An assorted case of 1999 Domaine de la Romanee-Conti fetched $46,740 at an Acker Merrall & Condit wine sale in New York this month, matching the auction house’s estimate, as Burgundy accounted for three of the top five lots.
Two half-cases of La Tache DRC 2008 sold for $29,520 and an assorted case of Domaine de la Romanee-Conti 2000 went for $27,060, according to an Acker statement on the Sept. 7 sale.
The demand for older Burgundy vintages at auction is in contrast to the muted appetite in recent months for Bordeaux wines, although that is now showing some signs of revival. The Liv-ex Fine Wine 50 Index of top Bordeaux vintages has risen 4 percent this year, paring the decline since the peak of the market in June 2011 to 29 percent.
“The slowdown’s already happened,” Tom Gearing, director of Cult Wines Ltd., a wine-investment company based in Richmond, England, said in an interview on Bloomberg Television’s “The Pulse” with Guy Johnson. “There was a slowdown from midway through 2011 which found a bottom in the market at the end of 2012.”
Other leading lots in the Acker sale included 18 bottles of Napa Valley producer Screaming Eagle spanning the years from 1992 to 2010, which sold for $39,360, and a case of Chateau Lafite-Rothschild 1982 Pauillac, which fetched $36,900.
Pomerol producer Petrus also featured among the top 10 lots, with a six-liter imperial of Petrus 2005 selling for $24,600, a case of the 1996 vintage fetching $19,680 and six bottles of the 2000 selling for $18,450.
Petrus, Screaming Eagle and Romanee-Conti are all vineyards with small production, adding a rarity premium to the price of their wines. 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 Acker auction, with more than 95 percent of lots sold, raised a total of $3.15 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 SEPTEMBER: Sept. 7: Sotheby’s, Hong Kong $4.51 mln Sept. 7: Acker Merrall & Condit, New York $3.15 mln