Hart Davis Hart Begins 2009 by Selling 98.9% of Lots for $2.7 Million Amidst Strong Bidding

Hart Davis Hart held its first auction of 2009 this weekend in Chicago, realizing $2,773,421 against a pre-sale auction estimate of $1,823,430- 2,735,820. Top Bordeaux sparked intense bidding, reversing a trend of falling prices that had persisted throughout the autumn of 2008. A case of 1949 Château Cheval Blanc more than doubled the high estimate, bringing $17,925 against an estimate of $5,000-$7,500.

hart-davis-hart-wine.jpg“Interest in this sale was noticeably stronger than what we encountered in December,” commented President Paul Hart. “We saw a marked increase in bidders. This was a strong auction that indicates some stabilization for wine prices. Hammers were midway between the low and high pre-sale estimates for the day.”

Bidders participated from 40 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands, as well as Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Columbia, Denmark, France, Germany, Iceland, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, South Korea, Spain, and the United Kingdom. The main dining room of Tru was near capacity and very active for much of the day. Collectors traveled to Chicago from both coasts and regions in between to compete with others who were either bidding on the telephones or live over the internet. Live internet bidders were a very important element of the day, including successful bidders from the United States, Hong Kong, the Bahamas, and Brazil.

“It was exciting to see so much energy in the room; we haven’t seen an atmosphere like this in months,” said Vice-Chairman Michael Davis.

The seven auctions held by Hart Davis Hart in 2008 at Tru restaurant in Chicago brought $32,273,540, a twenty percent increase over 2007. The firm achieved by far the highest sell-through rate in the industry at 99.8%, with a mere 17 of the 8,257 lots offered in 2008 failing to find a buyer. HDH also conducted the year’s largest wine auction worldwide, The Fox Cellar, which set record prices in many categories and was 100% sold.

Top Ten Lots (inclusive of 19.5% buyer’s premium):

1. Lot 566: 1947 Château Cheval Blanc (9 bs) $33,460 (est. $18,000-28,000)
2. Lot 565: 1945 Château Mouton-Rothschild (5 bs) $20,315 (est. $15,000-22,000)
3. Lot 27: 1982 Château Latour (12 bs) $19,120 (est. $10,000-15,000)
3. Lot 579: 1982 Château La? te-Rothschild (10 bs) $19,120 (est. $12,000-18,000)
5. Lot 570: 1949 Château Cheval Blanc (12 bs) $17,925 (est. $5,000-7,500)
6. Lot 78: 1989 Château Haut-Brion (6 mags) $15,535 (est. $8,500-$13,000)
6. Lot 297: 2000 Château La? eur (12 bs) $15,535 (est. $10,000-15,000)
6. Lot 98: 2000 Château La? eur (12 bs) $15,535 (est. $10,000-15,000)
9. Lot 77: 1989 Château Haut-Brion (12 bs) $14,340 (est. $8,500-13,000)
9. Lot 569: 1949 Château Cheval Blanc (12 bs) $14,340 (est. $5,000-7,500)

Total aggregate: $2,717,848
Percent sold by lot: 98.93%

Bidding Information
Auction catalogs are available through the website or by calling Hart Davis Hart (hdhwine.com; 312.482.9996.) The expanded website allows bidders to view and search the auction catalog and place absentee bids online.

Hart Davis Hart’s state-of-the-art technology allows bidders worldwide to participate in the Chicago-based auctions live via the Internet. Bidders can follow the auction in the salesroom, hear the live auction, and bid against the room, all in real-time. More details about the technology can be found at www.hdhwine.com.

Bidders are encouraged to attend the auction in person, but Hart Davis Hart welcomes bids by phone, fax, through the website, and via the new live-bid technology. For more information, contact Hart Davis Hart at 312.482.9996 or go to hdhwine.com.

About Hart Davis Hart Wine Co.
Hart Davis Hart Wine Co. is both a dynamic retailer and an internationally prominent wine auction house, occupying a unique position in the rare wine market. We offer collectors and restaurateurs a broad range of options for buying and selling wines, providing unrivaled expertise and personalized service.

Founded in October 2004, Hart Davis Hart represents the alliance of three highly-respected industry leaders: John Hart, Michael Davis, and Paul Hart, with a combined experience of nearly 90 years in the rare wine business. John Hart, a renowned expert, has been a leader in the rare wine retail business for over three decades. With extensive careers at Christie’s, Davis & Company, and Sotheby’s, Michael Davis and Paul Hart are the most experienced wine auctioneers in America.

Hart Davis Hart has emerged as one of the most innovative and trusted sources for rare wines in America, with over 150 years of combined experience in the specialized field of fine and rare wines. No other firm can approach their level of expertise, network of relationships, or dedication to service.

Hart Davis Hart core services:
• Traditional Live Auctions
• Private Retail Services
• Online Sales
• Consultation

For more information on Hart Davis Hart Wine Co. or to arrange a media visit, please contact Marc Smoler at 312.482.9766, [email protected] or
visit hdhwine.com.

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