After a series of high-profile wine auctions, we examine the current state of the market in this in-depth report.

Italian Wines on the Up

On 23 February Acker, Merrall and Condit saw substantial interest in Italian vertical lots. These included a four magnum collection of Bartolo Mascarello Barolo made up of 1952, 71, 86 and 88 vintages, which nearly doubled its estimate of $4,800 and sold for $7,995.

12 bottles of Soldera Brunello sold for $6,150 and an 18-bottle lot of Gaja Sori San Lorenzo sold for $7,995, 30 per cent over its estimate.

Bordeaux versus Burgundy

The Acker, Merrall and Condit auction’s top three lots were all Burgundies. Three bottles of Domaine de la Romanee-Conti 2006 Romanee-Conti sold to an Asian investor for £18,000, a case of 1962 Leroy Romanee-St-Vivant sold for £16,600 and a case of Armand Rousseau 1990 Chambertin Clos de Beze sold for £12,300.

The Bordeaux wines did not get shown up by their Burgundian counterparts, accounting for 15 of the top 25 lots. Stand-out sales included a case of 1989 Haut-Brion and a 1982 Latour, both of which sold for £10,700.

At a Sotheby’s auction in London on 27 February, over £650,000 worth of wine was sold, far higher than the pre-sale estimate, once again proving that the fine wine market is recovering after a turbulent last 24 months.

The star of the sale was a half case of DRC Montrachet 1993, which went to an Asian investor for £21,150.

Christie’s to auction off the UK government’s fine wine cellar 

On 21 March Christie’s in London will be selling off a large chunk of the UK government’s fine wine cellar.

As the government struggles with austerity, it cannot be seen to be luxuriating in fine wine. Recent public outrage at the number of expensive bottles in the government’s cellars has led to this decision, which means that many great cases of wine will flood the market at potentially low prices.

There are some rare lots included in the auction, such as a half-case of 1961 Latour (estimated at £20-30,000), a half-case of 1970 Petrus (estimated at £4-6,000), a case of 1986 Mouton Rothschild (estimated at £5-6,000) and a case of 1986 Le Pin (estimated at £7,500-10,000).

Here at Capital Vintners we stock the finest Bordeaux, Burgundy and Italian wines.