The Bonhams Hong Kong 2012 Autumn Auction of Fine & Rare Wines, Cognac and Rarest Single Malt Whisky offers an exceptional selection of top drawer wines, single malt whisky and vintage cognac fit for royalty. A total of 500 lots with an estimate of HK$13 million will go to block on 21 November at the Island Shangri-La Hotel.
The fine and rare wines offering range from legendary French Burgundy and Bordeaux to iconic Italian wines carefully sourced from pristine private collections in Asia and Europe. One notable collection consists of 50 solid cases of Bordeaux first growths from the very best vintages of 1996, 2000, 2003 and 2005 including a case of 2003 Haut Brion Blanc and a Jeroboam of Mouton Rothschild 2000 with a limited production of 5,000 bottles. The entire collection was impeccably laid down at the renowned Octavian London wine storage and only moved recently to Hong Kong.
Of particular interest to oenophiles is a collection of 'Wine of the Tsars' - Massandra wines from Ukraine offered for the first time at an auction in Hong Kong. The Massandra winery was built in the 1890s in order to supply wines to Tsar Nicholas II's summer palace in nearby Yalta. Bottles of wine — some dating from the 18th century — were stored in tunnels, some 500 feet long, dug into a mountainside nearly 200 feet below ground.
The tunnels provided perfect storage conditions for a collection, now estimated at almost 1 million bottles, that combines vintages from around the world with locally produced sweet and fortified wines such as Madeiras, muscats and ports.
In the upheaval spawned by the 1917 Bolshevik revolution, the tunnels were bricked up to preserve the collection. It was discovered in 1920 when the Red Army took over the Crimea. But so impressed was Stalin with the wines he sampled that he decided to preserve both the winery and its historic "Collection". Production continued and Massandra maintained its impeccable reputation for exceptional wines, surviving revolution, the Second World War and decades of communism.
From nearby Italy comes a vertical collection of 25 bottles of the best vintages of Monfortino Riserva from the "King of Barolo" Giacomo Conterno sourced from a private collector in Piedmont. In addition, over 300 bottles of carefully selected esteemed wines from Masseto and Solaia from a private Bologna collector show the vitality and diversity of choice Italian wines.
As the only international auction house to sell rare and single malt whisky in Hong Kong, Bonhams has much pleasure in offering bottle number 8 of the Glenfiddich Janet Roberts Reserve 1995-55 year old, one of only 11 bottles produced, for charity with net proceeds going to Operation Smile China Medical Mission to fund free surgery and post operative care to needy children and young adults in China born with a cleft lip or cleft palate.
Another highlight of the whisky sale is a crystal decanter of Glen Grant-The Queen's Diamond Jubilee 1952-60 year old. Bottled in honour and celebration of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, this cask of Glen Grant from Gordon and Macphail is one of the world's longest-aged whiskies.
A full vertical vintage selection of old Macallan stretching back from vintage 1954 to 1986 and a recent bottling of Macallan Rare Marriage, bottled to commemorate the wedding of HRH Prince William to Catherine Middleton in 2011, are among some of the sought-after lots.
Continuing its successful offering of vintage cognacs, Bonhams brings an in-depth collection of aged antique Cognac to the November auction. Highlights comprise a bottle of Louis XIII Black Pearl and old editions of Louis XIII from 40s to 70s, 12 bottles of Martell VSOP in their original cartons and wooden cases, 12 bottles of Hine 1877 Cognac and last but not the least, a bottle of first edition Hennessy Richard Cognac.
For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments, go to www.bonhams.com.
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NOTES FOR EDITORS
Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The present company was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son & Neale. In August 2002, the company acquired Butterfields, the principal firm of auctioneers on the West Coast of America. Today, Bonhams offers more sales than any of its rivals, through two major salerooms in London: New Bond Street and Knightsbridge; and a further three in the UK regions and Scotland. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Carmel, New York and Connecticut in the USA; and Germany, France, Monaco, Hong Kong and Australia. Bonhams has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to www.bonhams.com