Auction Report January 2020 | Grange des Pères, Jura, Rhône collectors’ wines

Whilst you might have expected a calmer time for the auctions in January, after the excitement surrounding the end-of-year sales, but last month’s auctions were notably dynamic. And the trends we saw in December have continued: collectors’ wines from the Rhône are yet more sought-after, and Grange des Pères’ first vintage is still doing incredibly well.

In Bordeaux, the market is still stable, apart from the surge for some premiers crus in fine, mature vintages, such as the 2000 Angélus (€2,724 +11%), the 1953 La Mission Haut-Brion (€2,554 +56%), a 1959 Lafite-Rothschild (€2,395 +12.5%) and a 1990 Château Margaux (€860 +16%) . This is proof of Bordeaux’s continued attraction for wine enthusiasts, as long as the vintages are especially mature and of the highest quality. We should note that most of the highest bids for Bordeaux lots were this time placed by Europeans (private consumers and professionals) rather than by Asian clients.

Generally speaking, the Loire proved to be dynamic during the January auctions for its most emblematic figures (Dagueneau, Huet, and particularly La Coulée de Serrant), whilst Clos Rougeard’s progress has stabilised. Dagueneau’s rarest Astéroïde was auctioned at €1,167 in its 2006 vintage, a 37% increase on its estimation price.

From Champagne, it was yet again the most prestigious cuvées in the most mature vintages that stood out among the bottles experiencing the strongest growth: the 1986 Krug Clos de Mesnil (€1,228 +33.5%); the 1985 Roederer Cristal (€465 +34%).

From other regions, perhaps the most notable event is the confirmation of Grange des Pères’ searing success, since their first vintage (1992) had established a world record at iDealwine last December (€5,219) and in January went for €5,035. Already a very rare collectors’ wine. The popularity of this domain’s wine is also being consolidated more generally, with most of their other vintages (mature or more recent) seeing growth of more than 20%, with this figure exceeding 50% in some cases.

Equally, Jura continues to be in top shape, with Domaine Overnoy’s mature vin jaune continuing its unstoppable upward trajectory. The 1990 vintages were acquired for €1,658 (+12.5%), much like the 1983 vintage which saw an increase of 50%. In a similar vein, the modest but coveted Domaine des Murmures hasn’t stopped growing, with its 2015 Poulsard reaching a sale price of €589.

Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, Coche-Dury, Roumier: stable at the top

In Burgundy, we’re seeing a stabilisation at the highest level for most of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti’s cuvées, with for example a 2012 Romanée-Conti auctioned at €14,859. Only some cuvées have shown strong increases in their prices, such as a 1984 Montrachet, sold for €3,807 (+54%) and a 2008 Grands-Echezeaux for €1,719 (+12%). The same phenomenon can be seen for other star domains in the region like Georges Roumier, Jacques-Frédéric Mugnier, Coche Dury and Armand Rousseau: most of these are stable or growing slightly. However, for some of their more sought-after vintages, we’ve observed a much more remarkable growth. This is the case for Georges Roumier’s 1987 Musigny, sold for €6,877 (+32%); Coche Dury’s 1998 Corton-Charlemagne, sold for €2,579 (+60.5%); as well as Georges Roumier’s 2011 Chambolle-Musigny Premier Cru Les Amoureuses, sold for €1,719 (+41%). Another notable sale was a mature Volnay which was auctioned at €1,544 for two bottles of 1959 premier cru En Caillerets from Domaine Piat, a négoce business now no longer in existence and therefore rare. The buyers of these Burgundy grands crus are shared across the four corners of the world (France, Europe, Asia, Russia, America), and the bottles went to both private individuals and professionals.

Old Rhône collectors’ wines

From the Rhône Valley, it is clear that there has been an explosion of interest for collectors’ wines by domains no longer producing or winemakers no longer with us. We saw a growth of 126% for the 1983 Côte-Rôtie Côte Brune by Marius Gentaz-Dervieux (€2,395), +91% for a 1999 Magnum of Raymond Trollat’s Saint-Joseph (€2,310). Lots of Châteauneuf-du-Pape Réserve des Célestins by Henri Bonneau are increasing more gradually (up to 16.5% for the 1990 vintage, going for €1412). But it’s the whole region, from north to south, that’s demonstrating real dynamism. Generally speaking, we can report a moderate growth, though sometimes there have been some impressive performances such as with the 1991 Côte-Rôtie Côte Brune by Jamet, auctioned at €1,375.

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