Consumer demand for Domaine de la Romanee-Conti and vintage Krug Champagne helped Zachys to achieve one of the biggest New York wine auction totals for several years - despite a number of lots falling short of their high estimate.
Talk of a renewed vigour to New York‘s wine auction scene gathered pace late last week after Zachys reported sales of $7.54m from its two-day auction in the city on 26 and 27 February.
The total missed Zachys‘ own pre-sale high estimate of $8m – suggesting a degree of caution among buyers – but the firm said the sale was still the largest by a US wine auction house for ‘nearly a decade’. It offered 1,657 lots, of which 98% were sold.
Last week, rival auction house Acker, Merrall & Condit hailed a resurgence among US-based buyers at its own New York auction.
‘After a number of years of Hong Kong leading the charge in the fine wine auction world, it seems like there is a renaissance in the New York wine auction scene,’ said Zachys’ MD, Jamie Pollack.
The Zachys’ sale also represented a re-assertion of collectors’ interest in top Burgundy and vintage Champagne, despite a lot of fine wine market analysts focusing on a pick-up in demand for Bordeaux classed growths in the past few months.
Zachys said it sold 165 lots of of DRC wines for a collective $1.9m, emphasising the Burgundy estate known simply as ‘the domaine’ as producer of the world’s most desirable wines.
Highlights included a jeroboam of DRC La Tache 1971, which sold for $44,100 against a high estimate of $32,000, and a six-litre methusela of Richebourg from the same vintage, which fetched $46,550 versus a pre-sale top estimate of $50,000.
Zachys also sold many lots of vintage Krug Champagne, including a 48-bottle, Clos du Mesnil vertical that sold for $85,750, with vintages ranging from 1979 to 2003 inclusive. The lot had a high estimate of $100,000. A single magnum of the same wine from 1996 fetched $22,050.
With fine wine indices such as Bordeaux Index and Liv-ex suggesting renewed global demand for Bordeaux in early 2015,
Zachys reported interest in older vintages. A magnum of Petrus 1961 fetched $26,950, versus a high estimate of $26,000.
One six-litre imperial of Mouton Rothschild 1975 signed by artist Andy Warhol – who designed the label for Mouton’s 1975 vintage – sold for $6,738, albeit against a high estimate of $8,000.
Written by Chris Mercer