Rare Lafite library collection in Sotheby's Hong Kong auction

  • Tuesday 7 September 2010

A massive collection of Chateau Lafite dating back to 1869 comes under the hammer at Sotheby’s Hong Kong next month.

Chateau Lafite 1874

 The collection comes straight from Lafite’s cellars – which Sotheby’s says is a a rare occurrence – and consists of some 2000 bottles spanning vintages from 1869 to 2008.

‘It is almost unheard of for Lafite to release library vintages from their private cellar, but the estate wanted to take the opportunity to honour some of their biggest fans’, the auction house said.

Among the lots being sold are one bottle of 1869, with a high estimate of US$8,000, an 1870 (high estimate US$20,000), and five lots from 1982 (estimate US$70,000).

Other vintages include jeroboams of 1959 (estimated at US$50,000) bottles of 1989, 1996, 2000 and 2005.

There are lots from Lafite’s sister properties: Chateau Duhart Milon, Chateau Rieussec in Sauternes and Chateau l’Evangile in Pomerol.

And Lafite’s second wine Carruades de Lafite, which has great status in China, is also in the auction, in the form of six magnums each of the 1996 and 2000.

Chateau Lafite has huge cachet in China, its finest vintages selling for prices considerably higher than its fellow first growths. Carruades enjoys the same sort of popularity.

Serena Sutcliffe MW, head of wine at Sotheby’s, said wine lovers in Asia ‘have recognised [Lafite’s] extraordinary quality, excitement and longevity.’

The sale takes place at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre on 29 October.

  • Other major sales at Sotheby’s Hong Kong this autumn include the largest collection of Domaine de la Romanee-Conti ever offered by Sotheby’s in Asia, on 2 October. The sale, which includes blue chip Bordeaux such as the first growths, Ausone, Petrus and Cheval Blanc, is part of the cellars of Texan collector Marcus D Hiles, and is estimated at US$1.1m –1.8m.
  • On 13 October Sotheby’s continues its series of sales from the cellar ‘of a great American collector’. Part IV of this series consists of 400 bottles of Chateau Petrus from 1982 to 2005. The 45 magnums, 14 double magnums and 11 imperials are expected to raise between US$3.5m and US$5m.

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