Since Baghera apparently doesn't want to admit which lots were withdrawn, I will tell everyone. Baghera withdrew the following lots immediately before the sale, all of which were discussed in this thread:
Lot 1- Mixed 1978 DRC wines, including the 1978 Romanee Conti with embossed glass (vintage 1974 bottle)
Lot 59 - 1952 Romanee Conti
Lot 61 - 1962 Romanee Conti
Lot 63 - 1978 Romanee Conti with embossed glass (vintage 1974 bottle)
Lot 65 - 1980 Romanee Conti magnum
Lot 66 - 1980 Romanee Conti magnum
While I don't have a results sheet, apparently, all of the other problematic lots discussed in this thread were sold.
DRC did inspect the DRC wines that were sold by Baghera after the auction. In the process of doing that they found one additional lot of DRC wines which was suspect and the sale was cancelled by Baghera. I do not know that particular lot number at this juncture.
According to Aubert de Villaine, DRC inspected the wines at the request of Baghera for two reasons: (1) the controversy surrounding the DRC wines based on my post and (2) Baghera had represented in the catalog and pre-auction publicity, based on representations made to them by their consignor, "that we [DRC] had checked 'all the bottles' that were offered, which was wrong, we had checked a few of them only."
As noted previously, the DRC wines and other burgundies came from Nobles Crus, the failed Luxembourg wine investment fund. This was verified by two sources, including a major auction house that was offered the same set of wines. Nobles Crus bought collectible wines for its wine fund from all over the world. The reason that DRC had previously inspected some of these wines was because it came to light that Nobles Crus had a large stock of counterfeit 2009 DRC assortment cases that had been offered for sale. DRC inspected the 2009 assortments on site and multiple counterfeit cases were removed by agreement with DRC.
The fact that the wines did not come from a single Swiss collector as claimed is also obvious from a careful reading of the catalog -- there were very few lots containing OWCs, very few lots from Swiss sources, and the composition of the various pseudo-assortment lots indicated that there was no way these wines were assembled by a single private collector as claimed.
Of the 266 DRC lots from the alleged single Swiss collector which were allegedly stored for many years at Geneva Free Port, only 15 lots contained bottles with Swiss importer back labels (see Lots 29, 50, 53, 57, 80, 83, 85, 94, 96, 129, 131, 132, 145, 213 and 258.) But there were many, many back labels from Italy and the United States. In the case of the 1978 DRC vintage, this collection included wines with front-of-the-bottle import strip labels from three different US importers (see Lots 1, 119, 122, 192, 194 and 230.) In the 1985 vintage, there were bottles from both US importers (see lots 123, 169, 220 and 231.)
There were various bottles (mostly single bottles) from all over the rest of Europe, including Belgium (Lots 44, 55, 56, 109, 164, 229, 240, 257 and 262), Luxembourg (Lots 55 and 58), Germany (Lots 52, 111, 148, 149, 163, 165, 213 and 217), the UK (Lots 57, 141, 142, 147, 179, 221, 228 and 237), Spain (Lot 206) and Austria (Lots 38, 50 and 107). There were also bottles with no back labels, sometimes with Leroy strips and sometimes without, which were presumably from France.
But the lots I found most interesting included wines, usually single bottles, that had DRC importer back labels from Australia (Lots 47, 104, 144), New Zealand (Lot 26), Japan (Lot 202) and Israel (Lot 110.) Our allegedly intrepid Swiss DRC collector seems to have had disdain for purchasing DRC wines sourced in his own country, but unlike many other European collectors, wasn't hesitant to buy bottles from the US, and also wasn't hesitant to buy single bottles of DRC wine from the great majority of other countries around the world where the wines are sold.
Given the problems that arose in this auction, and the complete misrepresentation as to the provenance of the wines offered, my colleagues and I have gone back for a look at Baghera's initial auction in December 2015. I anticipate additional developments.
Last edited by Don Cornwell
on May 31st, 2016, 1:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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