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DRC easily tops best selling wine names at Sotheby’s in 2019

Domaine de la Romanée-Conti accounted for a quarter of all wine sales by value at Sotheby's in 2019, helping to propel the group to record auction results. See the other best selling wine and spirits producers below.

Burgundy, rare whiskies and limited-edition cases of Mouton Rothschild helped Sotheby’s wine and spirits auction sales to hit a new high of $118m in 2019, up 20% on 2018.

That included a 60-year-old bottle of Macallan distilled in 1926, which set a new world record by fetching £1.5m ($1.9m) at auction in London. 

Below are the top 10 wine and spirits producers in terms of sales across Sotheby’s auction and retail divisions for 2019.

1. Domaine de la Romanée-Conti

Total sales: $27m | Share of Sotheby’s wine and spirits sales: 22% (and 25% of wine sales)

2. The Macallan

Total sales: $8m | Share: 7%

3. Domaine Coche-Dury

Total sales: $8m | Share: 6%

4. Château Mouton Rothschild 

Total sales: $6m | Share: 5%

5. Domaine Armand Rousseau

Total sales: $5m | Share: 4%

6. Domaine Leroy 

Total sales: $5m | Share: 4%

7. Petrus

Total sales: $4m | Share: 3%

8. Dom Pérignon

Total sales: $3m | Share: 3%

9. Château Lafite Rothschild

Total sales: $3m | Share: 2%

10. Domaine Georges Roumier

Total sales: $2m | Share: 2%

Sales of wines from Burgundy’s vaunted DRC matched the domaine’s nearest four competitors on this list combined. DRC constituted 44% of all Burgundy wine sales at Sotheby’s last year, in value terms. 

Auction buyers’ thirst for rare whiskies was also one of the stories of the year, and Sotheby’s said the average bottle price for spirits at auction was $11,333 – 12 times higher than for wine.

Domaine Coche-Dury’s third-placed position partially reflects a record-breaking auction held by Sotheby’s in Hong Kong – which saw 600 lots of the legendary Meursault estate’s wines offered to bidders.

It is also a sign of the times. Burgundy accounted for half of all Sotheby’s auction and retail sales in 2019, up from 42% in 2018.

Bordeaux, meanwhile, dropped from 46% of sales in 2018 to just 26% last year.

Greater numbers of Burgundy collectors sought to sell stock and capitalise on high prices, said Sotheby’s.

Some analysts have recently warned of softer secondary market prices for the very top Burgundy wines, but Sotheby’s said it saw a 12% rise in average bottle price on the region’s wines overall in 2019.  

It predicted that Bordeaux would rise again, however, ‘as supply of Burgundy normalises and appreciation for the price-to-quality of Bordeaux gathers momentum’. 

See also: 

Burgundy fine wine prices get a reality check, says Liv-ex


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