Historic Burgundies from winemaker Henri Jayer stretching back more than four decades led a wine auction by Sotheby’s in London, accounting for four of the top five lots and beating presale estimates on strong Asian demand.
Eleven bottles of Jayer’s 1970 Richebourg sold on July 17 for 72,850 pounds ($110,800) including a buyer’s premium, compared with an upper estimate excluding fees of 34,000 pounds, according to a Sotheby’s statement. A four-bottle lot of Jayer’s Vosne-Romanee 1990 Cros Parantoux and a half-case of the 1993 each sold for 37,600 pounds while a magnum of 1978 Richebourg fetched 28,200 pounds.
Demand for rare Burgundies has driven auctions this year, with Asian buyers acquire all of the top four Jayer lots and seven out of the top 10 lots at the sale. Chinese and other collectors have focused more on that region than on the Bordeaux wines which powered a market bull run in 2010 and 2011.
“The Asians are still very strong buyers,” Stephen Mould, head of Sotheby’s European wine department, said by telephone. “The online bidding goes from strength to strength.”
Jayer, who died in 2006, has become one of Burgundy’s most sought-after wine-makers. His Cros Parantoux, from a 2.5-acre (1 hectare) premier cru vineyard that was an artichoke field in World War II, has acquired trophy status, with a case of the 1985 vintage fetching as much as HK$2.06 million ($265,600) at a Christie’s International Plc sale in Hong Kong in February 2012.
Chateau Petrus, one of the two most expensive Pomerol producers, topped Bordeaux lots at the Sotheby’s sale this month, with 11 bottles of the 1990 fetching 25,850 pounds. Five magnums each of Petrus’s 1967 and 1976 vintages sold for 14,100 pounds and 11,163 pounds respectively, while three bottles of the 1976 reached 2,233 pounds. “Petrus still seems to be in demand,” Mould said.
The auction came as the Liv-ex Fine Wine 50 Index, a barometer of Bordeaux prices in the wider market, has risen 4 percent this year. It fell 2 percent in the second quarter, and has slipped further during July, after a 7 percent gain in the first three months.
Following is a table of major wine auctions held so far this year, with the total sold. Links are to auction websites or results statements.
JANUARY: Jan. 11/12: Zachys, Hong Kong $4.65 mln Jan. 25/26: Acker, Merrall & Condit, Hong Kong $6.82 mln Jan. 30: Sotheby’s, London $2.22 mln FEBRUARY: Feb. 2: Hart Davis Hart, Chicago $4.40 mln Feb. 21: Christie’s, London $1.47 mln Feb. 23: Acker, Merrall & Condit, New York £3.10 mln Feb. 23: Sotheby’s, New York $1.46 mln Feb. 27: Sotheby’s, London $1.04 mln MARCH: March 7/8: Zachys, New York $5.81 mln March 14: Christie’s, New York $1.37 mln March 15/16: Christie’s, Hong Kong $6.19 mln March 21: Christie’s, London $1.22 mln March 22/23: Acker Merrall & Condit, Hong Kong $4.93 mln March 23: Hart Davis Hart, Chicago $4.42 mln APRIL: April 3: Acker Merrall & Condit, New York $2.30 mln April 3/4: Sotheby’s, Hong Kong $8.86 mln April 17: Sotheby’s, London $2.06 mln April 23: Christie’s, Amsterdam $1.23 mln April 25/26: Zachys, New York $4.13 mln April 26/27: Sotheby’s, New York $2.60 mln April 27: Acker Merrall & Condit, New York $2.48 mln MAY: May 2: Christie’s, London $1.93 mln May 14: Christie’s, Geneva $3.96 mln May 17/18: Hart Davis Hart, Chicago $6.42 mln May 22: Acker Merrall & Condit, New York $2.22 mln May 22: Sotheby’s, London $1.31 mln May 24/25: Zachys, Hong Kong $5.73 mln May 25: Christie’s, Hong Kong $6.32 mln May 30: Christie’s, New York $0.71 mln May 31: Christie’s, New York $1.93 mln JUNE: May 31/June 1: Acker, Merrall & Condit, Hong Kong $5.91 mln June 6: Christie’s, London $1.85 mln June 13/14: Zachys, New York $3.56 mln June 29: Acker Merrall & Condit, Hamptons $3.40 mln June 28/29: Hart Davis Hart, Chicago $4.75 mln JULY: July 17: Sotheby’s, London $2.09 mln