The grand crus record placements of all time

For certain hesitant, irrational and incompetent opponents, have declared that wine is not a good investment! Therefore, to pull the carpet from under their feet, here are a few record sales, barely bettered by a few art sales and nothing else! The 153rd auction of the Hospices de Beaune that took place at Christies’s France on the 17th of November, have reached for a second consecutive year record levels, with a total of 6 305 002 Euros. For the first time, the “Pièce des Présidents” presented by French artists, Clotilde Coureau and Jean Pierre Castaldi, was bought by an amateur for 131 000 Euros.

The sale of the SVEAAS collection reached the sum of 6 800 000 Dollars.
Here below, you will find the first ten, classified by: (name, vintage, sales price, buyer)

– Château Mouton Rothschild 1986, 30×12 bottles, 
USD 288 000 (198 621 €), Europe

– Hermitage La Chapelle, Paul Jaboulet Aîné 1961, 12 bottles, 
 USD 252 000 (173 793€), Europe

– Château d’Yquem 1945, 12 bottles, 
 USD 132 000 (91 034 €), Europe

– Château Latour 1945, 12 bottles,
 USD 126 000 (86 897€), Asia

– Château Mouton Rothschild 1945, 12 bottles, 
USD 120 000 (82 759€), Asia

– La Tâche, Domaine de la Romanée-Conti 1978, 12 bottles, 
 USD 78 000 (53 793€), Asia

– Romanée-Conti, Domaine de la Romanée-Conti 1991, 12 bottles, 
 USD 78 000 (53 793€), Asia

– Romanée-Conti, Domaine de la Romanée-Conti 1993, 12 bottles, 
USD 78 000 (. 53 793€), Asia

– Château Cheval Blanc 1921, 12 bottles, 
 USD 72 000 (49 655€), Europe

– Château Latour 1961, 12 bottles, 
USD 66 000 (45 517€), Europe

A case of 12 bottles of Cheval Blanc from the last century was auctioned by Christie’s in Paris the 6th of December 2013, this exceptional vintage hit the ceiling; 131.600€ the case of twelve bottles of 1947 Cheval Blanc, it was on this last auction that fell Christie’s auctioneers hammer, setting a new record for this class of product.
Michael Ganne, director of Christie’s department of fine wines, was pleased with the excellent results of this sale, which got together bidders from sixteen countries. A 1989 Pétrus Jéroboam went for 28.200€, at the same time a lot of 9 bottles of this same wine was sold for 23.500€.

A record sale for Vosne-Romanée: Hong Kong loves the wines from Burgundy.

On the tenth of February of this year, took place at Christie’s in Hon Kong the sale of “Fine and Rare wines from Henri Jayer’s private cellar”. The total amount climbed to a sum of 7 million Euros, with a record auction for 12 bottles of 1985 vintage Premier crus “Cros Parantoux” Vosne-Romanée that went for 200.000€. CharlesCurtis, director of the “Asian wine market”, welcomed the sale, declaring: “These record sales, confirm the passion of our Asian clients for Burgundy wines, and Hong Kong’s position as the dominant market place for rare wines”.

27% value increase of Burgundy wines in the Beaune sale.

The 153rd sale at the Hospices de Beaune under Christie’s auspices, registered a new and important increase of 27,12% in the rates of Burgundy wines. The prices of the reds jumped by 28% thereby doubling the rates. Whites have progressed by 20%. The small harvest of 2013 and its gustative quality, explain this strong progression.  The buyer Ms. Yan Hong Cao, participating for the third time at the Hospice de Beaune sales, is the owner of a chain of shops, tea plantations and jade mines in the south east of China. She acquired for the sum of 131.000€ a 456 liter barrel of Meursault Genevrieres premiers crus, cuvee Phillipe Le Bon, she declared in Chinese that she appreciated the wines from Burgundy. In total this auction has reached the sum of 5,765 million Euros, beating the 2012 edition record of (5,217 million Euros).  “The Burgundy pinot noir has become a rare wine in 2013” explained Roland Masse, manager of the Hospices de Beaune wine estate. “The autumnal weather of this spring added to this, a hailstorm episode in July, has decimated many a vineyard in the Côte de Beaune. 2013 is rare in quantity, but extraordinary due to some small precious nuggets.

“Record sale at Christie’s: 77.000 Euros for a case of wine. A case of French wine has reached the record sum of 109 350 Swiss Francs (77 469 Euros).

An anonymous private Asian buyer has bought a case of six bottles of Hermitage la Chapelle 1961, in these auctions by Christies, exceeding largely the estimates.

Several magnificent Burgundy vintages where put up for sale, such as a Henri Jayer 1990 Vosne-Romanée estimated between 45 000 and 50 000 € or a 1799 Bordeaux Château Laffite estimated between 15 000 and 20 000€.

Around the world, the sales of wines by auction have almost doubled between 2009 and 2010, going from 233 million $ to 408 million $. The 7 most important auction firms in the world (ordered by the turnover realized in wine sales):

–       Acker worldwide-

–       Sotheby’s worldwide-

–       Christies worldwide-

–       Zachys worldwide-

–       Hart Davis Hart Chicago-

–       Spectrum-

–       Bonhams.

The five most sold Bordeaux reds or (Blue chip wines as they are known), in other words, the most reliable values are:

Mouton-Rothschild 1982

–       Mouton-Rothschild 1986-

–       Château Lafite 1996-

–       Château Lafite 1982-

–       Mouton-Rothschild 1995.

