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Lafite prices spiral at record Sotheby’s Hong Kong auction

Asian bidders paid stratospheric prices for prized bottles sent directly from Château Lafite Rothschild's cellars in a Sotheby's auction in Hong Kong today.

Three bottles of 1869 Lafite Rothschild became the world’s most expensive wine sold at auction, fetching US$233,972 each.

In strongly competitive bidding, all 284 lots – 190 of them Lafites – went to Asian buyers.

The sale grossed US$8,440,137 – far beyond the pre-sale estimate for the entire catalogue, US$1,619,110 – 2 ,507,944.

The Lafite-only segment of the book fetched US$8,056,424. The pre-sale estimate for that segment was US$1,501,802 – 2,343,197.


In the last 18 months, Sotheby’s has held 10 consecutive 100%-sold auctions in Hong Kong.

Other than Lafite Rothschild, Domaine Barons de Rothschild sent consignments of Carruades de Lafite, Duhart Milon, L’Evangile and Rieussec.

Jamie Ritchie, president of Sotheby’s International Wine Department and one of the auctioneers, said: ‘Asian wine collectors embraced the opportunity to buy Lafite …and showed their strong appreciation for this great wine.’

Highlights of the Château Lafite Rothschild auction:

  • Two cases of 2009, which will be bottled next year (estimated at $10,000-15,000 each), fetched $68,632.
  • Five cases of 2005 (each $12,000-18,000) each brought $37,435.
  • One 2000 case ($20,000-30,000) brought $71,751; two more of the same brought $62,392 each.
  • Two 1986 cases ($12,000-18,000 each) went for $65,512.
  • An imperial (six-liter bottle) of 1982 ($25,000-55,000) found $148,182.
  • Two regular cases of 1982 ($35,000-65,000 each) each brought $132,584.
  • Six bottles of 1961 ($4,000-6,000) sold for $62,392.
  • A 1959 jeroboam (five-liter bottle, estimated at $30,000-50,000), found $171,579.
  • Three bottles of the 1949 ($5,000-8,000) got $53,034.
  • Two 1945 bottles ($5,000-10,000) brought $49,914.
  • A lone bottle of 1929 ($2,000-3,000) found $34,316.

Written by Howard G. Goldberg

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