New year can commence quietly in the wine world, perhaps a hangover from the seasonal festivities, but the round-up news on market performance continues to whet the appetite for the year ahead as the market starts to gather momentum early 2018.

Fine wine auction statistics for 2017 were published in January by the top houses. Christies held 16 live, fine wine auctions last year in London, Geneva, Hong Kong, New York and Paris, and whilst they have not indicated the total value of fine wine sales across the year they have published some eye-catching individual auction performances:

  • Top Christie’s lot of the year: a 12-bottle case of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti’s Romanée-Conti 1988, sold in London’s September ‘Fine and Rare Wines’ auction for £198,000. Notably 8 out of 10 of Christie’s top performing wines this year hailed from Burgundy, of course dominated by DRC, three lots of Romanée-Conti 1988, one of Romanée-Conti 1991and La Tâche 1996.
  • Second best performing brand was Cheval Blanc with a 12-bottle case of its 1947 vintage raising £168,000 in the December in the ‘Finest and Rarest’ London auction.
  • A single bottle of Chateau Lafite Rothschild 1806 made over £45,000 at the December auction.

Further afield top sales by Christie’s in New York recorded DRC’s Montrachet 1990 (12 bottles), sold for US$104,125 and twelve bottles of Petrus 1947 going under the hammer for $49,000. Meanwhile Château Cheval-Blanc 1947 was the highest selling lot among Christie’s Hong Kong auctions; its May sale saw a case of 12 x 75cl sell for 1,592,500 HKD (US $203,740).

Sotheby’s published their total raised from fine wine auction sales in 2017 as at over US$64million from 21 auctions hosted in London, NY and HK, with their showcase event, ‘A Life of Luxury’ auction in December in NY raising an impressive US$2.6million. Again, Burgundy wines led the way with top lot Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, Romanee Conti 2013, selling for $55,350, exceeding its estimate of $30,000-40,000. Bordeaux was well represented though with 78 lots raising $619,244 in total. A 6-bottle case of DRC Romanee-Conti 1996 went for $134,750, trouncing its estimate of $60,000 – 90,000, in the October ‘Finest and Rarest’ sale.

Meanwhile in Asia, the Sotheby’s HK sale in April saw 12-bottle cases of Vosne Romanée, Cros Parantoux 1990 Henri Jayer and Hermitage, La Chapelle 1961 Paul Jaboulet Aîné sell for 1.2 million HKD (US $157,051) each. The growing Eastern appreciation for alternatives to the top Bordeaux wines was further in evidence in the September HK sale where a vertical 43-bottle parcel of Cult Californian wine Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon achieve the highest-selling lot raising 1,163,750 HKD (US $149,007).

Our newly published January 2018 Fine Wine Market Report provides further information on the top fine wine brands’ performance and things to look out for in 2018 – get your FREE copy here  and for more information speak to a member of our team on 0203 384 2262.