Auctions are a unique window into the world of fine wine and the trends that drive them. Looking at the data gives an overview of the market and can also show in which direction it is heading. Looking back at the statistics from last year, the five most expensive bottles sold at auction on the iDealwine website in 2022 were…
The most expensive bottles of the year
(Ranked per bottle, prices not scaled to 75cl)
A large format Bordeaux in first place
While the most expensive bottle of 2021 came from Burgundy (a double magnum of Échézeaux 2006 from Domaine Bizot, sold for €41,752), Bordeaux retook the top spot this year thanks to an Imperial of Petrus 2015.
We do need to say that Petrus is the dearest Bordeaux wine on the market and this one was a large-format bottle, an Imperial no less (a bottle that is equivalent to eight 75cl bottles or six litres). Of course, such large bottles are produced in low numbers, even in Bordeaux. It’s this rarity that came into play during this auction coupled with the fact that Petrus is most famous name and probably the most sought-after Bordeaux in the world. What is more, this producer is located in Pomerol where the surface area and, therefore, production are much lower than at a Médoc grand cru, for example. To emphasise just how much this price had been inflated due to the large format, we need to get out our calculators. If we were to work out the price per 75cl of this bottle, it would come to €7,750, even though the price for 75cl for this domain has stabilised at €4,712, meaning that the price has been inflated by 64.5%. Even at iDealwine, Imperials of Petrus are extremely rare.
Meanwhile, the rest of the top five were all wearing Burgundy colours.
Leroy, Domaine De La Romanée-Conti, Auvenay – A three-horse race
What do Domaine Leroy, Domaine de la Romanée-Conti and Domaine Auvenay have in common? They are all owned (or co-owned in the case of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti) by Lalou Bize-Leroy, certainly, but they also produce the most expensive wines in Burgundy and the rest of the world. It’s always been this way for Domaine de la Romanée-Conti and Domaine Leroy has recently overtaken it, taking the top spot for a few years now (since 2020). Even more recently, Domaine d’Auvenay saw its prices soar between 2020 and 2021.
It, therefore, comes at no great surprise to those who follow the fine wine market that these three Burgundy domains can be found in the top five of the most expensive bottles. If you’re looking at the prices and they seem considerably lower than the Petrus 2015, well they are, but the rest of the top five is composed of standard bottles and are not large formats.
For the third consecutive year, the Musigny by Domaine Leroy is the most expensive wine from Burgundy and the most expensive wine of the year when the prices are scaled to 75cl. It’s exactly the same wine, and even the same vintage, that was the most expensive in 2021 when it sold for €27,370 at auction. This wine has appreciated in value by 24.6% in the space of a year!
Coming home in third place is a bottle of Romanée-Conti 2015 from Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, which was sold for €31,620. Even though this wine was beaten by Domaine Leroy’s top wine, as it has done for the past few years, it is still sitting in a great position as the second most expensive wine when scaled to 75cl because it continues to see its prices increase. This wine has seen its value grow by 82% in two years as it sold for € 17,355 in 2020. Fourth place was occupied by the same wine but from the 2010 vintage (€26,164).
Finally, fifth place in the rankings is taken up by a white wine from Domaine d’Auvenay – Criots-Bâtard-Montrachet 2005, which went for €24,552. The only white wine in the top five comes from Bize-Leroy’s second property, which is located in the Côte de Beaune. It applies the same biodynamic methods as its parent estate and wine enthusiasts are quickly moving across to the wines from this second domain which are now found among some of the most sought-after bottles in the world.