Three magnums of Romanee-Conti 1969 Domaine de la Romanee Conti fetched HK$427,000 ($55,100) at a Christie’s International Plc auction in Hong Kong, matching the estimate, as Burgundy accounted for four of the top five lots.
Ten bottles of Henri Jayer’s Vosne-Romanee Premier Cru 2001 Cros Parantoux also sold for the same amount at the auction on Aug. 31, while a case of Petrus 1989 from Bordeaux’s Pomerol region went for HK$317,200, according to a Christie’s statement.
The auction came as the Liv-ex Fine Wine 50 Index of top Bordeaux vintages 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. While the index edged up in August after four straight months of declines, investor appetite at auctions has been driven primarily by older Burgundy vintages while demand for Bordeaux has been inconsistent.
Bordeaux first growths “provided much of the impetus for the market’s decline” seen earlier in the summer, Liv-ex said in a recent market commentary, and in a separate note described left-bank Bordeaux growers as “out of fashion” while noting that in other regions “the wine market is thriving.”
Other leading Burgundies in the sale included three bottles of Romanee-Conti Grand Cru 2003, which fetched HK$317,200, two bottles of the same producer’s 2007 vintage, which sold for HK$158,600 and eight bottles of Montrachet Grand Cru 1990, which attained HK$268,400.
Top Bordeaux in the auction included a case of Petrus 1989, which sold for HK$317,200, and 12 bottles of the same producer’s 1990 vintage, which fetched HK$292,800. A three-bottle lot of Chateau Cheval Blanc 1947 Saint-Emilion sold for HK$268,400, according to the Christie’s online results.
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. Jayer’s Cros Parantoux, from a 2.5-acre premier cru vineyard that was an artichoke field in World War II, has also acquired trophy status.
The sale, with 97 percent of the lots sold by value and 96 percent by lots, raised a total of HK$29.8 million.
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 AUGUST: Aug. 31: Christie’s, Hong Kong $3.84 mln
Muse highlights include Martin Gayford on art, Guy Collins on wine, Jeffrey Burke on books and Amanda Gordon’s Scene Last Night.