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.
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.
SEPTEMBER: 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 OCTOBER: 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 NOVEMBER: 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 DECEMBER: 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.