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Christie’s breaks records with Tour d’Argent sale

Christie's Finest and Rarest Wines and Spirits sale last week, featuring spirits from Paris's Le Tour d'Argent restaurant, fetched nearly £4.2m (US$6.7m) and broke several records.

Napoleonic: La Tour d’Argent Grande Champagne Cognac 1805

Asian buyers took home half of the top 10 lots and also tended to pay over the high estimates compared with bidders in other locations.

The auction’s wine consignment came from two private sellers, while spirits came from Le Tour d’Argent and le Café Anglais.

The total take of £4,157,901 (US$6,702,536/ €5,110,060) set a new record total for a wine auction in London, Christie’s said.

Among the highlights of the two-day, 1470-lot auction of which 88% was sold, was a case of 12 bottles of Château Cheval Blanc 1947 which went for £126,500, slightly above the high estimate of £125,000.

The top lot of the sale, this also set a house record for the highest price paid for a full case of wine at Christie’s in London. A magnum of the same wine went for £24,150.

A 12-bottle case of Hermitage La Chapelle 1961 (estimated at up to £130,000) went for £113,000 to a European bidder, as did a case of Château Mouton Rothschild 1961, for £27,600.

The spirits from Le Tour d’Argent and Le Café Anglais of which every lot was sold, went for triple the estimate, realising £433,000. The star, a bottle of Clos du Griffier Grande Fine Champagne Cognac 1788, fetched £17,825.

Two 2.5 litre bottles of La Tour d’Argent Grande Champagne Cognac 1805 (pictured) went for £25,300 each, on estimates of £15,000.

‘I think the added historical dimension of the bottles being from the cellars of Le Café Anglais and La Tour d’Argent also drew collectors’ attention,’ said Noah May, Christie’s associate wine specialist.

May pointed to the results achieved for old Calvados from Lemorton and Camut, and Marc de Bourgogne from Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, which far exceeded their high estimates. The DRC Marc de Bourgogne 1929  fetched £2,530, five times its high estimate of £500, while Lemorton Vieux Calvados 1926 fetched £2,070 on a high estimate of £800.

‘We also saw a great deal of bidding on a rare case of six magnums of Graham’s 1897 port, which was bottled specially for La Tour d’Argent and is something that is very unlikely to be seen on the market again’. It realised £9,200.

Written by Maggie Rosen

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