Burgundy estate Domaine de la Romanée-Conti (DRC) topped the annual Sotheby’s Wine Ranking for the third year in a row, with more than US$10m-worth of wine sold during the year.
The top 10 list, now in its third year, calculates fine wine sales from Sotheby’s auctions and retail operations, with the aim of creating a ‘high-level snapshot’ of global demand for fine wine.
Sotheby’s auction receipts totalled $60.4m in 2015, down 7.5% on the year before despite a number of high-profile, single owner auctions and direct from the winery sales.
Burgundy was the big winner last year, accounting for 40% of Sotheby’s total sales (up from 26%), not far behind Bordeaux’s share of 46% (down from 62%). DRC alone accounted for 17% of the company’s worldwide sales.
An auction of wines direct from Château Mouton Rothschild in January last year helped elevate Mouton to second place on the list, overtaking Pétrus, Château Lafite Rothschild and Château Latour with total sales of $6.1m – still some distance behind DRC at $10.3m.
Another sale of wines direct from Château Margaux lifted the property into fourth spot, despite a slight fall in total sales.
But of the six Bordeaux properties in the top 10, only Mouton recorded an increase in sales last year, in contrast to leading Burgundy domaines DRC (up 16%), Armand Rousseau (up 88%) and Georges Roumier (up 113%).
Asian buyers accounted for 52% of sales (down slightly from 55% last year), compared to 30% from North America (24% in 2014), 15% from Europe (18% in 2014) and 3% from Latin America (2% in 2014).
The top-grossing lot of the year was a six-bottle case of DRC 1990, which fetched $158,000 in Hong Kong.
Jamie Ritchie, CEO and president for Americas and Asia at Sotheby’s Wine, highlighted the success of the company’s single owner and direct from the winery sales, which he said represented over half of turnover at $33m.