Christie’s first online-only auction three weeks ago saw many top Bordeaux underperforming, but its London and Hong Kong auctions held on 6th and 8th September brought positive news.
The private collection sold in London on the 6th generated £1,259,975, with 92% sold by lot. Several First Growths went under the hammer, with some seeing strong success: a case of Lafite Rothschild 2000 went for £16,675 – a 26% increase on its last Liv-ex transaction price – while Margaux 1996 saw a 33% increase. Wines from the Left Bank 200 also proved popular, with Leoville Las Cases 1994, Lynch Bages 1988 and Montorse 2003 seeing between a 9% and 22% increase on their last transaction prices.
Others, however, underperformed at the auction, with Mouton 1987 down 20% on its last transaction price, and Margaux 1988 down 18%. Cheval Blanc vintages hit two ends of the spectrum, with the 1990 seeing a 14% decrease on its last transaction price but the 1995 making a 31% increase.
The Hong Kong buyers seemed keener to bite than those in the London, with an impressive 97% sold by lot and 98% by value. Featuring top Burgundy in addition to Bordeaux, the auction saw many wines exceed their Liv-ex trade prices. Leoville Las Cases again proved a success as wines from the Left Bank 200 continued to charm bidders. Las Cases 2000, 2004 and 2006 all went for more than 40% above their trading prices, and Lynch Bages and Pontet Canet 2005 saw around a 25% increase on their Liv-ex transaction prices.
Those wines falling short were largely from the Right Bank, with several Cheval Blanc, Eglise Client and Vieux Chateau Certan making less than their Liv-ex price. 2006s performed particularly poorly, with VCC seeing a 28% decrease on its trade price, and Cheval Blanc 16%. Top Burgundy, including DRC Romanee Conti 2000 and DRC Tache 2002, 2003 and 2004 also undersold. Nevertheless, some DRC exceeded expectations, with a case of DRC Richebourg 2001 selling for £9,255: almost four times the value of its last Liv-ex trade.
Charles Curtis MW, head of wine for Christie’s Asia, reported on the ‘incredible energy and excitement’ that filled the salesroom, and said that ‘Results across the boards exceeded our expectations.’
All prices below are for 12x75, and have been converted to GBP.
Plese note that Liv-ex trade prices do not include merchant margins and represent the prices merchants could expect to achieve when selling wine on the secondary market. Because we are approaching the auction results from a seller's perspective, and the buyer's premium does not go to the vendor, we have used hammer prices for our analysis.