The Top 50 highest-priced bottles at auction (first semester of 2018)

palmaresThe first semester of 2018 has ended and between 1st January and 31st June 37,165 lots, or 74,000 bottles, were sold on the iDealwine auction platform, a 30% increase in volume compared to the first semester of 2017. Here’s a look at the highest-priced bottles to grace auction so far.

We’ve delved into the iDealwine database to reveal the 50 most expensive bottles of 2018 and, unsurprisingly, Burgundy dominates the rankings, occupying 30 of the top 50 spots (60%). Bordeaux stands as second with 15 bottles (30%) and the Rhône as third with 3 bottles (6%), followed closely by Champagne with 2 bottles (4%).

Domaine de la Romanée-Conti and the Burgundy elite steal the show 

11 of the top 50 highest-priced bottles hail from the mythic Domaine de la Romanée-Conti and include the La Romanée cuvée but also La Tâche and Richebourg. This is a somewhat more subdued presence compared to 2017 where this domaine monopolised exactly half of the rankings! Mature vintages dominate here and some of the cuvées have seen significant price increases such as La Tâche 1990 (+42%).

Aside from the mighty DRC, the rankings are a good overview of the stars of the Côte de Nuits: Domaine Leflaive, Leroy, Henri Jayer, Georges Roumier, Coche-Dury, Liger-Belair, Jacky Truchot, Armand Rousseau and Domaine d’Auvenay. Most of these bottles saw their price estimates soar, notably Henri Jayer’s Echézeaux 1986 (+112%), the Corton Charlemagne 1997 from Coche-Dury (+102%) and the Bonnes-Mares 1999 from Domaine d’Auvenay (+150%).

Bordeaux well represented thanks to large formats and Petrus

Bordeaux mostly owes its presence in the top 50 to large format bottles. Nine of the 15 most expensive Bordeaux sold so far in 2018 are large formats. Only lots of Petrus and a Château Latour 1982 make it in the top 50 without this advantage. What’s more, Bordeaux sits in the middle or bottom of the rankings. Nonetheless, and credit where credit’s due, a magnum of Ch. Mouton Rothschild 1945 is the highest-priced bottle to have sold on the online auction platform in 2018 so far at €15,808.

Petrus is once again the force to be reckoned with and out of the 15 Bordeaux in the top 50, eight come from this prestigious domaine (against nine the year before). As well as the magnum of Mouton Rothschild, three bottles from Château Latour and three from Château d’Yquem are also present. Note that the Sauternes would not have made it into the rankings if it weren’t for the fact that they come in imperials.

Despite a few impressive price progressions, such as Château Latour 1982 (+37%), variations generally remain under the 20% threshold which confirms the market trends that we have observed over the year. The WineDex Bordeaux has had a far more stable evolution over the last few years in comparison to the WineDex Burgundy and WineDex Rhône.

Rhône: Ermitage Cuvée Cathelin from Jean-Louis Chave star of the show

The three most expensive bottles from the Rhône, and the only bottles from this region that make it to the top 50, are all the rare Ermitage Cuvée Cathelin from Jean-Louis Chave. Present in the 1990, 2003 and 2009 vintages, this ultra-rare cuvée has seen its price sky rocket over the past three years and it doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. The 2009 vintage, the 3rd highest priced bottle of the semester saw its price progress by more than 300%! Sought out for its quality, the popularity of this wine can also be explained by Jean-Louis’ decision in 2014 to halt all commercialisation of this wine. The only way to taste it is at the domaine…or to buy it at auction.

Champagne makes the cut thanks to old vintages of Krug Collection

Once again, Champagne only features in the top 50 thanks to large format bottles: the two Krug Collections (1959 and 1969) present are both magnums. Nonetheless, it is not usual to see Champagnes fetch such prices. The success of these two bottles is down to the reputation of the domaine and their very old vintage.

These rankings will no doubt change as the winter season and we expect exciting results from some of the lesser-known regions too. Watch this space.

