Bordeaux | Highest-priced bottles of 2019 so far

Latour

This is the top 20 of the most expensive Bordeaux wines sold during the first six months of 2019. While the the region has decreased in terms of volume of wine sold at auction, it is nonetheless a core wine region, especially for those interested in prestigious wines in mature, landmark vintages: prices are on the rise.

Bordeaux top 5: 

# Highest-priced bottles Price (inc. VAT) per 75cl bottle
1 1 bottle of Château Latour 1961 € 4,256
2 1 magnum of Petrus 2015 € 3,587
3 1 bottle of Château Haut Brion 1945 € 2,736
4 1 bottle of Château Le Pin 2015 € 2,675
5 1 bottle of Château Lafleur 1979 € 1,398

 

The fall in Bordeaux wine sales speeds up in 2019

In the first half of 2019, Bordeaux wines accounted for 33% of the auctioned wines on iDealwine (compared to 44% for the whole year of 2018), a significant decrease over a period of six months. In terms of value, the decline is also notable but less significant: Bordeaux represents 41% of the value traded at auction in the first half of 2019, down from 45% for the whole of 2018.

This echoes the general decline of the Bordeaux wine market, including for new products: -13% in export volume in one year, according to figures from the Bordeaux Wine Board (CIVB).

However, despite the downward trend, Bordeaux is inescapable in wine auction sales, given that it represents the largest share, both in volume and value… What are the most expensive wines of these sales? Our top 20 ranking includes bottles whose price (per 75cl bottle) ranges from €499 to €4,256 (in contrast with €504 to €4,680 last year). Note that we only took into account one wine per property – the most expensive of the semester – to establish this list.

Grands Crus classés on top

Unsurprisingly, the most prestigious grands crus classés, from the Right Bank and Left Bank alike, make up the vast majority of our rankings. Indeed, apart from the four Pomerol wines, only the Château Gilette is non-classé, and its presence in this list can be explained by its highly qualitative vintage and also by the relative rarity of the cuvée.

12 wines come from the Left Bank (including two Pessac-Léognan, four Sauternes or Barsac and six Médoc wines) and eight from the Right Bank (equal numbers between Saint-Emilion and Pomerol). It is also interesting to see the equal share of Saint-Emilion and Pomerol, while the first AOC is more than five times larger than the second (4 000 ha, compared with 770).

10 of the wines in our top 20 are grands crus from the 1855 classification, seven of which are from the Médoc classification and three from Sauternes-Barsac; four are Saint-Emilion Grand Crus Classé and two are in the 1959 Graves classification (including Haut-Brion, which is also present in the 1855 classification).

Buyers are mainly European

Contrary to what one might think, similarly to the trend of 2018, buyers of Bordeaux tend to be European (7 French, Austrians, Germans, Australians, Brits, Swiss), with only two Asian wine lovers. Three-quarters of the buyers of these wines are private individuals.

Fine, rare wines and landmark vintages

Unlike other regions such as Burgundy, in Bordeaux, because of the average size of the vineyards (apart from a few exceptions, including the Pomerol areas), these wines aren’t as rare, or they only become rare after a long while: wines are not extremely rare when leaving the domain, but they can become so after many years of care. Thus, in our top 20, 16 of the vintages date back to before 2000. Quite logically too, there are several vintages of the century: Château Haut-Brion 1945, Latour and vieux-château-certan 1961, Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande 1982, La Mission Haut-Brion 1989, Montrose et Angélus 1990.

It is Château Latour, in one of the greatest vintages of the century, 1961, at the top of the podium, sold for €4,256. It is followed by a vintage – an important, but recent vintage – of Petrus, at €3,587; Petrus is the Bordeaux wine that, all vintages combined, sells for the highest price. In third place is a Château Haut-Brion 1945: the only 1855 premier cru classé in Pessac-Léognan, in an old vintage that is highly symbolic on a historical level. The rest of the ranking doesn’t show anything new, though the position of Chateaux Le Pin and Lafleur is interesting to note: these two Pomerol domains, that while rather discreet are well known by seasoned wine lovers, stand out from others by their tiny surface area (only 2.7 hectares for Le Pin and 4.5 hectares for Lafleur). Similarly, four Sauternes wines are present in this top 20 (compared to only two last year), mainly in very old vintages: Château Gilette – Crème de Tête 1945, Climens 1949, Clinet 1989 and Coutet 1918; however, no sign of Château d’Yquem this year.

Fine wines and outstanding vintages: in these conditions, these Bordeaux wines have almost systematically sold for above their price estimation, although the variations remain relatively moderate, overall, compared to other regions.

Bordeaux top 20:

# Highest-priced bottles  Price (inc. VAT) per 75cl bottle Buying country Buyer profile
1 1 bottle of  Château Latour 1961             4,256 € Austria Private
2 1 magnum of  Petrus 2015             3,587 € Monaco Private
3 1 bottle of  Château Haut Brion 1945             2,736 € Austria Private
4 1 bottle of  Château Le Pin 2015             2,675 € Switzerland Private
5 1 bottle of  Château Lafleur 1979             1,398 € France Private
6 1 magnum of  Château Margaux 2015             1,277 € Germany Private
7 1 bottle of  Château Cheval Blanc 2010             1,277 € France Private
8 1 double magnum of  Château La Mission Haut-Brion  1989             1,277 € France Trade
9 1 jeroboam of  Château Mouton Rothschild 1986             1,094 € France Trade
10 1 jeroboam of  Château Ausone 1er Grand Cru 1996                 912 € France Trade
11 1 bottle of  Château Gilette – Crème de Tête 1945                 851 € Australia Private
12 1 bottle of  Château Climens 1949                 693 € United Kingdom Private
13 1 bottle of  Vieux Château Certan 1961                 669 € France Trade
14 1 double magnum of  Château Clinet 1989                 669 € Switzerland Private
15 1 magnum of  Château Montrose 1990              657 € Hong Kong Private
16 1 double magnum of  Château Lafite Rothschild 1988                 639 € Hong Kong Trade
17 3 bottles of Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande 1982                 588 € United Kingdom Private
18 1 bottle of  Château Coutet 1918                 584 € Denmark Private
19 1 bottle of  Château Pavie 1er Grand Cru Classé A 1928                 511 € France Private
20 2 bottles of Château Angélus 1990                 499 € United Kingdom Private

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