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Cheval Blanc and Yquem soar at NY sale

Sotheby’s is celebrating a wildly successful sale of Cheval Blanc and Yquem direct from the châteaux cellars.

The sale was held in New York over the weekend and featured vintages from 1892 to 2009.

The sale was 98% sold by lot with 85% exceeding their estimates meaning that the sale ended on US$2,962,724, nearly $1m over its pre-sale estimate.

Serena Sutcliffe MW, international head of wine at Sotheby’s, said: “This was a spectacular sale and a homage to the legendary status of both Cheval Blanc and Yquem.

“The extraordinary prices achieved were a reflection of the magical way these wines taste and the unequalled perfection of the provenance – the cellars of the two châteaux themselves.”

The top lot was a vertical of nine bottles of Yquem featuring the vintages; 1899, 1909, 1929, 1939, 1949, 1959, 1989, 1999 and 2009.

With a pre-sale estimate of $18,000 to $25,0000, it greatly exceeded expectations with a hammer price of $67,375.

Other highlights included a magnum of Cheval Blanc’s legendary 1947 vintage for $61,250 (estimates $30,000-$50,000) and a case of 1967 Yquem for $58,188 ($20,000-$30,000).

Several of the top lots were for large format bottles of Cheval Blanc, including a Melchior of 2009 for $52,063, another Melchior of 2005 for $42,875 and a Nebuchadnezzar of 2009 which sold for $36,750.

In contrast to several auctions at present, all of the top lots exceeded their estimates.

Particularly spectacular were the cases of 1899 and 1896 Yquem, which had estimates of $5,000-$8,000 and $4,000-$6,000 and sold for 436,750 and $33,688 respectively.

This auction’s success follows in the footsteps of other ex-cellar auctions, notably those of Lafite and Latour but also Palmer and Paul Jaboulet Ainé, although with slightly less spectacular results than the two first growths. Nonetheless, it is a positive step for Cheval Blanc, which has previously showed itself to have quite a temperamental track record at auction.

It almost need not be pointed out that impeccable provenance will have assured this auction’s success. It can only be a matter of time before another important Bordeaux estate announces the sale of a collection direct from its cellars.




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