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Lafite, Margaux big bottles cause frenzied bidding

The seismic effects of 2005 Bordeaux are still being felt – especially in auction rooms when bidders go into a frenzy over large-format First Growths.

Zachys’ final auction of 2006, on 1-2 December, grossed US$4,779,490, while Hart Davis Hart’s last sale of the year, on 2 December in Chicago, grossed US$2,059,423.

At Zachys, among the 2000 First Growth imperials (6 litres), a Margaux fetched $13,035, the top price for a lone bottle.

A Lafite-Rothschild fetched US$11,850, a Haut-Brion US$10,665, a Latour US$10,665, and a Mouton-Rothschild US$9,480. All went for more than their high estimates.

Six magnums (1.5 litres) of 1982 Mouton fetched US$17,775, and six magnums of 1982 Lafite US$16,590.

Twelve bottles of 1955 Latour from the cellar of Mahler-Besse, the Bordeaux négociant, fetched US$28,440.

This, the sale’s highest single price, was well below the US$35,000 high estimate.

At Hart Davis Hart, a case of 1989 Haut Brion brought US$13,035, a case of 1986 Lafite US$8,887, a case of 1986 Mouton US$9,480, and a case of 1994 Latour US$5,332 – again above high estimates.

‘The market is still reacting to the aggressive release prices of the 2005 Bordeaux,’ said Paul Hart, the president.

‘Bidders are obviously chasing other top vintages from the past 20 years – such as 1986, 1989, 1990, 1995, 1996 and 2000.

‘They all look like bargains compared to the 2005s, and are closer to their window of readiness and maturity.’

Written by Howard G Goldberg in New York

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