Three auctions took place during the month of June on iDealwine.com. 11,000 lots were proposed on the online auction platform and bids were received from wine enthusiasts in all four corners of the world. Our monthly review of fine wine market reveals it to be as robust as ever and driven by Burgundy and a handful of reputable producers from every region, especially the Jura.
June at auction: what have we learned?
Unsurprisingly for June, Bordeaux prices remained overall stable. Note however the small decrease in the wines of Château Lafite Rothschild, across various vintages and for both its first wine and its second wine (Les Carruades). The older Bordeaux vintages registered an increase that was concurrent with their increasing rarity. This, for example, was the case for a 6-magnum lot of Château Latour 1982, auctioned for €24,928 (+30%), a 6-magnum lot of Château Haut-Brion 1982 auctioned for €11,674 (+27%) and a bottle of Mouton-Rothschild 1986 auctioned for €780 (+11%). Likewise, Petrus, a wine that becomes rare the moment it is released from the domaine registered light progression thanks to enthusiastic bidders in France, Asia and Monaco.
June saw some of the finest signatures from the Rhône go under the hammer such as Cuvée Cathelin from Jean-Louis Chave in Hermitage. The 2003 vintage fetched €8,643 (+6%) and the 2009 €7,418 (+53%). A half bottle of the ultra-rare Vin de Paille from Jean-Louis Chave also surfaced last month in the 1990 and 1989 vintages with a final hammer price of €790 and €709 respectively (both lots were won by an enthusiast from Hong Kong). Another collectible is the Côte-Rôtie Côte Brune 1988 from Marius Gentaz-Dervieux, a domaine that no longer exists. A Dutch bidder cinched this rare gem for €2,250 (+107%). The Châteauneuf-du-Pape from Château Rayas and from Henri Bonneau especially saw no let-up in price.
Some of the most mythic cuvées in old, even very old, vintages from Champagne made an appearance at auction last month too and saw double digit growth on their iDealwine price estimate. This was the case for the Clos du Menil 1996 from Krug, auctioned for €1,459 (+36%), the Cuvée S 1996 from Salon at €598 (+17%) and for old vintages of Dom Pérignon, many of which were bought by a Cypriot enthusiast: a magnum of the 1973 for €973 (+60%), a bottle of the 1966 for €593 (+70%) and another of the 1964 for €462 (+57%).
From Alsace, the famous Clos Saint-Hune from Maison Trimbach was noticeable by its appearance in old vintages and the 1982 vintage went for €280 (+59%). It was bidders in Hong Kong who won these lots. Grange des Pères in the Languedoc is another signature on the up in terms of price, as is Clos Rougeard in the Loire: these two stars have become omnipresent in the wine auction market – around 130 lots were proposed in June alone. As for non-French wines, a bottle of Screaming Eagle 2015 sold for €2,918, Penfolds Grange 2010 for €438 (+39%) and Italian wines continue to appreciate too such as the Barolo Giacomo Conterno DOCG Riserva Monfortino 1982 auctioned for €1,094 (+80%). Finally, some alcohols and spirits affirmed their position as collectibles, like the Cognac Grande Champagne 1957 from Lherauld, bought for €416 by a Dutch enthusiast and the Armagnac 1944 from Laubade for €310.
Hard to find wines continue their steady progress; Domaine Liger Belair in the spotlight
Burgundy continues to enjoy great success with some wines registering triple digit price growth, as was the case for the Echézeaux 1986 from Henri Jayer, bought by a Luxembourger for €4,140 (+112%) but also for a Corton-Charlemagne 1994 from Coche-Dury at €2,918 (+119%) and a Vosne-Romanée Premier Cru Au Cros Parantoux 1998 from Méo-Camuzet auctioned at €1,167 (+162%). Bids came from both professionals and enthusiasts in Europe (France, the UK, the Netherlands, Denmark, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Poland, Estonia), Asia (principally Hong Kong) and the USA.
The various vintages of La Tâche (a monopole of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti) up for auction caused great excitement. The 1990 vintage sold for €5,594 (+42%), the 2013 for €3,283 (+50%) and the 1994 for €2,614 (+46%).
Domaine du Comte Liger-Belair
The star of the June auctions was without doubt Domaine Liger-Belair. However, it wasn’t the mythic La Romanée cuvée that caused a stir, although it registered a solid performance in recent vintages – €3,192 for the 2009 (+11%) and €2,675 for the 2011 (+10%)-, but rather the domaine’s other cuvées that saw their prices increase significantly. The Echézeaux 2006 now hovers around the €1,000 mark (+33%) while the Vosne-Romanée Premier Cru Suchots 2006 is approaching the €500 threshold (+254%) and the Vosne-Romanée Clos du Château 2007 had a final hammer price of €377 (+43%). These wines were bought by French, Chinese and Korean wine lovers.
A grand entrance for Domaine des Miroirs, the Jura’s new major player in the natural wine scene?
From other regions, the wines from Overnoy, unsurprisingly, continued to seduce bidders but another signature from the Jura has muscled into the auction market: the 3 hectares Domaine des Miroirs. This tiny vineyard was bought by the Japanese Kenjiro Kagami in 2011 and produces around 7,000 bottles of high level natural wine each year. Such a low production level means that naturally these wines are hard to get hold of. An enthusiast from Hong Kong cinched the cuvée Sonorité du Vent 2013 for €280 (+189%) while it was a Danish who won a bottle of Les Saugettes 2013 for €274 (+182%). The Côtes-du-Jura 2013 from this domaine went for €270 (to a bidder in Singapour) and the cuvée Mizuiro 2013 reached €219 (+43%). Are we witnessing the arrival of a new star at auction? This is most certainly a domaine to follow closely over the next few months. Likewise, the wines from Ganevat and Tissot remain just as present at auction but prices remain stable for now.
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