Sotheby's and Fine & Rare Wines in London have both broken their own records with recent sales of Chateau d'Yquem.
On 16 April, Sotheby’s sold a 136-bottle collection of Yquem covering 70 vintages for £368,000 ($725,132) to a private buyer – breaking the London auctioneers’ record for a single wine lot.
And on 18 April, Fine & Rare Wines sold a single bottle of 1811 Chateau d’Yquem for £37,900 – the most expensive single bottle the brokers have ever sold. The wine was sold to Cellarworks, a New York fine wine cellar designer.
Lee Zinser of Cellarworks confirmed that the bottle was bought on behalf of one its own clients ‘for a very special project’.
Stephen Mould, head of Sotheby’s European wine department said the house’s record-breaking lot went for over three times the estimate.
‘This shows there are still people out there with good taste and money,’ he said. ‘We think the buyer has bought this to drink, not to put it in a warehouse somewhere.’
Sotheby’s previous record was a lot of over 300 bottles from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s cellar which in 1997 sold for £242,000.
Simon Davies, head of marketing for Fine & Rare, said, ‘We sell an awful lot of grand cru claret but this was exceptionally rare for us. We actually had two bottles of the so-called “comet vintage” to choose from, and the buyer picked this one especially because it had been reconditioned by the Chateau in 1996.’
Fine & Rare currently has several single- and multi-bottle consignments of old Yquem on its books, including a bottle of 1847 for £33,141. Sotheby’s London will be auctioning a magnum of 1945, as well as 12 bottles of 1976 as part of a sale on 21 May.
Written by Maggie Rosen