How do record auction prices boost a wine portfolio?

 The Autumn auction season is underway and already making waves. Acker Merrill & Condit’s recent auction held on 13-14th September in Hong Kong lanuched the season in style with 108 world record auction prices, raising an impressive US$6.4 million.

Some highly prized collections were on offer with a strong presence from both the US and mainland China, whose bidders notably drove prices beyond estimate for some of the greatest wines in the world.
Wine auction

Edmund Tuckett and Richard Boyle from the Vin-X team are keen to discuss with you what can be learned from this and their recently attended Sotheby’s London auction, but a few pointers are set out below:

  • Both sales re-enforced the stability of Bordeaux wines, the rejuvenation of the region in 2013 continues with rarer wines achieving outstanding values – the solid base for your wine portfolio.
    Outstanding Bordeaux performance: 1982 Petrus US$61,500 (1 x 12 bottle case) 
  • The current strong appetite for fine Burgundy was vividly on display with 11 world record prices achieved for Domaine de la Romanee-Conti wines alone. The breadth of Burgundy wines sold was of significance and can be viewed as an important indicator of a healthy market. We continue to monitor the opportunities of this region for our clients.
    Burgundy star performer:  1999 DRC-Assortment US$56,769 per case (2-case parcel) 
  • Rarity is increasingly important in maximizing value from your wine portfolio. The finest wines with extremely small production are grabbing attention and are key when considering diversifying your portfolio. We have identified a few outstanding very rare wines to complement your Bordeaux collection – call us now to learn more.
    A rare case of Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon, the debut 1992 vintage, achieved US $56,769

Screaming eagle investment wine

Vin-X’s Edmund Tuckett and Richard Boyle attended a sale of ‘finest and rarest’ wines from the Dowager Viscountess Rothermere at Sotheby’s London this week and noted the following:

  • There was strong interest from buyers in emerging markets in particular China and Russia
  • The presence of online and telephone buyers dominated the bidding throughout the sale
  • Wines from Burgundy performed well with some going for well above their own estimates.  Top highlight – a 12 bottle case of Armand Rousseau Chambertin 2005 went for £14,000, 16% above its high estimate
  • There was enthusiastic interest from Chinese bidders for Yquem and Rieussec
  • Magnums of Bordeaux failed to sell with Lafite being the most undervalued of some of the lots.  Senior Business Manager, Richard Boyle discussed this interesting trend with Head Auctioneer and Senior Director of Sotheby’s Wine Department Stephen Mould, and he explained that in China it is better to be seen offering as a gift two bottles of Claret rather than just one larger Magnum.   The Chinese custom of gifting fine wine as well as buying to display is still very prominent and is a big dynamic in auctions currently
  • Top Burgundy and wines from Pomerol sold well while buyers bid heavily for the most highly prized producers
  • Wines from smaller producers continue to perform well in particular Trotanoy and Pontet Canet – two wines we regularly recommended to our clients )

Edmund and Richard would be delighted to discuss the London Sotheby’s auction with you in more detail, however the benefit of working with a specialist broker such as Vin-X is that you have constant access to the market, the best opportunities identified and secured at any time to suit you. Auctions do provide the opportunity to access rare collections and can provide a strong indicator of trend and value, however the general dynamic of an auction may not always secure the best value for an investor.

For more information, contact your Vin-X broker on 0203 384 2262 or email