Close Menu

Top 10 bottle lots on

Set up in 2000 by three former Paris Stock Exchange executives, offers users the chance to buy and sell fine and rare wines and the opportunity to value the wines in their cellar.

The company hosts around 250 fine wine auctions in Europe every year, along with a series of online auctions. The following ten wines are the highest grossing single bottle lots sold at online auctions hosted by iDealwine between January and June this year.

Spread across 10 different auctions and 15,725 lots, with bidders hailing from 35 different countries, as far as single bottle lots are concerned, Domaine de la Romanée-Conti stole the show, accounting for seven of the wines in the top 10 from vintages spanning between 1969 and 2004.

Of the top 100 highest grossing bottles, 60 of them came from Bordeaux, proving the region still attracts buyers willing to flash the cash, though Burgundy often trumped Bordeaux in terms of the final hammer price, accounting for eight of the wines in the top 10.

While 33 vintages of Pomerol estate Château Pétrus made it into the top 100, only one found its way onto the top 10, while the 2000 vintage in Bordeaux is proving increasingly popular as an investment. Click through to find out which ten single bottles commanded the highest prices when the hammer finally fell.

10: Domaine Armand Rousseau Chambertin Clos de Bèze 1985 in magnum

This magnum was snapped up for €3,480 by a Dane. Allen Meadows aka the Burghound waxes lyrical about it in the following tasting note: “As is often the case, the same wine in magnum format is fresher and more vibrant.

A wonderfully spicy and soaring even kaleidoscopic nose of spicy, pure and very Gevrey aromas that are not especially powerful but there is so much velvet and luscious complexity that this is utterly seductive. While there is still a touch of tannin on the long finish, I would be drinking this wine now and over the next 25 years.”

9: Château Pétrus 1961

Earning an impressive 100 point score from US wine critic Robert Parker, who described it as “pure perfection”, the wine, sold to a Frenchman, went under the hammer for €3,538. Parker’s tasting note on the ’61 vintage from 1996 reads: “An estate only needs to produce a handful of wines such as the 1961 Pétrus to garner an international following. This fully mature wine possesses a Port-like richness reminiscent of 1947 Pétrus and 1947 Cheval Blanc.

The colour revealed considerable amber and garnet, but the wine is crammed with viscous, thick, over-ripe black cherry and mocha-tinged fruit flavours. Extremely full-bodied, with huge amounts of glycerin and alcohol, this unctuousls, thick wine makes for an awesome mouthful. Imagine a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup laced with layers of coffee and cherry and encased in a shell of Valrhona chocolate.”

8: Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, Romanée-Conti 1972

The first of seven DRC wines in our line up, the ’72 vintage sold for €3,600 to a private collector in China this May.

Allen Meadows is more reserved in his praise of this wine than he was of the Armand Rousseau: “The bottle in the tasting (which is the best I have ever experienced) displayed lovely aromatic complexity with plenty of spice but the aromas ran to more of an earthy character with ample sous bois rather than the classic RC profile and were followed by medium weight velvety flavours that displayed more acid on the finish than the mid-palate could comfortably buffer.

This is still an interesting RC but by no means a great one and while good bottles will still be alive and well, there is no reason to delay opening them now.”

7: Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, Romanée-Conti 1982

A DRC from a decade later, 1982, took the seventh spot in the top 100, selling for €3,960 to a private collector in HK.

Meadows seems far more impressed with the ’82 vintage than the ’72: “The wine has a wonderfully expressive nose that has reached full maturity reveals a striking breadth of aromas, including Asian spice, sous bois, forest floor, smoked game and hints of earth and leather plus an interesting note of baked brown sugar that introduces delicious, round, sweet and moderately concentrated flavours that are sappy and easy as the supporting tannins are now almost completely resolved on the solidly long finish.”

6: Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, Romanée-Conti 1969

Sold to a private collector in Hong Kong for €5,160, 1969 was hailed as an excellent vintage in Burgundy, though Allen Meadows believes that the DRCs from that year were not among the best wines made that vintage.

He says: “Easily the best part of the ’69 RC is the nose with its soaring aromas of sous bois, caramel, brown sugar, a lovely range of spice nuances and animal undertones that give way to sweet, round and detailed middle weight flavours that reveal a bit more minerality than usual while culminating in a focused and sweet finish of solid if not sensational length.

