Sotheby’s London 40th Anniversary Wine Sale concluded with a total of £2,412,194, (US$3,787,145), far above a pre-sale estimate of £1,644,850-£2,061,620.
All four sessions saw competitive bidding on the ‘phone, online and in the room and the sale was 99% sold-by-value and 98% sold-by-lot. Interest in the sale was international and buyers came from across the globe, with those in the Far East bidding into the night to secure their chosen bottles. This two-day landmark auction was held to celebrate 40 years of spectacular wine sales at Sotheby’s and follows an extremely successful first-half of 2010 for Sotheby’s worldwide wine sales. The very successful is testament to forty years of dedicated expertise at Sotheby’s wine department, and marks the start of the new season, which features a sale in New York tomorrow and four sales in Hong Kong this October.
Serena Sutcliffe, MW, Worldwide Head of Sotheby’s Wine Department, speaking after the sale said: “We really wanted to celebrate our 40th anniversary and are thrilled that everyone joined in the party! Bubbles fizzed – and in the saleroom too, as we had one whole afternoon of the auction devoted to Champagne. The Mouton vertical was a fitting triumph, more than doubling its top estimate. Sotheby’s Wine Department will strive to find further great collections of wine and we wish to thank all our clients for their continued support and custom.”
Stephen Mould, Senior Director, Sotheby’s Wine Department, said: “This £2.4 million auction with over 99% sold-by-value and a total well over the high estimate was a tremendous way to celebrate our 40th Anniversary sale. It seems astonishing when you look back to the first sale in 1970, which made £25,000, how popular wine auctions have become on a global scale and how prices have risen into the stratosphere. We look forward to continuing this success in Hong Kong in October with four fantastic sales, together with our London sale on 20th October, prolonging the celebration of 40 years of Sotheby’s Wine Department.”
The top lot in the sale was a vertical of sixty bottles of Château Mouton Rothschild, Pauillac, 1er Cru Classé, (lot 131), which comprised a bottle from every vintage of Mouton from 1945 to 2003 (apart from 1948). After frenzied bidding, the vertical sold to an Asian buyer on the ‘phone for £50,600 – over three times the pre-sale low estimate of £15,000. The vertical came from a superb private collection and was built up over the years by a very generous and knowledgeable wine enthusiast. Château Mouton Rothschild performed very well throughout the sale, as is demonstrated by the price achieved for lot 8 – Château Mouton Rothschild 1982, Pauillac, 1er Cru Classé, est. £8,200-10,000 for 12 bottles, which sold for £13,800.
• Château Ausone was highly sought-after with high prices being fetched for bottles including lots 754-5: Château Ausone 1986, St. Emilion, 1er Grand Cru Classe (A), both of which were estimated at £900-1,200 for 12 bottles and fetched £1,955.
• Château Pétrus is still very much in demand: lot 766, Château Pétrus 1987, Pomerol, 12 bottles, est. £4,400-5,500, sold for: £9,775.
• Château Lafite continues its onward march: lot 288, Château Lafite 1996, Pauillac, 1er Cru Classé, 12 bottles, est. £7,200-9,000, sold for: £14,375
• Other notable wines from the Lafite stable include Château Duhart Milon, which has seen a dramatic increase in prices: lot 710, Château Duhart Milon 1998, Pauillac, 4ème Cru Classé, 12 bottles, est. £380-460, sold for £863.
• Highlights from the ‘Champagne session’ include single bottles of Krug, which sold extremely well: lots 523-525, Krug, Clos d’Ambonnay 1995, all of which featured 1 bottle, est. £1,000-1,400 and sold for £1,668
• One of the greatest Burgundies ever made: lot 976, Romanée Conti 2005, Domaine de la Romanée Conti, Côte de Nuits, Grand Cru, 1 bottle, est. £4,600 5,500, sold for £7,820