Burgundy Leading Auctions as Bordeaux Anticipates 2014s

Burgundy wines are dominating top lots at global auctions even as collectors’ attention is starting to turn to the new Bordeaux 2014 vintage being presented to the wine trade at the end of this month for sale as futures.

Two three-liter jeroboams of La Tache 1971 Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Burgundy sold for $44,100 each at a recent Zachys auction in New York and a 1.5 liter magnum of neighboring Romanee-Conti 1971 DRC fetched $41,650, all beating estimates, while a Sotheby’s sale in London March 25 highlights wine from Burgundy growers including Ponsot, de Vogue and Meo-Camuzet.

Sales of wine from Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, a group of historic vineyards in Vosne-Romanee producing small volumes of grand cru pinot noir red wine, totaled $1.9 million at the Zachys sale in New York ended Feb. 27, part of a week-long Burgundy celebration in the city. The results extended the trend of Burgundy prices remaining buoyant even as Bordeaux has struggled to generate demand in the international wine trade.

“The market appeared to cool in February; Bordeaux’s trade share dropped,” the London-based Liv-ex wine market said in its monthly Cellar Watch report e-mailed March 11. “However, with the exchange seeing a record number of trades, the news was not all negative.”

With London investors awaiting the release of the new Bordeaux vintage, Burgundy remained center stage in the auction rooms. Other top lots in the Zachys sale included a 12-bottle assortment case of Domaine de la Romanee Conti 1990, which fetched $67,375, six bottles of La Tache 2005 DRC, which sold for $31,850 and a 6-liter methuselah of Richebourg 1971 DRC, which achieved a price of $46,550, according to a Zachys statement.

Bonnes Mares

Top Bordeaux in the sale included two bottles of Le Pin 1982 Pomerol, which sold for $19,600, a magnum of Chateau Petrus 1961 which fetched $26,950 and a six-liter imperial of Chateau La Mission Haut Brion 1989, which sold for $13,475.

A two-day sale by Wally’s Auctions in New York ended Feb. 21 included a case each of Bonnes Mares Domaine d’Auvenay and Bonnes Mares Domaine G. Roumier, both from the 1996 vintage, which both sold for the same price of $19,520.

The Sotheby’s London sale March 25 is led by a six-bottle lot of Romanee-Conti 1993 DRC, which carries an upper estimate of 44,000 pounds ($64,875) and 12 bottles of La Tache 2009 DRC, with a top estimate of 32,000 pounds.

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