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Petrus ’71 Vies With Lafite, Sassicaia at Bonhams London

Chateau Petrus 1971
A case of Chateau Petrus 1971 Pomerol on sale at Bonhams in London carries a top estimate of 13,000 pounds ($20,130). Source: Bonhams via Bloomberg

A case of Chateau Petrus 1971 Pomerol and two of Chateau Lafite-Rothschild ’82 are among top Bordeaux on sale at Bonhams in London in September, along with Romanee-Conti Burgundy and wines from Italian grower Sassicaia.

The Petrus ’71 carries a top estimate of 13,000 pounds ($20,130) and the cases of Lafite ’82 are priced to fetch as much as 28,000 pounds each, according to the auction house’s online catalog.

The sale on Sept. 12 comes as the Liv-ex Fine Wine 50 Index of top Bordeaux has risen 4 percent this year, with a drop since mid-March erasing half of its gain of 8 percent in the first 10 weeks of the year. As the benchmark heads for its second straight quarter of declines, investor appetite at auctions has been driven more by older Burgundy vintages and wines from other regions such as Champagne, the Rhone Valley and Italy.

Italian wines such as Sassicaia, a pioneering Tuscan producer of Bordeaux-style wines, have “very high market demand,” Sergio Esposito, director of Vino Management’s Bottled Asset Fund, said by phone from Italy. “They are still very affordable compared with anything else in the world that is the top of the top.”

His fund is based in Grand Cayman, with about $9 million currently under management and a further fundraising imminent.

Tuscan Coast

The Bonhams sale includes wines spanning 20 years from Sassicaia, a vineyard on the Tuscan coast in Bolgheri which has pioneered Bordeaux-style wines since the late 1960s. A mixed half-case of its wines from 1982, 1985, 1988 and 1990 carries a top estimate of 3,000 pounds, while a single six-liter imperial from the 2002 vintage is priced to fetch as much as 600 pounds.

Leading Burgundies in the sale include a Domaine de la Romanee-Conti 1978 Assortment case with a top estimate of 25,000 pounds, and another from 1976 priced to fetch as much as 10,000 pounds.

The Romanee-Conti vineyard in Vosne-Romanee is slightly smaller than 2 hectares (5 acres) and has its own appellation as a Burgundy grand cru wine. The rarity of its wines, along with neighboring plots including La Tache, Richebourg and Echezeaux, regularly makes them the highest-priced lots at auctions.

Chateau d’Yquem Sauternes dessert wine from the Bordeaux estate’s 1942, 1967 and 1970 vintages is also up for sale, with a lot comprising six bottles of the 1942 estimated to reach as much as 3,000 pounds.

Here is a list of global wine auctions scheduled so far this year. Dates may be subject to revision, and links are to auction house sale catalogs and websites.


Sept. 7:         Acker Merrall & Condit, New York
Sept. 7:         Sotheby’s, Hong Kong
Sept. 7:         Zachys, Hong Kong
Sept. 12:        Christie’s, London
Sept. 12:        Bonhams, London
Sept. 13/14:     Acker Merrall & Condit, Hong Kong
Sept. 14:        Bonhams, San Francisco
Sept. 18:        Sotheby’s, London
Sept. 20/21:     Sotheby’s, New York
Sept. 19/20:     Zachys, New York
Sept. 21:        Hart Davis Hart, Chicago
Sept. 26:        Christie’s, Shanghai


Oct. 4/5:        Sotheby’s, Hong Kong
Oct. 5:          Acker Merrall & Condit, New York
Oct. 11:         Christie’s, New York
Oct. 23:         Sotheby’s, London
Oct. 24:         Bonhams, London
Oct. 24:         Christie’s, London
Oct. 25/26:      Acker Merrall & Condit, Hong Kong
Oct. 26:         Hart Davis Hart, Chicago


Nov. 7/8:        Christie’s, London
Nov. 13:         Christie’s, Geneva
Nov. 13:         Sotheby’s, London
Nov. 21:         Acker Merrall & Condit, New York
Nov. 21:         Bonhams, Hong Kong
Nov. 23          Christie’s, Hong Kong
Nov. 23:         Bonhams, San Francisco


Dec. 7:          Christie’s, New York
Dec. 7:          Hart Davis Hart, Chicago
Dec. 11:         Sotheby’s, London
Dec. 12:         Bonhams, London
Dec. 12/13:      Christie’s, London
Dec. 13/14       Acker Merrall & Condit, Hong Kong
Dec. 18:         Acker Merrall & Condit, New York

Muse highlights include Farah Nayeri on film and John Mariani on wine.

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