Auction report May 2020 | Opportunities abound in a dynamic market

The long weeks of lockdown saw a period in which wine enthusiasts were more attentive than ever on our site, particularly when it came to wines being sold at auction. Traffic at iDealwine thus increased by 43% in April! And in May, whilst France gradually lifted its lockdown, there was no sudden drop in interest, quite the opposite, with the number of sessions increasing by 36%. A very positive trend that confirms your unwavering interest in what we have to offer on our platform – for this, we cannot thank you enough 😉

A cheque for €134,626 to carers

It must be said that the month of May got off to a wonderful start with the success of our charity auction for the carers working hard to battle the pandemic. We received magnificent donations from 116 domains, complemented by contributions from several of our clients, the Maison du Whisky, and the Sommeliers Association of Paris. With the sale closing on the 7th May, enthusiasts got involved in some impressive bidding wars in order to get their hands on one of the 316 lots available in our fantastic catalogue, some of which came in exceptional sizes like magnums, jeroboams and even a Salmanazar… The results were truly superb! You can take a closer look at all the hammer prices in our sale analysis here. And it was eventually a cheque for €134,626 that made its way to the #ProtegeTonSoignant collective after the auction closed. All in all, a wonderful operation that our team felt very passionate about. Thanks to all those who placed bids!

Two further auctions took place at iDealwine over the month of May, with a ‘classic’ catalogue and a fantastic private collection, the latter of which closed on the 27th May and included some lovely bottles from Burgundy. Some of the top performers were: a 2006 Chambertin Clos de Bèze from Domaine Armand Rousseau which went for €3,684, an increase of 30% on its estimate. We’re watching the Clos de Lambrays very closely, since it has seen its prices increase in the vintages that have already aged somewhat (2005: €332, +32%). From Bordeaux, a Petrus was sold for €3,193 in its highly accomplished 2010 vintage (+12%). We should also note the interest in grands crus from Alsace’s Marcel Deiss, who has seen consistent growth in prices whilst remaining attractive (Altenberg de Bergheim, €66 +7%; Schoenenbourg 2005, €61 +17%). The Rieslings produced by Clos Saint-Hune are also highly coveted (1999: €246, +57%; 2001: €209, +15%). Similar success on the other side of the Rhine with the Rieslings from two legendary domains: Egon Muller (Scharzhofberger Spatlese 2010: €184, +26%) and Keller (Trocken Westhofener Brunnenhauschen Abts Erde Grosses Gewachs 2011: €221). From Tuscany, the aura of the famous Sassicaia is now felt globally, with a 2004 Magnum selling for €442, an increase of 20%.

Fans of natural wines are still very much making their presence known, as proven by the sale for €233 of a bottle of Fleurie l’Utime by Yvon Métras in the 2006 vintage, and the 2018 Onglée cuvée by Bernaudeau (Loire) which also sold for €233. The 2014 Les Noels de Montbenault by Richard Leroy reached €209 (+55%) and Olivier Lejeune’s 2018 Poiesis has followed a striking trajectory, going fro €50, a +49% increase. And we have to mention Anglore, from Tavel, whose 2018 cuvée has passed the €100 threshold! A deep-running trend that continues to be confirmed.

Opportunities in all regions

The magic of the auction is seeing how it might surprise you, and it so happened in May that bidders took a fancy to gems from all viticultural regions across France and beyond. Sometimes a wise choice is to pick a big name but in a vintage that has not yet got a lot of coverage. This is perhaps why some enthusiasts opted for iconic bottles such as Guigal’s Côte-Rôtie in the 2002 La Landonne cuvée (€149, -16%) or the 2002 La Mouline (€139, -15%). In the Languedoc, the famous Mas Daumas Gassac needs several years before it can be best appreciated. In this regard, the 2004, which sold for €70 in magnum format, offers an exciting chance to check. From Bordeaux, certain fine vintages can sometimes be surprisingly attainable, which was the case for Château Haut Marbuzet (1985: €37) and Domaine de Chevalier (1985: €49). AS for Château Climens, a big name in Barsac, we have to admit our envy in seeing a case of 12 1996 vintages going to a bidder for €560, €47 a bottle. We continue to see how our wine auctions can sometimes, due to their surprise nature, be quite an exciting place to be…

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