Close Menu

Lloyd-Webber wine fetches handsome sum

Andrew Lloyd-Webber’s wine collection exceeded expectations by raising £3.5 million when it went under the hammer in Hong Kong last weekend.

The collection, composed of top Bordeaux, red and white Burgundy and some vintage Champagne, was eagerly snapped up by bidders.

Dominated as it was by first growths and Right Bank heavyweights, the collection also included some of Burgundy’s most expensive white wines from the vineyards of Corton Charlemagne, Puligny, Bâtard, Chevalier and Chassagne-Montrachet.

Prices and interest in Burgundy at the auction were high, but some questioned the premium that was paid as a result.

However, the high prices demonstrated that the Asian thirst for wine has clearly not abated. One case of 2000 Mouton Rothschild sold for £17,565 – over 80% more than the average trading price of £9,288 on Liv-ex.

Gary Boom, managing director of Bordeaux Index, said: “In the cold light of day the price paid was up to 60% higher compared to the open market (Mouton is £10,800 a case on Bordeaux Index).

“While some may consider there to be a prestige associated with drinking a bottle of wine once owned by a famed composer of musicals, one wonders whether the excess merits this dubious pleasure.”

However, on a more positive note it would appear that the Asian market has not slowed down from last year, which points to a positive year ahead, according to Boom.

“In the macro sense, there are few signs of tightening in emerging markets, with bumper growth projections forecast again for the key market of China," he said. "The Asian market will grow again this year and it will be led by China.”

Also of interest was the bidding frenzy surrounding some of the collection’s Burgundy lots.

Relative to its size, a magnum of 1990 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti was the most expensive lot, selling for £17,460. Three bottles of 2002 DRC sold for £8,400 apiece.

Potential Asian involvement in Burgundy has been building steadily since last year, although auctions have often been judged the wrong place to take an accurate reading of interests.

Rupert Millar, 27.01.2011

It looks like you're in Asia, would you like to be redirected to the Drinks Business Asia edition?

Yes, take me to the Asia edition No