However, Acker Merrall & Condit, the world's leading wine auctioneer and America's oldest fine wine merchant, has already held its first 2012 Hong Kong sale on 13 & 14 January and achieved a total of HK$66,865,760/US$8,572,533 with 90.34% lots sold.
An exceptional selection of nearly 1,000 lots of the world's most sought-after wines saw continued demand and interest from bidders all over the world.
John Kapon, CEO of Acker Merrall & Condit Companies, commented after the sale: "2011 marked a significant milestone in our history as we achieved the global Triple Crown - #1 in Asia, #1 in America, and #1 in the World.
"We are delighted by the market response to our first sale in 2012, which provided a great start to the New Year. Despite the distractions of economic uncertainty, Chinese New Year and record volume in the wine auction market, buyers still showed that they want their fine and rare wine, and they want it from Acker.
"We look forward to continuing our global leadership role in the market."
Burgundy fetched strong prices throughout the sale demonstrating its growing appeal in the Asian market. The top lot of the sale was an original wooden 12-bottle case of 1985 DRC Romanée Conti, which fetched HK$1,464,000/US$187,692 (Lot 334).
A world record was also achieved for magnums of 1999 DRC Romanée Conti, three magnums of which sold for HK$634,400/US$81,333 (Lot 908, illustrated right). Another significant world record for Burgundy was set by a very rare original case of 1993 Leroy Chambertin (HK$268,400/US$34,410, Lot 912).
Also of note was a very rare, documented double magnum of 1870 Lafite with superb provenance that fetched HK$488,000/US$62,564 (Lot 843), setting a new world record. This incredible bottle represents one of the most legendary vintages of all-time in Bordeaux and is perhaps the last of its kind in the world.
An instant collection of California's most collectible wine, Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon, spanning seven rare vintages and 42 bottles in all, attracted spirited bidding and sold for a remarkable price of HK$829,600/US$106,359 (Lot 377), achieving a world record for the most expensive lot of Screaming Eagle ever sold at a commercial auction.
Chateau Petrus re-asserted itself as Bordeaux's most collectible wine, with strong activity on original wooden cases in multiple formats, such as a 12-bottle case of 2000 Petrus (HK$390,400/US$50,051, Lot 172), 6 magnums of 1989 Petrus (HK$390,400/US$50,051, Lot 728) and 6 magnums of 1990 Petrus (HK$390,400/US$50,051, Lot 731).