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Acker's Grunewald auction achieves more than $7m

Published 13 April 2017

American auction house Acker Merrell & Condit’s ‘Legendary Cellar of Wolfgang Grunewald’ auction held in New York achieved more than $7m and was 100% sold.

Two hundred forty-five (245) New World Records were set, representing 35% of the non mixed-lots on offer.  Many new bars were set for the world's finest and rarest wines as bidders competed intensely live in the room at Le Bernardin and live online against a book stacked and packed with strong absentee bids.

Domaine de la Romanee Conti (DRC) was the cornerstone of Wolfgang's collection, and an astonishing 68 New World Records were set for DRC led by 22 for La Tache spanning 1937-2008, 15 for Romanee Conti ranging from 1961 to 2011, 7 for Richebourg from 1943-1999, 10 for Grands Echezeaux and Echezeaux from 1962-2006, and 11 for Montrachet from 1982-2008. 

The auction's Top Ten Lots were led by 2 magnum lots each of the 1999 Romanee Conti that sold for $92,625, and the 2005 Romanee Conti which went for $86,450. Completing the auction's Top Ten Lots were three 2001 Romanee Conti magnums ($80,275) and a jeroboam ($67,925), 6 bottles 2006 Romanee Conti ($67,925), three bottles of the 1999 Romanee Conti ($55,575), three magnums of 2005 La Tache ($49,400), and bottle lots of the 2000, 2001 (four bottles each at $49,400) and 2005 Romanee Conti (three bottles at $46,930) plus three special magnums of the 1996 Henri Jayer Vosne Romanee Cros Parantoux which sold for $80,275.

Wolfgang's amazing collection of Krug Champagne established 25 of those 245 New World Records, led by an incredibly rare bottle of 1929 Krug Collection in OWC which sold for $37,050 to an American buyer, followed by Krug Collection 1947, 1952, 1959, 1961, 1962, 1966, 1971, 1973, 1976 and 1979 for all of which New World Records were set. 

Seven vintages of Krug Clos du Mesnil also resulted in New World Records beginning with the first vintage ever released, the 1979, as did magnums of 1985, 1988 and 1990 as well as four vintages of Krug Brut.  When it comes to Champagne, the collection of Wolfgang Grunewald backed up the statement that "There is Krug, and there is everything else."

Bordeaux joined the new World Record party decisively with 34 New World Records, including some of the most famous Bordeaux of the past 100 years. World Records were set by iconic wines like 1961 Petrus and 1959 Mouton (magnum), as well as ancient wonders such as 1926 Ausone, 1928 Montrose and 1961 L'Evangile, 1975 Lafleur (magnum) and 1982 Le Pin. 

A selection direct from the cellars of Haut Brion and La Mission Haut Brion shined a spotlight on these two legendary Chateaux, resulting in 11 new World Records between them.  The demand for older Bordeaux continued its resurgence in notable fashion. 

The demand for White Burgundy was white hot with 55 overall New World Records, led by the aforementioned 11 New World Records set for DRC Montrachet, including magnums of 1996-1998, 2000-2002 and 2004-2005.  The Ramonet Montrachet offering was as equally demanded, setting 16 New World Records, led by its first ever vintage 1978 and also including 1979, 1986-1992 and 1994 in multiple formats. 

Coche-Dury also set 16 New World Records from 1978-2012 including seven vintages of Corton Charlemagne and four of Meursault Perrieres.  Domaine Leflaive also showed strong demand, setting 11 New World Records for iconic wines from 1978 and 1992, along with 1996 and 2010 Montrachet.

"Wine has been such a significant and emotional part of my life as a wine collector and wine lover, and the response to this auction truly and deeply moved me," shared Wolfgang Grunewald.  "I have been around 87 years and never seen an auction quite like this! The energy of the auction, the wonderful people in the room, the extraordinary catalog that John and his team put together…incredible, almost supernatural!  I can't say enough about the Acker Merrall team, it has been a first class experience every step of the way.  I couldn't be happier with the results." 

Acker Merrall Chairman John Kapon added, "This was not solely an auction for me, this represented the collection of one of the most important people in my life and also one of the most generous and genuine people I have met in this wonderful business.  I hope I have the vigor and passion of Wolfgang when I am eighty-seven years old!   It was an honor to be a part of this and that simple set of words doesn't do the experience or the auction justice. 

We tasted over 100 wines from Wolfgang's collection throughout the week, and I didn't taste one flawed bottle, just amazing.  I am sure the new owners of these wines will appreciate every last drop.  Wolfgang Grunewald is not only one of the world's greatest wine collectors, he is also one of the greatest gentlemen I know.  I cannot thank him enough for choosing Acker Merrall."

There is no rest for the weary, as Acker Merrall has $10m of wine coming to the auction block in the next month, on April 22 in Hong Kong and May 17 in New York.

Source: Company Press Release