The structure is almost completely resolved and I’d be drinking this over the next decade as it risks cracking up.”

5: Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, Romanée-Conti 1983

Going under the hammer for an impressive €5,760 and selling to a private collector in China, Burgundy suffered hail and late season rains in 1983, though luckily for the buyer, they don’t seem to have affected the quality of the wine, as Allen Meadows explains: “An exceptionally floral nose with hints of spice, earth and the initial hints of sous bois that continue onto the delicious and complex flavours that offer impressive concentration on the slightly astringent finish.

While not all of the DRC ’83s display the effects of the hail and late season rains that encouraged rot, these effects on the RC are more a question of texture than taste. For my taste preferences, I would be drinking this now.”

4: Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, Romanée-Conti 1986

Netting a whopping €6,000, this bottle was snapped up by a private collector in China. Tasting the wine in 2007, Meadows described it thus: “An expressive nose that is fully secondary but not tertiary runs to a spicy sauvage character with dried rose petal, roasted herbs and hints of smoke and soy that merge into middle weight flavours.”

3: Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, Romanée-Conti 2004

The youngest wine in our line up, the 2004 vintage of DRC netted €6,600, selling to a private collector in Hong Kong. It seems to have won over Allen Meadows, who described it as “defining the term class.” Praise indeed.

He continues: “A supremely beautiful nose with a stunning mélange of spice notes, floral notes, violets, red and black berry fruit aromas plus nuances of earth, game and smoke combine to perfectly complement the pure and unbelievably precise flavours underpinned by sophisticated tannins and huge length.

Like the ’04 La Tâche, this isn’t the greatest vintage of Romanée-Conti I have ever tasted but it is one of the very finest in terms of the delicacy and harmony of expression.”

2: Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, Romanée-Conti 1996

The final and highest grossing DRC in our round up, the 1996 vintage went under the hammer for €8,020 in April, selling to a French collector. Earning an even higher score from Meadows than that of the 2004 vintage at 96 points, the critic believes the wine has a long life ahead of it, with notes of “black fruit, hoisin, spice, underbrush, anise and violets” on the nose.

He continues: “This will live for decades and it is so young that it hasn’t even begun to reveal what it will ultimately be capable of delivering. And like the 2001, the transparency here is nothing short of remarkable. Opening a bottle anytime before 2012 will be infanticide and as the drinking window suggests, patience is required, or if need be, at least three hours of in a decanter.”

1: Château Mouton Rothschild 1945

After a long sojourn in Burgundy, we’re back in Bordeaux for the top lot in the form of the 1945 vintage of first growth Château Mouton Rothschild, which sold for a staggering €9,081 in April to a French professional. Made the year victory over Japan was declared, ending the Second World War, to mark the special occasion a “V” for victory is visible on the front label designed by Philippe Jullian.

Baron Philippe Rothschild commissioned Jullian to illustrate the 1945 label to mark his return to the estate after the war ended – having escaped from prison he had fled to the UK. The collaboration kick started a tradition that lives on to this day, with the Château commissioning a contemporary artist each year to design its front label.

Artist Philippe Jullian illustrated the 1945 label

While only a second growth at the time, Mouton 1945 is widely hailed to be the wine of the vintage, which helped to boost Baron Philippe’s promotion campaign, won in 1973.

Despite being confiscated by the Germans during the war, the Château produced an exceptional wine in 1945. The hot, dry summer of ’45 was a blessing, leading to an easy harvest and perfectly ripe grapes, though given the circumstances it was the smallest vintage at the estate since 1915.

Critics have been generous in their praise of the wine, with Michael Broadbent MW calling it “simply unmistakable” describing the power and spiciness that surge out of the glass when tasting it “like a sudden eruption of Mount Etna.”

Robert Parker meanwhile, gave it a perfect 100 point score in 1998, describing it thus: “The 1945 Mouton Rothschild is truly one of the immortal wines of the century.

“This wine is easily identifiable because of its exotic, over-ripe, sweet nose of black fruits, coffee, tobacco, mocha and Asian spices. It’s an extraordinarily dense, opulent and rich wine with layers of creamy fruit behaving more like a 1947 Pomerol than a structured, powerful and tannic 1945. This remarkably youthful wine is mindboggling!”

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