Monumental Sale of Fine Wines and Macallan Whiskies

Charles Banks pleads guilty, Sandhi Wines has new distributor, and Goldman Sachs maintains buy on Constellation.
The Macallan in Lalique Legacy Collection

Sotheby’s three-part “Monumental Collection” auction, held over the past week in New York, London and Hong Kong generated a total of $9,320,531.

“The Monumental Collection came from a long-time Sotheby’s client and sold with tremendous success to buyers in dozens of countries,” said Jamie Ritchie, worldwide head of wine at Sotheby’s. He noted the outstanding the $9.3 million was 33 percent above the high estimate the auction house had projected.

And because one can never have too much of a good thing, Sunday also saw the auction of The Finest and Rarest Wines and The Macallan.  Lot 7073 (pictured above), sold for $989,423 or almost twice its estimated sale price. Known as The Macallan in Lalique Legacy Collection, it consists primarily of six bottles (The Macallan Single Malt 50yr ‘Exceptional Oak Cask’; The Macallan Single Malt 55yr ‘Natural Colour’; The Macallan Single Malt 57yr ‘Finest Cut’; The Macallan Single Malt 60yr ‘Curiously Small Stills’; The Macallan Single Malt 62yr ‘Spiritual Home’; The Macallan Single Malt 65yr ‘Peerless Spirit’)

Mayacamas co-owner Charles Banks Pleads Guilty to Fraud

Charles Banks IV, the 49-year-old California winery investor and financial adviser to now-retired NBA San Antonio player Tim Duncan, pleaded guilty on Monday to federal wire fraud before U.S. District Judge Fred Biery.

Banks, who at one time owned cult wine Screaming Eagle and still co-owns Mayacamas, was indicted in San Antonio in September. He allegedly sent misleading text messages inducing Duncan, his client, to fund a $7.5 million loan and a separate $6 million line of credit to sports merchandising company Gameday Entertainment, where Banks was part owner and chairman of the board.

Duncan sued Banks, accusing him of misrepresentations that led to more than $20 million in losses on investments in other business ventures. Some of those civil claims are still pending, and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission also sued Banks in Atlanta in September, making similar allegations.

Biery referred the case to probation for a pre-sentencing report. Banks, who remains free on bond, faces up to 20-years in prison when he is sentenced on June 27.

Goldman Sachs Takes Some Shine off Constellation Brands But Maintains Buy Rating

Goldman Sachs’ analysts reiterated their buy recommendation on Constellation Brands’ shares, three days before the company reports its fourth-quarter results and fiscal year 2018 forecast. The analysts said they see the current valuation – a slight discount to Staples– as a buying opportunity.

“We view expectations into the quarter as more muted than prior quarters given STZ’s (Constellation Brands’ ticker symbol for financial trading) valuation is now below the Staples average P/E and less robust sales growth trend seen in recent measured channel data.”

Goldman Sachs also tweaks “up our 12-month price target to $190 (from $187)…,” which implies a 14 percent upside from current levels.

Sandhi Wines Switches to Skurnik Wines for National Distribution

Sandhi Wines is leaving its long-time California broker, Revel Wine, and going with Skurnik Wines as its national distributor. Skurnik’s New York operation already distributes Sandhi wines in New York, Connecticut, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, Joanna Eland, sales manager of Skurnik Wines West, told Wine Enthusiast. “This will just give us a truly national presence,” she said.The switch begins on May 1.

Published on April 4, 2017
Topics: Latest News
About the Author
Leslie Gevirtz
Contributing Editor, Business

An award-winning journalist, Gevirtz spent more than 20 years covering disasters—natural, political, and financial—before becoming Reuters’ wine correspondent; a beat that guaranteed her colleagues were always glad to see her.

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