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UK auction roundup

The first ever major fine wine sale in Italy was held by Christie's on 30 November with Italian wines attracting most of the attention.

Despite a good response from Italian and foreign buyers in a crowded saleroom at Milan’s Four Seasons Hotel, only 58.5% of the 800 lots offered were sold. ‘We expect to build on this first sale in order to organise other sales in Italy very soon’, commented Thomas Hudson, Christie’s Head of Eurpean Wine Sales, who took charge of the sale.

An exceptional complete vertical of 29 bottles of Sassicaia took top spot at £5,530 (US$7,800) while an American buyer snapped up three bottles of 1985 Sassicaia for £3,450 (US$4,860).

In third place a dozen bottles of 1990 Château Latour made £3,100 (US$4,370), followed by a case of 1989 Château Haut-Brion at £3,040 (US$4,290). Back among Italian fine wines, an imperiale of 2000 Sassicaia sold for £2,760 (US$3,890) to a private Italian buyer and a case of 1997 Solaia £2,630 (US$3,700).

Closer to home, J.Straker, Chadwick & Sons’ 1 December auction held at its premises in Abergavenny, Wales, sold 92% of its 1219 lots on offer. Straker Chadwick do not charge buyer’s premium (just a notional levy of £5 plus vat per lot), a fact which William Chadwick believes encourages wine lovers to try their luck in Wales.

Among the many mixed lots and affordable bin-ends of European and New World wines, notable items included a case of 1995 Margaux, sold for £1,550 (US$2,190), six bottles of 1996 le Pin, which made £1,450 (US$,2050), a single bottle of 1982 Le Pin at £1,500 (US$2,120) and a methusaleh of 2000 Louis Roederer Cristal Brut, knocked down for £1,700 (US$2,400).

Written by Anthony Rose10 December 2001

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