Sotheby’s success and dictator’s Champagne

A successful Sotheby’s auction and Juan Peron’s Champagne dominate auctions past and future this month.

auction.jpgSotheby’s reported that its two-day auction last week beat its pre-sale estimates to achieve £2,342,953, with a new world record price paid for six magnums of Le Pin 1982 – £80,500 (high estimate £60,000), sold to a US trade buyer.

The next seven lots in the top 10 alternated between Domaine de la Romanée-Conti and Pétrus, with DRC 1988 at £71,300 for a case and Pétrus 1982 for £59,800 following closely in Le Pin’s footsteps.

Two cases of Lafite 1996 brought up the last two places on the top 10 list, selling for £14,375 apiece – comfortably inside their pre-sale estimates of £12,000 – £16,000.

Head of Sotheby’s European Wine Department, Stephen Mould, called the auction “extraordinary”.

Mould also singled out a case of Echézaux 1995 from Georges and Henri Jayer, which went over its high estimate of £8,000 to sell for £12,650.

Also of interest was the collection of 2.5 litre Marie-Jeannes from “the collection of a highly regarded wine writer”, due to the fact that they are no longer produced.

The first lot, a Margaux 1985 went from £750 to £3,680 after a bout of internet and phone bidding.

Likewise, the next lot of two Marie-Jeannes of Château Trotanoy 1985 also sold for £3,680, seven and a half times the high estimate.

Meanwhile, on 7 July Bonhams will sell a half-bottle of 1937 Perrier Jouët that once belonged to Argentine president Juan Peron.

Valued at £100-£150, the bottle neck is inscribed with the initials “PJ” for Perrier Jouët. Peron’s friend and editor of a Peronist newspaper, Frenchman Pierre Daye, reportedly gave Peron the bottle as he found it amusing that the initials also stood for Peron’s party, the Partido Justicalista.

Rupert Millar, 23.06.2011

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