Sotheby’s 2011 Wine Auction Sales Total $85.5 million

Sotheby’s Wine auctions in 2011 brought an overall global total of US$85,467,096; this is almost equal to last year’s figure of $88.27 million. The 2011 figure is the second highest in the company’s forty-one years of wine auctions. This year, 23 wine auctions were held worldwide, comprising 13 in London, six in Hong Kong and four in New York. The sales saw a strong average sell through rate by value of 96%.

London wine sales realised a combined total of $27,191,060, the highest annual total in Sotheby’s forty-one years of wine sales in London, an increase of 30% on the 2010 total of $20.97 million. Hong Kong wine sales brought $44,737,594 and New York wine sales $13,538,442.

Serena Sutcliffe MW, Worldwide Head of Wine at Sotheby’s said: “This is a great worldwide result, the second highest total of Sotheby’s wine history and, for London sales, the highest total ever achieved since the start of the department in 1970. We had some tremendous single owner collections in London and Hong Kong and we continue to find remarkable collections with perfect provenance. Five out of the six Hong Kong sales were whiteglove, 100 per cent sold, and in Hong Kong and New York total sales exceeded their high estimates. Bordeaux remains the backbone of classic wine auctions but top-end Burgundy is highly sought after, with buyers from every corner of the globe. We continue to help clients build up fabulous personal cellars and look forward to an exciting sales calendar in 2012.”

In Hong Kong in January, the much anticipated sale of The Andrew Lloyd Webber Wine Collection achieved an outstanding total of HK$43.3 million / US$5.6 million, far exceeding the high estimate. The six hour auction was 100% sold by value and by lot, with over 96.8% of lots sold fetching prices in excess of their high estimates. The two-day April sale of The Ultimate Cellar brought a total of HK$96.8 million / US$12.4 million, the second highest total of any wine sale at Sotheby’s.

In New York, the March sale was 100% sold and totalled $2.3 million. One of the biggest highlights was a Melchior (18 litre bottle) of Château Cheval Blanc 1995, which sold for $45,375 against an estimate of $5,000-7,000 to a South American Private Collector. The November auction included Hermitage La Chapelle 1952 – 2009 directly from the cellars of Paul Jaboulet Aîné, with superb prices achieved for this iconic Rhône wine. The top lot of the sale was for six bottles of the 1961 vintage, which brought $102,850.

In London, the two?day wine sale in June, featuring An Impressive Private Collection, realised £2.3 million / $3.8 million. The sum achieved established the third highest total for a Sotheby’s wine sale in London since the new millennium. A new world auction record for Le Pin 1982 was set when six magnums soared above the pre?sale estimate to bring £80,500 / $131,553.

Upcoming wine auctions in early 2012 include Finest and Rarest Wines Including the Bordeaux Winebank Collection in Hong Kong on 14 January, Finest and Rarest Bordeaux: A Magnificent Private Collection in London on 25 January and Finest and Rarest Wines in New York on 25 February.

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