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Bonhams offers an eclectic selection of fine wines and spirits at Hong Kong auction
Karuizawa whisky. Photo: Bonhams.

HONG KONG.- The Bonhams Hong Kong 2013 Spring Fine & Rare Wines, Cognac and Whisky Auction offers an exceptional selection of fine and rare wines and spirits from around the world. A total of 450 lots will go to block on 23 May at the Island Shangri-La Hotel.

In the fine wines section, iconic Burgundy and Bordeaux wines that came directly from the outstanding private cellars of European wine connoisseurs continue to be top drawer picks. From one collection comes a case of Romanée Conti 1988 in their pristine original wooden cases with sequential numbers, a six-bottle case of Romanée Conti 1999 and solid cases of Chateau Petrus, Lafite and Mouton Rothschild from the legendary 1982 vintage. A collection from France comprises a selection of well drinking Bordeaux from the 1995 vintage including Latour, Mouton, Haut Brion and Cheval Blanc.

With Bonhams continuing to be the sole auction house in Hong Kong offering whisky and cognac for sale, we have sourced some rare spirits that will send aficionados salivating. Spirited bidding is expected for a bottle of Macallan-1946-56 year old Masters of Photography series by Albert Watson. One of the only 36 bottles produced, this unique Single Malt was matured in carefully selected sherry oak casks for a minimum of 56 years to offer unrivalled complexity and rarity. Each bottle comes with a one-off signed platinum print by the world-renowned photographer Albert Watson and the bottle offered at the Hong Kong auction is no exception.

Other Scottish whisky highlights include a full vertical selection of old Macallan ranging from vintages 1954 to 1986, the Macallan Royal Marriage editions celebrating the marriages of Prince Charles and Prince William, and the Macallan Fine & Rare series. From Gordon & Macphail comes a bottle of Generation-Mortlach 1938, a 70-year-old whisky which is the oldest expression of modern whisky and one of the only 54 bottles produced.

Rivalling the rarest Scottish single malt whisky for affection among connoisseurs is Japanese whisky. To meet the demand for this highly sought after tipple, Bonhams is pleased to introduce the first auction of Japanese single malt whisky in Hong Kong and the largest sale of its kind in the world. 30 bottles from the fabled Karuizawa and Hanyu distilleries from a Hong Kong collector will be offered and keen competition for these hidden treasures is expected.

The Karuizawa Distillery was established in 1955 in the foothills of Mount Asama, an active volcano. The area is a popular mountain resort to the north-west of Tokyo and the distillery is the highest in Japan at 850 metres above sea level. The environment is ideal for whisky production, enjoying low temperature and high humidity. However, production of single malt whisky at the distillery ceased in 2000. “One style: Golden Promise barley, most heavily peated, small stills, ex-sherry cask. It’s like a throwback to a mostly forgotten Scotland. Yet in taste Karuizawa could only be Japanese. There is a depth and intensity of focus to its malts - resinous, scented with cardamom, thick with beeswax, spotted with blood – that only Japan can produce”, commented Dave Broom, an influential whisky critic, in The World Atlas of Whisky.

The Hanyu story started in the 17th century. The business was founded by the Akuto family, sake-makers from the town of Chichibu. The Hanyu distillery plant was built during the Second World War and the family began making Scotch style whisky in about 1980. Unfortunately Hanyu went bankrupt and stopped distilling in 2000, with the stills dismantled in 2004 after a change of ownership. Highlight lots include the rare Hanyu Ichiro Malt “Card Series”.

On the Cognac front, Bonhams is proud to offer an in-depth collection of aged antique Cognac. Highlights include a bottle of Louis XIII Black Pearl, old editions of Louis XIII from the 40s to 70s, Remy Martin Fine Champagne from vintage 1900 and1906, and a complete set of Courvoisier Erté Collection.

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