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Lafite 1986 Fetches $21,300 at Auction as Bordeaux Prices Cool

Chateau Lafite-Rothschild
Bottles of Chateau Lafite-Rothschild 1986. They are included in Sotheby's London sale. Source: Sotheby's via Bloomberg

A case of Chateau Lafite-Rothschild 1986 fetched 13,225 pounds ($21,300) at a Sotheby’s auction of vintage Bordeaux in London, below highs earlier this year as the top six lots all went for less than their presale estimate.

The two-day sale, which ended yesterday, included more than 7,000 bottles of Bordeaux from an unidentified private European cellar, containing first growths from 1955 to 2004. The auction achieved a total $2.99 million compared with a presale estimate of as much as $4.18 million, with 85 percent of lots sold.

The sale came as economic weakness cooled Asian-driven demand for Lafite and other trophy-label Bordeaux. The Liv-ex 100 Fine Wine Index has fallen for three of the past four months and is down 4 percent since the start of this year.

The price for the 12 bottles of Lafite 1986 compared with HK$288,000 ($36,980) for a case of the same vintage sold at Christie’s in Hong Kong on March 5 and HK$508,200 for another case at Sotheby’s in Hong Kong in October last year, although it was more in line with recent London prices for the wine.

Other top lots falling short of estimates included two cases of Lafite 1996 which fetched 10,120 pounds each including buyer’s premium, an imperial of Lafite 2000, equivalent to eight standard bottles, which also sold for 10,120 pounds, a case of Chateau Latour 2000 which achieved 9,200 pounds and an imperial of Lafite 1986 which went for 8,970 pounds.

Stephen Mould, head of Sotheby’s European wine department, said there was demand for first-growth Chateau Haut-Brion and also so-called Super Seconds such as Chateau Cos d’Estournel and Chateau Palmer.

“There was a much higher sell-through rate for those wines,” he said in a telephone interview.

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