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Latour sets the record for Christie’s first Paris sale

A rare imperial of Château Latour 1961 has made nearly twice the expected price at Christie's' first Paris wine auction.

The mint-condition 6-litre bottle – sourced from the Château itself as part of the sale’s Hommage aux Grand Crus (homage to the first growths) – was hammered down for €25.300 (£15,812) on 14 September. Bidding far exceeded the €13,000-15,000 (£8,200-9,500) estimate for lot 934.

The premier cru classé Pauillac proved the star of the auction’s rare First Growth lots. Six magnums of Latour 1959 – another great vintage of the century – sold for €18,400 (£11,500) to be the second biggest earner of the day. A jeroboam (4.5 litres) of the Château’s 1961 took the fourth slot, with a sale price of €16,675 (£10,421).

Rare burgundies and Pomerols also made it to the top ten. A 6-litre methuselah of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti 1983 went for €18,4000 (£11,500), while six bottles of Château Pétrus 1990 made €10.925 (£6.828). (A Burgundian methuselah is the same size as a Bordelais imperial.)

And a case of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti’s La Tâche 1989 made €9,200 (£5,750), exceeding its estimate by several thousand euros.

The sale made just over €1m in total, and 76% of the 984 fine wine lots were sold. Prices quoted include the 15% buyer’s premium.

Christie’s inaugral Paris sale comes after a change in French law last December permitted foreign auction houses to do business on French soil. Christie’s next Paris wine sale will be on 7 December 2002.

Written by Liz Hughes17 September 2002

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