UK auctions: Private cellar unlocked at Christie's

  • Wednesday 1 November 2000

Of the 712 lots on sale at Christie's auction on 26 October in London, no fewer than 462 came from a private cellar in the continent which had lain undisturbed since the original purchase.

The outstanding feature of the cellar was its impressive array of red Bordeaux from the excellent vintages of 1982, 1986, 1989 and also 1990, 1995 and 1996 and the prices obtained offered an interesting insight into the relative value of these vintages today.

Prices for 1982 classified chateaux were steady but below the year's best at First Growth level. Lower down the order, there were new highs this year for Gruaud-Larose at £990 (US$1,485), La Lagune £660 (US$990), Branaire-Ducru £420 (US$630), Sociando-Mallet £530 (US$795) and La Mission Haut Brion £970 (US$1,455), while St.Emilion and Pomerol prices also hardened. Prices include buyer's premium.

1986 prices showed little movement. Equally 1989 prices hovered at similar levels with emerging stars in Montrose at £880 (US$1,320), Sociando-Mallet £420 (US$630) and, on the right bank, Angelus at £1,100 (US$1,650) and Le Terte Roteboeuf, which realised £1,250 (US$1,875).

1990 dropped back a little after a strong performance throughout the year, although Pichon-Lalande at £770 (US$1,155) and Grand-Puy-Lacoste £680 (US$1,020) bucked the trend. It was the same story in 1995 and 1996 with only Leoville-Barton posting increases in both vintages at £400 (US$600).

Elsewhere, red Burgundy fared generally better than red Bordeaux with number of lots exceedings their estimates. A single bottle of 1995 Romanee-Conti fetched a staggering £2,200 (US$3,300). Others to note were 12 bottles of 1991 and 1993 Clos de la Roche Grand Cru, Ponsot, which sold for £1,540 (US$2,310), 12 bottles of 1996 Chambertin (Armand Rousseau) and Clos de la Roche Grand Cru (Hubert Lignier), selling for £1,485 (US$2,230) and a case of 1990 Musigny Grand Cru at £3,630 (US$5,445).

picture courtesy of Christie's

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