Exclusive news and research on the wine, spirits and beer business

News Briefs for December 17, 2015

December 17, 2015

•An auction composed of highly collectible wines sourced exclusively from Rudy Kurniawan might seem like an oxymoron. But that was the goal of a three-week, Internet-only sale of more than 4,700 bottles, all seized from the convicted wine counterfeiter, that ended December 15. Unlike the wines made in his kitchen, these were wines that Kurniawan had purchased from reliable auctions and dealers and all were authenticated by wine experts. Bidders looking for rare wines and confident in the authentication showed their trust by spending more than $1.5 million on 905 lots. With only 22 lots left unsold, the sell-through rate was almost 98%. But the wines did attract lower prices than similar wines in recent, more typical auctions. Wine Spectator has the full story.

•Napa-based importer Quintessential Wines has added to its Spanish stable with a new agreement to exclusively import Toro’s Bodegas Fariña to the U.S. With 300 hectares (740 acres) of vineyards, Bodegas Fariña’s brands include Colegiata, Dama de Toro and Spanish Sons, and range from $14–$50 a bottle at retail. Quintessential’s Spanish portfolio also includes Bodegas Muriel and Real Compania, among others.

•Chicago-based auction house Hart Davis Hart Wine Co. grossed a record-breaking $9.6 million at its final auction of 2015, against a pre-sale estimate of $6.8-$10.2 million. The event, which was held December 10-12, marked Hart Davis Hart’s first-ever three day auction, as well as the world’s largest wine auction of the year. Of the auction’s 3,395 lots, roughly 99.8% were sold. Highlights included 66 lots of Coche-Dury, which sold for $435,876 against an estimate of $312,250-$463,900; 46 lots of Armand Rousseau, sold for $318,826 against an estimate of $228,350-$339,400; and 63 lots of Domaine Raveneau, sold for $205,958 against an estimate of $145,300-$217,000. For the year, Hart Davis Hart has reported total sales of $41.48 million.

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