Lafite ’82, Romanee-Conti Joins Meursault at Sotheby’s

Seven cases of Chateau Lafite-Rothschild 1982 and five of Chateau Cheval Blanc from the same year are among top Bordeaux wines going on sale with Burgundies including Romanee-Conti and Meursault at Sotheby’s in New York.

The Lafite, a first-growth estate in the Pauillac region north of Bordeaux, carries a presale estimate of as much as $30,000 a case and the Cheval Blanc, from Saint-Emilion, is priced to fetch as much as $9,000, according to Sotheby’s. Two three-bottle lots of Romanee-Conti, one dating from 1999 and the other 2010, are estimated to fetch as much as $40,000 each.

The auction on Sept. 21 comes as the Liv-ex Fine Wine 50 Index of top Bordeaux vintages has risen 3 percent this year, with declines since mid-March erasing more than half of the gain of 8 percent in the first 10 weeks of the year. Demand at recent auctions has been driven by older Burgundy vintages as appetite for Bordeaux has been inconsistent.

“There’s still some decent demand coming out of Asia,” Chris Smith, investment manager at The Wine Investment Fund in London, said by telephone. The fund, invested in Bordeaux, manages $50 million.

The Sotheby’s sale also features a four-bottle lot of Romanee-Conti 2004 estimated to sell for as much as $37,500 and two bottles of the same vineyard’s 1996 wine priced to fetch as much as $25,000.

Grand Cru

At a Bonhams sale in London last month, three bottles of Romanee-Conti 1999 made up the top lot, selling for 23,000 pounds ($35,100), while another three-bottle lot of Romanee-Conti 1989 sold for 17,250 pounds.

The Romanee-Conti vineyard in Vosne-Romanee is just under 2 hectares (5 acres) and has its own appellation as a Burgundy grand cru wine. Lafite’s estate in Bordeaux dates back at least to the 17th century and has been controlled by the Rothschild family since its acquisition by Baron James de Rothschild, then head of its French branch, in August 1868.

Other wines in the Sotheby’s sale include a magnum of white Meursault Les Rougeots J-F Coche-Dury 1996, estimated to sell for as much as $1,500, and two bottles of Corton Charlemagne from the same grower, priced to fetch as much as $3,250.

A case of Chateauneuf du Pape 2005 from Chateau Rayas in the Rhone is also on sale, carrying a top estimate of $6,500, along with six magnums of 1996 Dom Perignon Rose Champagne priced to fetch as much as $4,750 and three magnums of 1988 Krug estimated at as much as $2,500.

The wines are part of a multiple-owner sale drawn from private cellars in North America which, together with a separate auction the previous evening, is estimated by Sotheby’s to sell for as much as $4 million.

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.

Aug. 31:         Christie’s, Hong Kong


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:          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. 24/25:      Zachys, New York
Oct. 25/26:      Acker Merrall & Condit, Hong Kong
Oct. 26:         Hart Davis Hart, Chicago


Nov. 7:          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. 22          Christie’s, Hong Kong
Nov. 22/23:      Zachys, Hong Kong
Nov. 23:         Bonhams, San Francisco


Dec. 6/7:        Zachys, New York
Dec. 7:          Christie’s, New York
Dec. 7:          Hart Davis Hart, Chicago
Dec. 11:         Sotheby’s, London
Dec. 12:         Bonhams, London
Dec. 12:         Christie’s, London
Dec. 13/14       Acker Merrall & Condit, Hong Kong
Dec. 18:         Acker Merrall & Condit, New York