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Delhi Wine Club
Indian’s Wine Collection Star of HK Auction

Posted: Friday, 07 January 2011 16:02

Indian’s Wine Collection Star of HK Auction

Work of art of Indian of living legends like S H Raza, Anjolie Menon and M F Hussein continue to break previous records at international art auctions conducted by Sotheby and Christie’s who are also active in wine auctions, but not many people are acquainted with the Indian born Dr. Bipin Desai whose wine collection is the star of the next Acker auction in Hong Kong on January 21 and 22, writes Subhash Arora.

Photo By:: Subhash Arora

The auction catalog lists 648 lots for day one and 555 lots on day 2 that are expected to bring in potentially HK$70 Million (around US $ 9 million) into the coffers of Acker Merrall and Condit (Asia) Ltd, world's leading wine auctioneers in Hong Kong . The auction starts with the stellar collection of Los Angeles based Gujarati Physicist, Dr. Bipin Desai who is widely respected for his excellent collectibles, primarily from France and is famous for his top-of –the- pop wine tastings in the US and France.

The sale opens up with another astonishing treasure trove of wine from the celebrated collection of Dr. Bipin Desai. The lot is appropriately titled as ‘Another Stellar Collection from the Incredible Collection of Dr. Bipin Desai’ in the official catalogue. 'Every time we have featured wines from this world famous collection, they have been snapped up by savvy collectors who realize what remarkable provenance Bipin’s cellar constitutes,’ John Kapone, President and Auction Director informs delWine.

Provenance, from the French word provenir has an important bearing on the assessment of the contents of a wine bottle, both in terms of origin of wine, quality, potential of aging and the risk of a wine fraud. A documented history of storage conditions is available and important to estimate the quality of old vintages since such older fine wines are quite fragile and proper storage and care is crucial.

'small but significant, Bipin’s selection is from the cellar of one of the world’s most internationally renowned and longstanding collectors. Most of these bottles were bought from original sources and have stayed in his cellar for as long as 40 years. This selection is adorned with gems from Jayer (Late Henri Jayer is credited with introducing important innovations to winemaking in Burgundy. His wines are highly renowned for their balance and elegance, llusciousness and concentration) and DRC (Domaine Romanee Conti). '

The auction has a stunning collection of his top Burgundy wines from Domaine de la Romanee Conti – rare and ravishing 2005 Montrachet, full assortments of 1993, 1996, 1997 and 1998s and a 1985 Grand Cru vineyard La Tâche. The closing lots also include 1993 and great vintage of 1971 and 1995 from Romanee Conti. ‘This is a collection that can fulfill any wine lover’s dream,’ says John.

Like the other lots which are a superb collection of top class Bordeaux wines acquired directly from the Chateaux and kept in immaculate conditions in their original wooden cases ever since, Bipin’s Collection has been stored very professionally with some of the older vintages re-corked according to the requirements.

Magnificent Bordeaux wines such as 1928 Latour and 1945 Mouton are also on bid in outstanding condition. There are several bottles from 1961 for upcoming 50th anniversaries and birthdays. Don’t forget about the bottle of ’31 Noval (Quinta do Noval Vintage Port 1931-re-corked in 1978), according to Kapone for those celebrating an 80th!

Whether you are borne in 1931, 1945, 1961 or any year with a golden spoon (silver spoon might have sufficed till a couple of years ago when the Chinese invaded the collectible fine wines and created a scarcity) and you want to share part of the legacy from perhaps the first Indian fine wine collector (now a US citizen though!), you might want to pack your bags and fly to Hong Kong-if only to check out the lifestyle urges of the rich and unltra-rich. Visa is free on arrival. Dinner is served at the venues.

Subhash Arora

For my interview with Dr. Bipin Desai a year ago in Italy at the first World Wine Symposium, visit . Editor



Sudha Pillai Says:

Hi Subhash, the piece has appeared in today's edition. Here is the link, Indian-to-sparkle-in-Hong-Kong.html

Thank you very much. It was a lovely piece. Here's looking forward to interacting with you further in future. Best wishes, Sudha Pillai

Posted @ January 17, 2011 15:34


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