Auction Report | Record for a Volnay Clos des Ducs, an ode to rarity


The end-of year auctions illustrate the apotheosis of rare, “collectable” bottles, as the record reached by Clos des Ducs succinctly shows. This bottle, a single-vineyard cru from Domaine d’Angerville in Volnay. Wine lovers also lusted after those unique wines which have been awarded 100/100 by Parker, such as the 1990 Château Montrose, as well as wines from producers who have passed away, for instance the Grands Crus from Domaine Prieuré-Roch.

Wine enthusiasts are always on the lookout for gems, and the soaring prices aren’t limited to the mythical signatures of the Côte de Nuits. This is shown in the record established in December 2018 for two bottles of 1978 Volnay Clos des Ducs from Marquis d’Angerville (€1,139 +3%). The Domaine du Marquis d’Angerville, which was managed by Jacques d’Angerville, an important figure of Burgundian viticulture and a visionary, covers a total of 14 hectares in the Volnay and Meursault appellations. It is known worldwide for its excellent quality old vines which are cultivated according to biodynamics, under the guidance of Guillaume d’Angerville. In Burgundy, bidders were particularly enthralled by wines from domains whose producer has passed away, and even more so for large formats, which are even rarer in this region. Henri Jayer’s wines continue to interest wine enthusiasts, such as the 1982 Vosne-Romanée  (€9,950 +47%). Following the death of Henri Roch, owner of Domaine Prieuré-Roch, bidders fought for his 1999 Vosne-Romanée (€1,074 +77%). The performance of Grands Crus from Domaine Leroy is also worth mentioning, with a 2001 Latricières-Chambertin going for €1,151 (+122%) and a 1998 Romanée-Saint-Vivant (€1,587 +61%).

Bordeaux bounces back with Sauternes

In 2018, the Grand Cru market stayed stable. However, the end-of-year auctions were punctuated with some excellent results, particularly for Sauternes. Château d’Yquem saw the price of its 2009 vintage rise to €657 (+9%). The notes given by Robert Parker seem to constitute quite a decisive element for vintages which gained the 100/100 score, such as the 1989 Château Haut Brion (€1,758 +16%) and the 1990 Château Montrose (€468 +9%). The famous bottles which are engraved with the bell of the Château Angélus, to celebrate its promotion to a Grand Cru Classé “A” in 2012 performed well (€377 +3).

Specialist signatures and natural wines

In the Rhone, specialist signatures stand out and are particularly sought-after by our American clients. The 1983 Saint-Joseph from Domaine Trollat sold for €851, so an increase of 483%. In Châteauneuf du Pape, and more generally in the heart of this region, the safest bet is Château Rayas: its 1990 vintage now sells for over €1,500. The domain’s “satellite” properties also performed well, particularly the 1978 cuvée “Syrah” from Château de Fonsalette (€882 +176%). Guigal’s famous Côte-Rôtie are also on the increase for old vintages: 1979 La Mouline (€1,034 +160%) and 1983 (€876 +60%).

In the Loire, extremely rare bottles caused a stir on the auctions, for instance with Dagueneau’s Pouilly-Fumé Clos du Calvaire selling for over €600 for the 2004, 2006 and 2008 vintages. This cuvée is produced from a tiny parcel of 2,000 square metres and is thus very rare. The past few months, the natural wine trend has been creating a lot of interest. The phenomenal Bernaudeau, with its emblematic cuvée Les Nourrissons, is sold for €177 (+4%) for the 2009 vintage and €146 (+34%) for 2016.

In other regions. Overnoy’s vins jaunes are becoming more and more sought after; a 1982 Arbois sold for €1,216 (+48%) and a 2004 Arbois Pupillin for €345 (+32%). In Champagne, very rare cuvées from excellent houses such as Dom Pérignon, Salon, Ruinart and Selosse were also in the headlines. Abroad, Napa Valley stands out, with the unmissable – and rare – Screaming Eagle as well as the famous Opus One.


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