Auction Report: top bids for 1966, prestige Champagne & old Yquem

OL2-2016Prices for Bordeaux and Burgundy wines have calmed down, but wine lovers seem keener than ever on rare and prestige vintages from Champagne, the Rhône, Alsace and the Loire. And with a number of bottles celebrating their 50th birthday this year, our bidders seem ready for anything…

The top sale at this auction was a case of high-end Bordeaux 2005 wines – Château Margaux, Lafite Rothschild, Cheval Blanc, Petrus, Latour and Mouton Rothschild. Congratulations to the Swiss buyer who walked off with this much in demand lot for €6300 (+11% on its iDealwine listing). This is quite an amount, although generally prices for Bordeaux dropped slightly at this auction. For example, in spite of 2009 being an excellent vintage, bottles of Petrus, Château Latour, and Léoville Poyferré 2009 sold at prices below their listings. What an excellent opportunity for wine lovers to get hold of a benchmark vintage! Mouton-Rothschild held onto its position with a lot of 3 bottles of 2008 going to a British buyer for €1440 (+22%). The other big Bordeaux name standing out among its peers was Château d’Yquem in Sauternes. Some excellent prices were achieved for older vintages from the King of sweet white wines, with a 1946 selling for €1,260 (+50%) and a 1955 for €1,044 (+55%).

In Burgundy, prices for Coche-Dury, Armand Rousseau and Leroy are still increasing significantly, while estates such as Georges Roumier, Mugnier, Leflaive, and above all, Domaine des Comtes Lafon have seen their prices level off. Two lots of Meursaults Clos de la Barre 2007 and 2009 sold for a steady price, compared to their iDealwine listing. The highest bid for Burgundy at this auction was a 1966 Corton grand cru « Le Corton » from Maison Bouchard. With a reserve price of €120, this bottle finally sold for €384 (+243%), going to a wine lover in Hong-Kong.

This keen interest in « anniversary » vintages such as 1966 is not just a one-off. Bidders were equally determined to get hold of a bottle of 1966 Hermitage La Chapelle from Paul Jaboulet Aîné. This mythical bottle sold for €600 (+270%) from a reserve price of €144. Other excellent wines from the Rhône also stand out, such as the lot of two bottles of 1990 Château Rayas, sold for €552 (+97%). This illustrious name from the Rhône Valley is clearly still causing a stir. However, the gold medal for Rhône wines has to go to a prestigious (and rare) 1995 Cuvée Cathelin from Jean-Louis Chave. A record breaker when it last appeared in our sales, its rise seems unstoppable and the much in demand bottle soared to €2,880 (+52%), selling to an Austrian wine lover.

Exceptionally, prestige vintages of Champagne were highly sought after this time. The most remarkable example comes from the  Bollinger Champagne house, with a bottle of Vieilles Vignes Françaises 1990 selling to a French buyer (of course J ) for €1,500 (+8%). Pol Roger’s Cuvée Winston Churchill is continuing to rise, with a 1988 bottle going for €360 (+60%), and another of 1996 selling at €252 (+32%). A lot of two bottles of Vintage Réserve 1990 from Veuve Clicquot also performed remarkably, selling for €281, an increase of 72% on their usual price. Finally, a 1988 bottle of Comtes de Champagne from Taittinger achieved an excellent bid (€281, +21%). Prices for this vintage are still increasing although prices for Jacques Selosse have levelled off.

In the Loire, Clos Rougeard is still on top, with price increases reflecting an explosion in demand. A lot of three bottles of 1999 Saumur Champigny Les Poyeux sold for €786 (+128%), and another lot of two bottles sold for €528 (+130%). An important point here is that their respective buyers were American and British; proof of the Foucault brothers’ truly international reputation. Charles Joguet has also confirmed his place as a much in demand name in the Loire. A Swiss buyer snapped up a bottle of Chinon – a 1989 Clos de la Dioterie for €132 (+32%). Fortunes were more mixed however for the Dagueneau estate. Prices levelled off for its 2002 Silex  and 1999 Pur Sang cuvées, whereas a 2003 Silex and a 2003 Buisson Renard  sold to a wine lover in Hong-Kong for €108 (+23%) and €96 (+16%) respectively. This will be one to follow.

In other regions, there was keen interest -understandably J- in the Grange des Pères estate, in Languedoc. A lot of six bottles of 2010 almost reached one thousand euros thanks to some impassioned bidding from a French enthusiast (€984, or 164€ per bottle, + 24%). To finish, let’s take a look at some other excellent results. In Alsace, prices for 1990 Clos Windsbuhl Reislings from the Zind-Humbrecht estate went up 20%, in Provence, prices for Bandols 1990 from Château de Pibarnon increased by 40%, and overseas, Piero Antinori’s Solaia 1990 rose 36%.

 

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