The top 50 highest-priced bottles of the first semester of 2018

Position Bottle Price (per bottle & incl. VAT) Variation on price estimate (or reserve price) Date of sale Country of residence of winning bidder
1 Magnum of Château Mouton Rothschild 1er Grand Cru Classé 1945                          €15,808 86% 12/04/2018 France
2 Bottle of Romanée-Conti Grand Cru Domaine de la Romanée-Conti 2001                          €12,890 21% 30/01/2018 France
3 Bottle of Hermitage Ermitage Cuvée Cathelin Jean-Louis Chave (no reserve price) 2009                          €12,652 316% 04/06/2018 Poland
4 Magnum of Montrachet Grand Cru Domaine Leflaive 2000                          €11,674 20% 21/03/2018 France
5 Bottle of Musigny Grand Cru Domaine Leroy 2008                            €9,971 9% 28/03/2018 France
6 Bottle of Romanée-Conti Grand Cru Domaine de la Romanée-Conti 1998                            €9,606 27/06/2018 Poland
7 Bottle of Romanée-Conti Grand Cru Domaine de la Romanée-Conti 1969                            €9,363 30% 27/02/2018 Poland
8 Bottle of Hermitage Ermitage Cuvée Cathelin Jean-Louis Chave 2003                            €8,634 6% 21/06/2018 France
9 Bottle of Vosne-Romanée Premier Cru Cros Parantoux Henri Jayer 1986                            €6,810 98% 17/01/2018 France
10 Bottle of Hermitage Ermitage Cuvée Cathelin Jean-Louis Chave 1990                            €6,202 155% 12/04/2018 France
11 Bottle of La Tâche Grand Cru Domaine de la Romanée-Conti 1990                            €5,594 42% 20/06/2018 France
12 Bottle of Montrachet Grand Cru Domaine Leflaive 1996                            €5,594 14/03/2018 France
13 Bottle of Montrachet Grand Cru Domaine Leflaive 1997                            €4,986 54% 11/04/2018 France
14 Bottle of La Tâche Grand Cru Domaine de la Romanée-Conti 1999                            €4,378 14/02/2018 Denmark
15 Magnum of Bonnes-Mares Grand Cru Domaine Georges Roumier 2005                            €4,378 100% 30/01/2018 France
16 Imperial of Château d’Yquem Premier Cru Classé Supérieur 2010                            €4,378 0% 18/01/2018 USA
17 6 magnums of Château Latour Premier Grand Cru Classé 1982                            €4,155 37% 14/06/2018 Finland
18 Bottle of Echézeaux Grand Cru Henri Jayer 1986                            €4,140 112% 20/06/2018 Luxembourg
19 Magnum of Petrus 2001                            €4,134 3% 17/05/2018 France
20 12 bottles of Château Latour Premier Grand Cru Classé 1961                            €4,104 0% 24/05/2018 USA
21 Bottle of La Tâche Grand Cru Domaine de la Romanée-Conti 2005                            €3,891 15% 14/03/2018 Poland
22 Bottle of Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru Domaine Coche Dury 2002                            €3,770 75% 17/01/2018 France
23 Bottle of Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru Domaine Coche Dury 2010                            €3,770 13% 25/04/2018 France
24 Magnum of Collection Krug 1959                            €3,770 3% 30/01/2018 France
25 3 bottles of Petrus 2000                            €3,729 5% 29/03/2018 Belgium
26 Bottle of Petrus 1990                            €3,648 15% 17/05/2018 France
27 Bottle of Petrus 1989                            €3,648 11% 31/05/2018 France
28 Bottle of La Romanée Grand Cru Comte Liger-Belair (Domaine du) 2010                            €3,648 61% 14/02/2018 USA
29 Magnum of Clos de la Roche Grand Cru Jacky Truchot 1996                            €3,648 50% 14/02/2018 United Kingdom
30 Bottle of La Tâche Grand Cru Domaine de la Romanée-Conti 2003                           €3,526 44% 28/03/2018 France
31 Bottle of Chambertin Grand Cru Domaine Armand Rousseau 1990                           €3,526 19% 13/06/2018 France
32 Magnum of Chambertin Clos de Bèze Grand Cru Clos de Bèze Domaine Armand Rousseau 2010                            €3,526 53% 14/02/2018 United Kingdom
33 Bottle of Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru Domaine Coche Dury 2009                            €3,405 46% 11/04/2018 France
34 Magnum of Collection Krug 1969                            €3,405 12% 30/01/2018 France
35 Magnum of Petrus 1983                            €3,405 12% 14/06/2018 China
36 Bottle of Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru Domaine Coche Dury 1997                            €3,283 102% 11/04/2018 France
37 Bottle of Chambolle-Musigny Premier Cru Les Amoureuses Domaine Georges Roumier 2005                            €3,283 86% 13/06/2018 Hong Kong
38 Bottle of La Tâche Grand Cru Domaine de la Romanée-Conti 2013                            €3,283 49% 13/06/2018 France
39 Bottle of Richebourg Grand Cru Domaine de la Romanée-Conti 1990                            €3,283 1% 20/06/2018 France
40 Bottle of La Romanée Grand Cru Domaine du Comte Liger-Belair 2009                            €3,192 11% 20/06/2018 France
41 Bottle of Petrus 2009                            €3,162 3% 14/06/2018 France
42 Imperial of Château d’Yquem Premier Cru Classé Supérieur 2011                            €3,162 13% 18/01/2018 USA
43 Bottle of La Tâche Grand Cru Domaine de la Romanée-Conti 2000                            €3,040 47% 14/03/2018 Russia
44 Bottle of Petrus 2010                            €3,040 6% 31/05/2018 France
45 Bottle of La Tâche Grand Cru Domaine de la Romanée-Conti 1959                            €3,040 17/01/2018 Austria
46 Magnum of Château Latour 1er Grand Cru Classé 2010                            €3,040 19% 12/04/2018 France
47 Magnum of Petrus 1986                            €3,040 0% 15/03/2018 Hong Kong
48 Imperial of Château d’Yquem 1er Cru Classé Supérieur 1986                            €3,040 4% 15/02/2018 USA
49 Bottle of Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru Coche Dury (Domaine) 2008                            €2,967 65% 21/03/2018 France
50 Bottle of Bonnes-Mares Grand Cru d’Auvenay (Domaine) 1999                           €2,918 150% 27/02/2018 China

See all wines currently on sale

Search for the price of a wine

Not yet registered to buy wines with us? Sign up here for free!

Other things to read on the iDealwine blog:

A year at auction: the top 50 most expensive bottles of 2017

Romanée-Conti 2000: new auction record on iDealwine at €17,146

America leads the way in wine consumption

China on course to be the world’s second largest consumer market for wine by 2020

You May Also Like

Top 20 of Bordeaux wines

Our regional ranking of grands crus sold at auction in the first half of 2017 would obviously not be complete ...

Current Auction: La Chapelle 61, Mouton 2000 & over 3,000 lots

  This auction features a very large diversity of wines and includes legendary bottles: an Hermitage La Chapelle 1961 from Jaboulet, ...

Number crunching: 15 facts and figures about the wine industry

We’ve compiled a list of 15 intriguing facts and figures to do with the wonderful world of wine: Wine production ...