Bonhams sale of Fine & Rare wines, on 5th & 6th December, realised almost £1.2 million with over 88% sold by value.
Burgundy led the way, with the top lot in the sale: a case of a dozen bottles of Romanée-Conti from the fine 1988 vintage which made £94,000 (estimate £70,000-80,000). A Romanee-Conti assortment case of the 1996 vintage reached £19,388 (estimate £15,000-18,000), while a six bottle case of 1999 Echezeaux from the Domaine went for £3,877, over double its high estimate of £1,400-1,600. The power of the Domaine's name was also seen in the prices achieved for a six bottle case of 2004 Romanee St Vivant - £3055 (estimate £18,000-2,200) and 2007 Richebourg - £4,465 (estimate £3,000-3,800).
Wines from the late Henri Jayer also sold well. Case lots of Echezeaux 1988 and 1994, from Henri & Georges Jayer, sold for £21,150 (estimate £18,000-25,000) and £18,800 (estimate£16,000-22,000). Rare single bottles of Henri Jayer's 1970 Richebourg sold for £4,700 each (estimate £2,000-3,000); the same price was achieved for 6 bottles of Domaine Ponsot Clos de la Roche 1964 (estimate £300-350) and two bottles of Comte Georges de Vogue 1962 made £998 (estimate £400-500). All these rare bottles were found in a Belgian cellar.
Other Burgundy domaines to achieve high prices were a Leroy case of 1971 Grands Echézeaux which sold for £10,575 (estimate £7,500-8,500). Six magnums of Roumier Bonnes Mares 2005 made £9,987 (estimate £6,000-7,000) and six bottles of Jacques Prieur Musigny from the same vintage achieved £1,468 (estimate £950-1,100). Domaine Armand Rousseau was also much in demand with six bottles of 2008 Chambertin reaching £3,760 (estimate £2,000-2,500).
Pétrus provided the top lots from Bordeaux with case lots of 1990 and 1998 selling for £19,375 (estimate £25,000-30,000) and £22,913 (estimate £18,000-22,000). Among older wines, a single bottle of Chateau Mouton Rothschild 1945, from a Swiss collector, sold for £7,637 (estimate £6.500-7,500) and a single bottle of the legendary Château Cheval Blanc 1947, bottled by John Harvey & Son, made £2,115 (estimate £1500-2000).
A much appreciated feature of Bonhams wine sales is the wide variety on offer. Dessert wines from Massandra in Crimea, for example, sold well over estimate: a dozen bottles of 1936 Cabernet-Sauvignon White Port sold for £1292 (estimate £480-600) and 9 bottles of Alupka White Port made £1057 (estimate £350-420). A dozen bottles of Ridge Monte Bello 1998 achieved £1057 (estimate £750-850) and six bottles of the 2001 vintage made £998 (estimate £600-700).
An area currently generating strong interest is vintage Champagne with a single bottle of Bollinger Vieilles Vignes Francaises 1985 making £998 (estimate £400-500) and a magnum of Salon Blanc de Blancs 1988 reaching £822 (estimate £450-550).
Richard Harvey MW, International head of wine at Bonhams commented, said 'This was a wonderful result for our first sale in our magnificent new salerooms. The majority of wines on offer came from private collectors, many on the Continent, showing that buyers are willing to pay top prices for stock with excellent provenance.'
NOTES FOR EDITORS
Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The present company was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son & Neale. In August 2002, the company acquired Butterfields, the principal firm of auctioneers on the West Coast of America. Today, Bonhams offers more sales than any of its rivals, through two major salerooms in London: New Bond Street and Knightsbridge; and a further three in the UK regions and Scotland. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Carmel, New York and Connecticut in the USA; and Germany, France, Monaco, Hong Kong and Australia. Bonhams has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to www.bonhams.com