Pétrus sets new record

3rd November, 2011 by Rupert Millar

A new record for a case of Pétrus was made at a Christie’s sale in New York last week, while super seconds were in demand at Sotheby’s two day sale.

The top lot of a case of 1961 Pétrus with a US$50,000 to $90,000 estimate, sold for $144,000 – a world record for a case of the Pomerol estate sold at auction.

Other top lots included 11 bottles of 1961 Pétrus which sold for $90,000  – also to a European trade buyer – and a case of Lafite 1982 for $50,400 to a private Asian client.

Charles Antin, wine specialist with Christie’s Americas, commented: “The sale of fine and rare wines at Christie’s New York this past weekend has once again demonstrated the extraordinary strength of the wine auction market, with the sale realising over $2 million. Leading the sale was a 12-bottle lot of the 1961 Pétrus, which realised $144,000 – the highest price on record for a case of Pétrus at auction.

“We were also thrilled with the results achieved for the excellent selection of wines offered direct from the cellars of Marchesi Antinori. With a 100% sell-through rate, the consignment sold at 150% above the high estimate, proving once again that provenance is key to high prices.”

The auction, held on Saturday 29 October was 99% sold by lot and 98% by value fetching a total of $2,105,340.

Sotheby’s two day sale in London, which included wines from “an extraordinary private collection” made £1,870,682 against a pre-sale estimate of £2,115,960 and was 84% sold by lot and 82% by value.

The top lot was a case of 1986 Lafite which sold for £13,225.

Commenting on the sale, Stephen Mould, head of Sotheby’s European wine department, said: “Rarer vintages of first growth Bordeaux went over their top estimates and Château Haut-Brion was in demand across the different format sizes.

“Towards the end of the first day, the super seconds were a sell-out with clients keen to snap up these wines. This trend continued on the second day of the sale with active phone and internet bidding on Pichon Lalande, Ducru Beaucaillou and Palmer, for example. On the right bank there was interest in Cheval Blanc and from Pomerol, prices for most vintages of Gazin were soaring over their top estimates.”

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