All 147 lots (533 bottles) of the finest Burgundy and Bordeaux from Hong Kong billionaire Joseph Lau were sold out at Sotheby’s Spring Sale Series last week, achieving another ‘white glove’ sale for the auction house following last October’s sale.
The sale titled “Wines from the Cellar of Joseph Lau Part II”, as the second part of the billionaire’s wine sale first went under hammer last October brought a total of HK$52.6 million, or US$6.8 million, doubling its pre-sale estimate.
The top lot from the sale comprises of nine bottles of Romanée Conti 1990 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti. It’s sold for HK$3.5 million, or US$450,590 (est. HK$1,300,000-2,000,000).
A 6-bottle offering of Vosne-Romanée Cros Parantoux 1985 Henri Jayer more than doubled its estimate to bring HK$2 million or $257,480 (est. HK$600,000 – 850,000 / US$75,000 – 100,000)
A bottle of Yquem dating back to 1865 quadrupled its estimate, achieving HK$437,500, or US$56,324 (est. HK$65,000 – 95,000 / US$8,000 – 12,000).
A successful entrepreneur, Lau though is a controversial fugitive Hong Kong billionaire and a convicted felon in Macau.
In 2014, he was convicted of bribery and money-laundering in a land deal in Macau. He avoided a five-year jail term by not travelling to the gambling hub.
His last October wine sale with Sotheby’s also achieved white glove status, selling for HK$72.8 million (US$9.4 million).