$232.692 for a Château Lafite 1869 (Sotheby’s Hong Kong, Oct. 2010)
$310.700 for a jeroboam of Mouton Rothschild 1945 (Sotheby’s New York, Feb. 2007)
$1.051.600 for 50 cases of (75 cl) Mouton Rothschild 1982 (Sotheby’s New York, Jan. 2006). 
Romanée-Conti 1990: $20.211 (New York), $13.452 (Hong Kong), $11.850 (Chicago). 
Pétrus 1982: $4.628 (NY), $5.860 (HK), $2.553 (London), $3.835 (Chicago)Cheval-Blanc 2000: $1.208 (NY), $1.469 (HK), $1.171 (London), $922 (Chicago)

In 2011 a new record was attained! A château d’Yquem 1811 (from the Napoleonic period), became the world’s most expensive white wine, 85 000€, this record was achieved at an exceptional auction at the Ritz hotel in London in July 2011.

It’s a case of Pétrus 1961that pegged the record price: estimated between 50 000$ and 90 000$ (36 000€ and 65 000€), it was finally sold for 144 000$ (104 200€), a price never before reached by a case of Pommerol in an auction.

Other lots where sold at extremely high prices, such as these 11 bottles of Pétrus sold for 90 000$ (65 000€) to a professional European buyer or a case of Château Lafite 1982 sold for 50 400$ (36 400€) to a private Asian buyer. On this subject, Charles Antin, a specialist for Christie’s in North America declared, “The sale of great and rare wines organized by Christie’s in New York last weekend, has once again proved the extraordinary solidity of the wine auction market. The total turnover has exceeded 2 000 000 $ (1 450 000€). A lot of 12 bottles of Château Pétrus 1961 was the object of the highest bid, with 144 000$ (104 200€), this being the highest price ever reached by a case of Pétrus in an auction”.

“We are also extremely happy with the results of the excellent selection of wines, coming directly from the Marchesi Antinory cellars. All the goods where sold at a 150% rate, above the highest estimates, this being once more proof of the undeniable influence of the wine’s origins on the prices”.

On Saturday 29th of October, 99% of the lots at this auction found a buyer, sold for 98% of the realized value, in other words, a total of 2 105 340$ (1 523 840€).

In a two-day auction at Sotheby’s of London, which proposed wines from “an exceptional private collection” these attained a total sum of 1 870 682 £ (2 171 735 €) originally estimated before the auction at 2 115 960 £ (2 456 270 €).

It is a case of Château Lafite 1986 which gave the highest sale, going for 13 225 £ (15 350 €). Stephen Mould, Sotheby’s European wine director, declared regarding this auction: “ The rarest vintages of Bordeaux Premiers Grand crus have overreached the highest estimates, and the Château Haut-Brion had a lot of success in all the formats”.

“At the end of the first day, the super second wines had been literally overrun and they had all been sold. This tendency was confirmed the following day. The Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, Ducru-Beaucaillou et Palmer, for example, where actively bought by phone and through internet. It is the Château Cheval Blanc that outshone on the Rive Droite. As far as the Pomerol is concerned, the price of the majority of the vintages of the Château Gazin where sold well above the highest estimates”.

This weekend, two auctions, respectively created by Acker Merral& Condit and Christie’s, have again gone on to break more records. The first one, over a two day period in Hon Kong realized by Acker Merrit & Condit, billed almost 8,7 million Euros. Amongst the important lots one finds two cases of 1988 Romanée-Conti, being adjudicated for 74 551 Euros each, eight bottles from the Domaine du Comte Liger-Belair, sold for 48.234 Euros and a case of Château Lafleur 1982 gone for 39.467 Euros. The second sale hosted by Christie’s on the 27th of Mai, was dedicated to Chateau Latour, after a real 8 hour marathon, the auction collected almost 7,76 million Dollars, the star of the event being a 6 liter bottle (Imperial) of Château Latour 1961 sold for 135 000 £ (approx. 155 740 Euros). It is to be noted that of the 392 lots presented 95%, went for, well above the highest estimates.

In 2011 a new record was attained! A château d’Yquem 1811 (from the Napoleonic period), becoming the world’s most expensive white wine, 85 000€, this record was achieved at an exceptional auction at the Ritz hotel in London in July 2011.

The preceding record for a white wine was held by a 1787 Château d’Yquem Sauternes, issued from the same vineyard as the 1811 vintage and costs approximately 60.000 Dollars a bottle. A 1947 Cheval Blanc holds the record for the most expensive bottle, it’s a red wine sold by Christie’s of Geneva, last November for 304.375 Dollars.

The famous Château Cheval Blanc sold through Christie’s in Hong Kong, the bottles came directly from their cellars. This totaled 220 lots, proposed to the public, these being extremely rare since they where in unusual formats. The origin of the bottles directly from the château as well as the atypical formats pushed the high estimates over the wall. 70% of the bottles found a buyer exceeding the expert’s estimates for a total of 1,1 millions Euros. The masterpiece of the sale was a nabuchodonosor of 1998 Cheval Blanc, sold for 34 551 dollars, that’s almost 26 000 Euros. A magnum of 1936 Château Cheval Blanc found a buyer for 10 208 Dollars that’s almost 7 500 Euros, a double magnum of 1974 reached 7 852 Dollars (almost 5 800 Euros) and a 2004 Melchior (equivalent to 18 Liters) reached the sum of 10 993 Dollars  (almost 8 100 Euros). The notoriety of the château stimulated the auction to these incredible levels. This list is not exhaustive, and could fill several chapters if we took the time to present all the results of auctions of Grand crus around the world. But beware; only grand Crus can hope to reach these prices.

It is imperative to remember that investing in Grand Crus isn’t to be undertaken lightly, you have to choose with care how and with whom you operate, otherwise the critics might be right!


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