Montrachet Leflaive Magnums Lead Christie’s U.K. Auction

Six magnums of Montrachet Grand Cru white Burgundy from Domaine Leflaive spanning vintages from 2005 to 2010 fetched the top price of 76,050 pounds ($115,400) at a Christie’s International Plc auction in London this week.

A half case of Chateau Latour 1961 Bordeaux and a five-bottle lot of Hermitage La Chapelle 1961 Rhone each sold for 28,080 pounds, according to e-mailed results from Christie’s. The sale raised a total 806,500 pounds ($1.2 million), with 86 percent sold by lot and 94 percent by value.

Wine prices have revived over the past four months after the London-based Liv-ex Fine Wine 50 Index slumped in November to its lowest level since March 2010. It has rallied 10 percent since then, including 2.9 percent in February, and in January advanced 3.5 percent, its biggest monthly gain for two years.

“Improved market conditions evident in January continued into February, notably in the second half, dispelling any concerns that the increase in demand was only Chinese New Year-related,” Miles Davis, partner in London-based Wine Asset Managers LLP, with $20 million under management, said in his monthly market report. “Demand from Asia is returning.”

The Latour lot at Christie’s sold to the Asian trade. Its price with fees compared with a guide price of 20,000 pounds to 30,000 pounds, based on hammer prices.

The Latour was part of a sale by the U.K. Government. As part of its austerity drive, the state-owned Hospitality Fund Cellar included six lots of labels deemed too expensive to serve at official functions.

Six bottles of Chateau Petrus 1970 from the Hospitality Fund Cellar contributed a further 10,530 pounds, beating an estimate of 6,000 pounds. The half-dozen government lots all sold, raising 74,406 pounds.

Other leading lots at Christie’s this week included a case of 1986 wines from Pomerol grower Le Pin, which fetched 14,040 pounds, as well as a half-case of the same producer’s 1970 vintage and a lot comprising 24 half-bottles of its 1979 wines, which each went under the hammer for 10,530 pounds.

Following is a table of major auctions held so far this year, with the total sold. Links are to auction websites or results statements.


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


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 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
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