Acker auctions

Anyone check out day 1 of Acker auctions? Many lots going at minimum or just above minimum bids. Is this a reliable sign of the global party coming to an end? Could be a time to pick up some trophy wines at lower prices if that’s your desire. The world economic outlook apparently is not so good.

“Ooh, I see some attractive things in this auction catalog. I’m really tempted to bid. Let me just check my 401k statement first…”


world economy: sh!t hasn’t hit the fan yet but man, that’s a huge pile headed to hit the blades :grinning:


I haven’t paid attention to Acker for years. Have they stopped auctioning fakes?


I noticed some deals and the online section has many. Much Burgundy going for large figures.

There are some bargains, that I have noticed. Will wait for the online auction to be over, do not want anyone taking my bids

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Perhaps they moved on to faking bourbons and whiskeys? I’m sure there are still Rudy wines being floated around, but I presume that’s probably the case for all auction houses.


Couple things to consider:

  • Rudy wasn’t the only counterfeiter.

  • Acker stood head and shoulders above “all auction houses” when it came to selling fakes.

I’m just wondering if that has changed. Absent a change in leadership, I’d be skeptical.


Yep. I just re-watched “Sour Grapes” and there is no way Rudy could by himself have manufactured the estimated 15,000 bottles. He was just the chemist.

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Not all auction houses deserve to be painted by that brush.


I think it portends a market shift. The only buoyant wines appear the ever present DRC bottles (wonder what measures they have to ensure authenticity these days). When lots of California stalwarts are selling, or not in some cases, at low or below estimate perhaps the “wine is the new gold” idea is fading. I can only hope so. It will be fascinating to see if HDH sees a comparable weakening in the next holiday auction. I would be more tempted, if I had tons of investment funds, to buy up lots of stock right now rather than chase down Rousseau Chambertin that is stagnating in price rather than going up indefinitely. Unless of course you may actually want to drink these status symbol bottles!

The upside is all the new producers who are at least allowed to dream of hitting it big. Seems there are new kids on the block who are producing better and better wines. Who would have thought southern England, the Finger Lakes, and places like Pommard in Burgundy would be raising their game as quickly as they have?

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Certainly not saying they conspired with Rudy, but given the amount of fakes floating around, who says they may not have made their way to other auction houses?

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Maybe I’m naive, but isn’t the point to drink the wine you buy? Maybe not immediately, but eventually, no?

In theory, but the way these $50-100k cases move around various sellers and auctions, I think there’s very few who are buying them to drink.

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Some go to resellers (who then sell to restaurants or collectors), some go to deep-pocketed collectors (maybe they have a bottle of something they buy somewhere, don’t like it, and then sell the one or two cases they had picked up), etc. I have never understood why people think that is some large investor class in wine–it is simply not a good investment class (the transaction costs are just too high) unless you are running a wine fund and collecting a management fee regardless of performance.


Almost certainly the fakes have made it to others. But there absolutely are auction houses (Hart David Hart is one that comes to mind) that have reputation for weeding out suspicious bottles.

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I looked in at the first day of this auction too and it was really striking how slow it was compared to the last few years. I would say over half of all the lots went at or below the minimum estimate (many below) and a good number of lots, like dozens, didn’t sell at all because no one hit the reserve price.

One thing though is that I’ve noticed Acker often sets pretty aggressive low estimates and reserve prices (reserves are generally very close to or even at the low estimate). They are often only about 10-20% below retail once the fee is included. So any time the market is ticking downward their auctions are going to look pretty bad because there just isn’t much flexibility for a drop in prices to be reflected in their auctions

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Same holds true with the online auctions as well. Much below WS prices.

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  • what happened at ? Things went quiet after they dropped the defamation suit against claims they’ve knowingly sold fakes
  • the most intriguing Danes though were the Dehn’s
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No idea, never used them.

When the low estimates aren’t above retail. And yes, that happens.