Let’s get a closer look at the trends marking the fine wine auction market based on our April results.
The epic Romanée-Conti
Burgundy wines are still shooting for the stars, and Domaine de la Romanée-Conti is one of the furthest ahead. The world-renowned estate turned to a new chapter in its story in March of this year, when Aubert de Villaine passed the domain on to his nephew. Notably, some of the more recent vintages (2015, 2014 and 2013) provide the perfect example of this phenomenon, with respective hammer prices for the grand cru La Romanée-Conti at €31,620 (+36%), €22,320 (+23%), and €22,444 (+20%). Aubert de Villaine’s step into the background has, of course, been key to this upward jump, with Burgundy lovers taking their chance to taste the legendary vintner’s work before it becomes too rare to find.
We’ve been a bit of a broken record lately, but we have to say it again: Burgundy’s prices just keep going up. Domaine d’Auvenay, Jacky Truchot, and Leroy have yet again surpassed the peak prices they reached recently. A 2013 Bâtard-Montrachet from Auvenay went under the hammer for €20,832 (24%), a 2002 Charmes-Chambertin Vieilles Vignes by Jacky Truchot for €10,540 (+113!), and Leroy’s 2009 Richebourg for €10,044 (+53%).
Bordeaux, the right bank holds its own
Performing well on the market for several decades already, Médoc’s grands crus classés welcome to the top podium some right bank figures. Château Le Pin is one such name, a domain that kicked off the ‘vin de garage’ trend in the 90s and has since gained a reputation for producing small quantities of bespoke wine. This success has been held up by the domain’s commitment to only selling the vintages that reach their high standards; the 2003 Le Pin, for example, never made it to our cellars. In April, the gorgeous 2000 vintage fetched €4,464 (+14%).
Similarly, Petrus enjoys an auction success conferred largely by the immense finesse and exemplary balance of its wines. From this prestigious château, the 2000, 2005, 2009, and 2010 vintages have a place in the history books, with connoisseurs recognising their unmatched quality. The estate’s time at the top is thus far from running out, as proven by a 2005 that sold for €4,166 (+8%) last month.
A new face for Champagne?
The vintage effect also plays a role in this region’s auction results. Certain mature bottles have been attracting the attention of bidders recently, such as the 1959 Dom Pérignon (€4,340), a magnum of 1952 brut (€2,480) and another of 1964 (€2,170) from Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin. Rarity is always a big factor in a wine’s hammer price, as attested by various top results for Krug, the only maison to craft exclusively prestige cuvées. Otherwise, it’s the true mark of a vigneron that fizz lovers seek. This is arguably why Selosse continues to draw interest (a 2008 extra-brut fetched €3,782), alongside characterful signatures like Cédric Bouchard (whose 3-bottle lot of 2017 Roses de Jeanne Creux d’Enfer sold for €2,232), Ulysse Collin (2 bottles of BDB extra-brut Les Perrières for €806), and Aurélien Lurquin (a 2018 Meunier Les Crayères du Levant fetched €360). A trend supported by the purchase of very recent vintages.
Brilliance beyond France
Bidders from across the world are revealing an expansive interest in all kinds of curiosities that diverge from the norms of what the French wine world might consider ‘classic’. Australian cuvées, for example, are finding favour with many of our auction-going clients. Testimony to this is the huge success of Penfolds, an iconic domain from down under that has made Shiraz its speciality of choice. A bottle of the 2008 Penfolds Grange went for €595 (+21%) last month! Even more surprising on the horizon of our auction landscape is Algeria, as the North African country found representation in a rare and historic bottle. The Royal Kebir cuvée has seen its value skyrocket, with the 1940 and 1942 vintages going for €570 (+177%) and the 1945 for €744 (+261%).
If you think you’ve got some treasures such as these hiding away in your cellar, get in touch with us for a free estimate of your bottles.