’s sale in London which, as noted on the auction house’s website, would feature some “Bordeaux blockbusters” such as a four-bottle lot of Chateau Lafite 1945 with a high estimate of £2,800.
Traders and collectors investing in wine and looking for alternatives to Bordeaux will have the chance to bid for Burgundies and California cult wines at Zachys sale at the end of April, which is reported as featuring a 12-bottle assortment case of Domaine de la Romanee Conti 2001, expected to fetch between $19,000 (£12,500) and $28,000 (£18,500). Among the California cults featured at Zachys spring auction is a three-bottle case of Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon 2007, priced between $4,400 and $7,000.