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£250k DRC sale

A collection of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti has sold for £250,433 (€312,388/$487,485) - quite possibly a record sum for a single lot of DRC.

A Beijing-based entrepreneur bought the 27-bottle set of various vintages of Romanée-Conti from the Antique Wine Company in a private transaction – not an auction, as has been reported elsewhere.

There is no way of verifying whether this is a genuine record as wines from Domaine de la Romanée-Conti frequently change hands in private deals for massive sums. But it is certain that there are few records existing of wines selling at more than £20,000 per bottle.

However, one New York dealer told decanter.com that he has surpassed that sum ‘many times’.

Among the bottles was a rare original case of the1978 vintage, two bottles of 1961 and a bottle of 1990. Several of the bottles were sourced from a private US client.

The same client previously paid £30,000 (€37,404/$59,717.41) for a case of 1982 Château Pétrus.

Stephen Williams, managing director of the Antique Wine Company, said the price achieved proved that the wine market is still thriving, despite the prevailing credit crunch.

‘The top end of the market has seen absolutely no effect from the current economic situation,’ he said.

‘The weakness of the dollar has been beneficial, making it an important source market. Large amounts of wine are now up for sale in the US, and are being bought by the Chinese. For the first time on our company’s history, we are sourcing more fine wine from the USA than from France.’

Williams said he thought the UK would have to start relying on the Far East for record-breaking sales in the future.

‘Asia is an increasingly important market that will double in size over the next few years,’ he said.

‘I am also watching the emerging markets of Russia, Brazil and Mexico with interest.’

Domaine de la Romanée-Conti produces 450 cases each year.

Written by Lucy Shaw

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