A case of 1945 Mouton, a cellar of fine Bordeaux and an Imperial of Romanee-Conti 1983 are the highlights of Christie's inaugural Paris sale.

Established in 1766, the venerable London auction house has offices in New York, Geneva, Amsterdam, Belgium, Los Angeles and the Far East – but due to French law it has never been able to run auctions in Paris.

Now, as of December last year, a change in the law means foreign auction houses are able to set up in France – to the delight of the wine department at Christie’s, which is looking forward to offering French cellar collections on their home turf.

David Elswood, head of European wine sales said, ‘The sale heralds the arrival of Paris as a major international wine auction centre. With such an alluring array of French fine wine, Paris is the fitting location for such an exciting event. Christie’s presence in Paris ensures excellent French cellar collections can now be offered to a truly international clientele.’

The inaugural sale – headlined ‘Hommage aux Premiers Crus’ – will feature wines from Burgundy, the Rhône and the Loire as well as Bordeaux, but the latter takes pride of place.

On offer will be a case of Mouton-Rothschild 1945 (€55,000-75,000, £35,000-48,000), La-Mission-Haut-Brion from 1947 (€800-1,100, £515-708 per bottle) and 1961 (€800-1,100 per bottle).

A single cellar of 1970s and 1980s claret is in the sale, including five cases of Latour 1981, five cases of Mouton 1981, and six cases of Latour 1986. Then there is Latour, Lafite, Margaux, Haut-Brion and Ducru-Beaucaillou from 1989 and 1990, five cases of Cheval-Blanc from 1990, and two lots of six bottles of Petrus 1990.

Other highlights include fine and rare Burgundy, with an imperial of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti 1983 (€15,000-20,000, £10,000-13,000).

The sale takes place at Christie’s Avenue Matignon, Paris, on 14 September. A masterclass with Anthony Hanson, senior director of Christie’s international wine department, and sommelier Eric Beaumard of Hôtel George V, will be held on 12 September.

Written by Adam Lechmere17 July 2002