Spectrum Wine Auctions Spring Auction Brings in Nearly $US3.5 Million

With a champagne toast and a pound of the hammer, Principal Auctioneer and Spectrum Wine Auctions’ Director of Client Services Amanda Keston kicked off Spectrum Wine Auctions’ second live auction last weekend, held simultaneously at Charlie Palmer Bloomingdale’s South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, California and Crown Wine Cellars in Hong Kong. Before the auction was over, a world record was set, and an astonishing 858 lots and $3,475,260 million ($HKD 26,978,709) in fine and collectible wines had changed hands with nearly 100% of lots sold.

“We are tremendously gratified by the results of the Spring Auction,” enthused Spectrum Wine Auctions CEO Greg Roberts. “The two anchor consignors gave us two truly impressive collections to offer buyers. Combined with the sumptuous settings of Charlie Palmer’s restaurant and the Conservatory at Crown Wine Cellars in Hong Kong, this and the generally stronger market translated to strong sales of both individual lots and overall.” Boisterous, capacity crowds gathered in the two live auction venues, and telephone and online bidders from around the world joined in the action. In addition to wines bidders brought themselves, Spectrum sampled numerous wines and champagnes during the auction, including Mouton Rothschild 1983, Chateau Leoville Las Cases 1983 and Chateau Lynch-Bages 1985; 1996 Dom Perignon Brut Rose and a generous tasting from Napa Valley vintner David Johndrow’s JV Winery.

Case quantities of Burgundies and Bordeaux again claimed many of the top ranks in the auction, with the strongest showings coming from the leading French estates. Lot 613, a full case of 1971 Domaine de la Romanée Conti Romanée Conti set a new world record for a full case—selling for an impressive $122,488.

The top highlight lots from Spectrum Wine Auctions’ Spring Live Auction included:

Lot / Description / Bottles & Format / Estimate / Realized*
613 / Romanée-Conti 1971, Domaine de la Romanée-Conti / 12 x 0.75L / $120,000 / $122,488
28 / Château Lafite Rothschild 1982 / 12 x 0.75L / $40,000 / $50,788
70 / Château Latour 1961 (100 pts.) / 12 x 0.75L / $35,000 / $43,020
260 / Château La Mission Haut Brion 1961 / 1 x 4.5L / $20,000 / $23,303
235 / Château Haut-Brion 1961 / 12 x 0.75L / $16,000 / $22,705
645 / Jaboulet Hermitage La Chapelle 1961 / 4 x 0.75L / $11,000 / $20,614
21 / Château Lafite Rothschild 1986 (99pts.) / 12 x 0.75L / $15,000 / $19,718
138 / Château Mouton Rothschild 1982 / 12 x 0.75L / $17,000 / $17,925
225 / Château Haut-Brion 1989 (100 pts.) / 12 x 0.75 / $17,000 / $17,925
9 / Château Lafite Rothschild / 12 x 0.75L / $13,000 / $16,732
*All prices reflect 19.5% buyers’ premium added

The auction’s selection of 1982 Chateau Lafite Rothschild proved that Bordeaux retains enduring appeal for buyers, as did other memorable offerings including Lot 225 (a 1961 Château Petrus) and Lot 47 (a 2000 Château Latour), both at $16,730. While the venerable Domaine de la Romanée-Conti and other Burgundies and Bordeaux claimed many of the highest realized prices, some other gems sparkled among the blue-chip sales. The performance of Lot 645, the 1961 Jaboulet Hermitage La Chappelle, shows that smaller names can still pull big numbers. Another example, Lot 685, six bottles of 1997 Gaja Gromis Conteisa Cerequio, sold for $1641, well above estimate, on the strength of its 98-point Robert Parker rating. Lot 710, a mixed lot of 2005 Sine Qua Non “17th Nail in My Cranium” and “The Naked Truth” (both 100-point wines), sold for 40% above estimate, realizing $3555; a 95-point lot of 2005 “Petition,” Sine Qua Non’s white blend, nearly doubled its estimate. A sampling of lots that realized well over estimates included:

Lot / Description / Bottles & Format / Estimate / Realized*
36 / Château Lafite Rothschild 1970 / 7 x 0.75L / $2,250 / $5,972
51 / Château Latour 1994 / 12 x 0.75L / $1,900 / $4,780
43 / Château Lafite Rothschild 1964 / 4 x 0.75L / $900 / $2,988
150 / Château Mouton Rothschild 1970’s / Assorted / $900 / $2,689
40 / Château Lafite Rothschild 1966 / 3 x 0.75L / $950 / $2,390
37 / Château Lafite Rothschild 1970 / 1 x 3.0L / $700 / $2,032
24 / Château Lafite Rothschild 1985 / 2 x 0.75L / $800 / $2,032
346 / Duhart Milon 1982 / 12 x 0.75L / $650 / $1,673
38 / Château Lafite Rothschild 1970 / 2 x 0.75L / $350 / $1,315
751 / Sine Qua Non 2000 assorted / 4 x 0.75L / $350 / $1,315
718 / Sine Qua Non Petition 2005 / 8 x 0.75L / $250 / $1,076
*All prices reflect 19.5% buyers’ premium added

“The setting and service of Charlie Palmer’s restaurant set a new stage for the California auction,” noted Keston, who put in a terrifically entertaining, nearly ten-hour session at the hammer in California. “Along with great wine, our clients were treated to a stunning array of small bites throughout the evening, finishing with champagne and cookie plates until the wee hours of the morning”

Full auction results for each lot are available from the Spectrum Wine Auctions web site: www.spectrumwine.com. The Company will keep an archive of all the photos of the lots (including the unique 360-degree photos that represented many of the 858 lots) and prices realized on the site indefinitely.

With the year’s first live auction just completed, Spectrum Wine Auctions is already turning its attention towards the future. They have scheduled their Summer Auction for June 25 in California and June 26 in Hong Kong. In the meantime, they conduct about two online auctions each month. The next online auction commences April 29th.

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Spectrum Wine Auctions’ parent company, Spectrum Group International (OTC: SPGZ) has joined the Fortune 500 group of America’s largest companies. Irvine-based Spectrum joins the elite group ranked at number 480, with $4.3 billion in annual revenue for 2009 with earnings per share of 23 cents on profits of $7.1 million. This revenue represents a more than 50% increase over 2008 for the company, and a ten-year annualized growth rate of 8.7%. Stockholders’ equity is $80.8 million with a market capitalization of $57.4 million. Spectrum, best known for trading and auctioning everything from precious metals to stamps, coins, arms and armaments, launched its wine division last July—the only major wine auction concern based on the West Coast.

Both Orange and Los Angeles counties claim Spectrum in their rankings, as the company’s metals division is based in Santa Monica. Municipalities and states of course use their companies in the Fortune 500 to both tout their economic strength and recruit further business development.

Spectrum Group International’s CEO Greg Roberts said, “We’re obviously very pleased to join the Fortune 500. After several very challenging years for the industry and the economy as a whole, we feel we launched our wine division at an auspicious time for both our company and for the market. The wine auction market has served as a bellwether for world economic growth and recovery. We look for Spectrum Wine Auctions to contribute substantially to our continued success.”

Spectrum Wine Auctions welcomes enquiries from consignors and collectors. Please contact Amanda Keston at 888.982.1982 for additional information and questions.

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