The 2018 auction rankings at iDealwine clearly illustrate the supremacy of three behemoths of regions: Burgundy, Bordeaux and the Rhone valley. Every single wine featuring in our TOP 50 most expensive bottles and lots come from these three winemaking regions. The TOP 3 highest bids, however, see the Rhone eclipsed by Burgundy and Bordeaux:
Top 3 highest bids on our platform in 2018:
#1: 12 Bottles Château Latour 1er Grand Cru Classé 1961 (€46,812)
#2: 12 Bottles 2010 Assortment from Domaine de la Romanée-Conti (1 Romanée-Conti, 2 La Tâche, 2 Richebourg, 3 Romanée Saint-Vivant, 2 Echezeaux, 2 Corton) (€36,723)
#3: 16 Bottles 2000 Bordeaux selection (4 Petrus, 4 Margaux, 4 Latour, 4 Haut-Brion) (€26,752)
Top 3 most expensive bottles sold on our platform in 2018:
#1: 1 Bottle of Romanée-Conti Grand Cru Domaine de la Romanée-Conti 2005 (€16,173)
#2: 1 Magnum Château Mouton Rothschild 1er Grand Cru Classé 1945 (€15,808)
#3: 1 Bottle Romanée-Conti Grand Cru Domaine de la Romanée-Conti 2010 (€14,835)
Burgundy reaffirms its position as leader
Burgundy has been the most attractive, expensive region in France for some years now and every year, this position is reinforced. Of the 50 most expensive bottles sold in 2018, 42 were Burgundy – in comparison with 32 in 2017 –, six from the Rhone and three from Bordeaux. Of these 42 Burgundian wines, almost half (22) come from the mythical Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, of which 10 bottles of their eponymous Grand Cru.
Although Burgundy’s Pinot Noirs are the most coveted, the Montrachet appellation (white) also features in the rankings. 20% of the most expensive bottles come from this prestigious appellation of the Côte de Beaune. Both for white and red wine, Burgundy has become the holy grail for wine lovers all over the world.
Rarity is always a determining factor in auctions, particularly with wines from a domain which no longer exists, following the death of the producer or the sale of their domain. Collectable bottles from domain Henri Jayer continue to do very well at auction: a magnum of Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru Cros Parantoux 1982 sold for €14,592, making it the 4th most expensive bottle to sell in 2018. Further down in the rankings are wines from Henri Roch. Wines from the Côte de Beaune are emerging with, for instance, a Volnay Clos des Ducs 1978 from domaine du Marquis d’Angerville in 55th place (six bottles sold for €6,834).
Bordeaux holds its own
The omnipresence of Burgundy in the wine ranking doesn’t, however, completely eclispse Bordeaux. On the contrary, the second most expensive bottle of the year was a magnum of Château-Mouton-Rothschild 1945. Bordeaux is very well positioned
It’s above all in the rankings by lot that Bordeaux stands out, representing 60% of the list (30 places/50). In first place, 12 bottles of Château Latour 1961 – another vintage of the century – sold at €46,816. The entire rankings are almost exclusively taken over by Premiers Crus Classés from the 1855 classification, with Petrus the sole Right Bank estate in the list. Of the 30 lots of Bordeaux, 13 contain bottles of Petrus and 9 Château Latour (of which four cases are a mix of the two). Yquem, the only white (dessert) wine in the list, holds 47th place and features in two other mixed lots. The 2000 vintage appeals to collectors, with seven bottles out of 50, as does the 2009 (four bottles).
In the face of the two behemoths which are Burgundy and Bordeaux, the Rhone valley has resisted polarization. It occupies six places in the Top 50 most expensive bottles (compared with two last year) and two places in the Top 50 most expensive lots. This success is due to one single cuvée: the extremely rare cuvée Cathelin (Hermitage) from Jean-Louis Chave in mature vintages. It must be said that this cuvée has not been made available to the public since the 2014 vintage, although it is still produced and tasted at the domain. In any case, even though the diversification is gradual and only the result of a limited selection of extremely specialist domains/cuvées, it is nevertheless real.