Two bottles of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, Romanée-Conti 1945 were auctioned by Sothebys in New York on the 13th October, the first raising US496,000 (£377,000) and the second US$558,000 (£424,000), the latter selling for seventeen times its pre-sale estimate of US$32,000. Despite the “heavily damp-stained, scuffed, torn, partially missing” labels – the wines achieved extraordinary values at auction.
Jamie Ritchie, Worldwide Head of Sotheby’s Wine commented on the DRC sale that “The new world record established in today’s sale is further proof that the demand for wine and spirits of exceptional quality is at an all-time high, and that global collectors are willing to go the extra mile to acquire the rarest bottles of any kind.”
During WWII, DRC produced only 600 bottles of the 1945 vintage, making it much scarcer than the normal, still relatively small, average 6,000 bottle production. Sotheby’s explained that the wine was made just before the vineyards were uprooted during the region’s devastation during the war. Drouhin recalls that as a 7 year old, when he first went to live with his adoptive father, (his parents had died and he moved from Paris to Beaune to live with his aunt and uncle, Maurice), he helped to hide the family’s wine during the War.
Robert Drouhin, took over the family business, Maison Joseph Drouhin, at the age of 24 and grew it to become one of Burgundy’s top negociants, has been instrumental in developing the global demand for the wine of the Burgundy region.
Sotheby’s enjoyed a lucrative Saturday as in the same sale a bottle of 1926 The Macallan whisky with a special label designed by artist, Sir Peter Blake label was sold for US$843,200 (£641,000), the highest price Sotheby’s has achieved for a single spirit. Pop-artist Blake has worked on a number of projects with Macallan but the 1926 is probably the most collectable.
Ritchie went on to say that “The world auction record for a single bottle of wine of any size, established by Sotheby’s New York in 2007, has stood for more than 10 years, and it was a privilege to top our previous success twice in one sale. It has been an honour to work alongside both The Macallan, as well as the Drouhin family, and we look forward to continuing this momentum as we head into our November and December auctions.”
For more information on Burgundy wines, Domaine de la Romanée-Conti and sourcing rare older vintages call us on 0203 384 2262.