La Tache ’90 Vies With Cheval Blanc ’47 at Sotheby’s Sale

A case of La Tache 1990 Domaine de la Romanee Conti Burgundy goes on sale at a Sotheby’s London auction next month along with historic Bordeaux wines, including a single bottle of Chateau Cheval Blanc 1947 from Saint-Emilion.

The La Tache 1990 Cote de Nuits Grand Cru is estimated to fetch as much as 46,000 pounds ($75,100), making it the top lot in the sale, while four bottles of grower Henri Jayer’s Vosne-Romanee Cros Parantoux from the same year are priced to sell for as much as 30,000 pounds, according to Sotheby’s online catalog. The Cheval Blanc carries a top price tag of 5,000 pounds.

While the auction comes as the Liv-ex Fine Wine 50 Index of leading Bordeaux vintages has given up gains made in the first 10 weeks of the year, demand for wines from competing regions such as Burgundy as well as Italy and California is more buoyant as investors and collectors seek to diversify.

Burgundy “is really interesting at the moment,” said Joss Fowler, Director of Fine Wine at London broker Fine+Rare. “The price of land in Burgundy has gone through the roof.”

A four-bottle lot of Richebourg 1986 Jayer may attract bids of as much as 24,000 pounds, while three bottles of Romanee Conti 1996 DRC are estimated to sell for as much as 22,000 pounds, according to Sotheby’s.

Among top Bordeaux in the Sotheby’s sale are a case of Chateau Lafite-Rothschild 1982 priced to fetch up to 26,000 pounds and eight bottles of Chateau Petrus 1982 from Pomerol, with a top estimate of 22,000 pounds. Two bottles of Chateau Latour 1947 carry a 1,800-pound top estimate.

Acker Sale

At an Acker Merrall & Condit auction in New York on Nov. 21, two bottles of Romanee-Conti 1990 DRC sold for $34,440 to take top slot in front of Screaming Eagle from Napa Valley and a Cros Parantoux 1999 Jayer Burgundy.

A vertical lot comprising three-bottle cases of Screaming Eagle from vintages spanning the years from 2006 to 2010 sold for $24,600 while two 12-bottle lots, one from 2005 and the other 2003, by the same grower sold for $20,910 and $17,220 respectively, Acker said in an e-mail.

Collectors seeking opportunities outside Bordeaux estates are showing more interest in wines from regions like California, Jennifer Williams-Bulkeley, managing partner at AOC Investment Advisors in Boston, said by telephone. “Clearly this is where the market’s trending to, because quality has gone up so much.”

Three bottles of the Cros Parantoux 1999 Jayer fetched $22,140 at the sale, according to Acker e-mail. He died in 2006 and has become one of Burgundy’s most sought-after wine-makers.

Jayer’s Cros Parantoux, from a 2.5-acre (1 hectare) premier cru vineyard that was an artichoke field in World War II, has acquired trophy status, notably after a case of the 1985 vintage fetched HK$2.06 million ($265,645) at a Christie’s International Plc auction in Hong Kong in February 2012. At a Hart Davis Hart Wine Co. sale in Chicago earlier this year, a case of his 1990 Cros Parantoux sold for $113,525.

Here is a list of global wine auctions scheduled so far for the rest of this year. Dates may be subject to revision, and links are to auction house sale catalogs and websites.


Dec. 5/6:        Bonhams, London
Dec. 6:          Christie’s, Paris
Dec. 6:          Hart Davis Hart, Chicago
Dec. 6/7:        Zachys, New York
Dec. 7:          Sotheby’s, New York
Dec. 10/11:      Sotheby’s, London
Dec. 12/13:      Christie’s, London
Dec. 13/14       Acker Merrall & Condit, Hong Kong
Dec. 14:         Christie’s, New York
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