Henri Jayer Vosne-Romanee Fetches $265,200 at Christie’s Sale

Simon Tam
Simon Tam, Head of Wine, Christie's China, bids for a telephone client at Christie's wine auction in Hong Kong. The sale featured Burgundies from the cellar of Henri Jayer. Source: Christie's International via Bloomberg

A case of Vosne-Romanee Cros Parantoux 1985 vintage Burgundy from the private cellar of winemaker Henri Jayer fetched HK$2.06 million ($265,200) as the top lot at a Christie’s International sale in Hong Kong.

The auction was 100 percent sold and raised HK$66.03 million, including a 21 percent buyers’ premium, exceeding Christie’s presale estimate of at least HK$20 million, the auction house said in an e-mailed release last night.

The sale showed demand for rare Burgundy vintages even as the Asian appetite for more accessible Bordeaux has cooled, leaving prices for top Medoc producers 20 percent down on the market highs of mid-2011. All bottles in the Christie’s auction came from the private collection of Jayer, who bought his first Vosne-Romanee vineyard in 1951 and became one of the best-known vintners in the region for more than half a century.

“Tonight’s sale demonstrated the enduring passion of our Asian clients for the wines of Burgundy,” Charles Curtis, head of wine for Christie’s Asia, said in the e-mailed statement.

The 12 bottles of Premier Cru Cros Parantoux, beating their presale high estimate of HK$1 million, went to an Asian private buyer, as did the other top 10 lots in the auction. A case of 1989 Cros Parantoux and another of Richebourg Grand Cru 1979 each sold for HK$1.82 million, also well above estimates.

The Christie’s sale followed auctions in Hong Kong last month by Sotheby’s, Zachys and Acker, Merrall & Condit before the Chinese New Year holiday. The Acker sale raised HK$66.87 million, Sotheby’s HK$44.06 million and Zachys HK$34.62 million.

Bonhams Sale

At a separate Bonhams sale in London on Feb. 9, Bordeaux dominated the top three lots, with a case of Chateau Latour 1982 fetching 13,800 pounds ($21,800), including a 15 percent buyer’s premium. Six bottles of Chateau Lafite-Rothschild sold for 12,650 pounds and a case of Lafite 1986 for 10,925 pounds.

Auction buying became more selective last year as the Liv-ex Fine Wine 100 Index dropped 15 percent. Since the start of this year it has rallied, rising 1.4 percent in January for its first monthly gain since June.

Hong Kong is the world’s largest wine auction market and is closely watched as a barometer of global sentiment. Last year, $198 million of wine was sold by the four biggest auction houses in the city, more than double the $92 million they sold in New York, the second-largest center, according to Bloomberg News calculations.

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