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DRC tops Sotheby’s rankings in 2014

Auction house Sotheby’s has released its 2014 report and, for the second year in a row, Domaine de la Romanée-Conti has topped the rankings.

As Sotheby’s explained: “The top ten list details the bestselling wine producers over 2014 at both auction and retail.” Bordeaux still dominated sales overall and there was a noted re-emergence of American buyers.

Sotheby’s sold US$65.3m worth of wine in 2014, 22% of which (US$14.3m) came from single-owner or ex-cellar sales. It was the most profitable year since 2011 when sales were US$88.3m.

The top lot was a “Superlot” of DRC made up of 114 bottles spanning 1992-2010, which went for HK$12.5m (US$1.6m) last October in Hong Kong and set a new world record for wine sold at auction.

Having consistently dominated sales in London, New York and Hong Kong throughout the year, the Burgundian super star realised US$8.9 million in sales – a 24% increase on its 2013 haul.

The rest of the top 10 list changed relatively little between 2013 and 2014. Lafite slipped from second to third place on the list having seen a 10% dip in value and was replaced by Right Bank giant Pétrus, which went up 30% and, like DRC, was conspicuous at the top of sales results lists in 2014.

Latour rose from sixth to fourth place on the back of a 56% and Mouton stayed steady at fifth despite a -2% fall in sales (this was, of course, before the recent ex-cellar sale in Hong Kong).

Cheval Blanc saw an 85% rise in sales value and went from eighth to sixth on the list while Margaux despite a 57% increase in value stayed in seventh place.

Haut-Brion suffered -41% fall and tumbled from fourth to eighth and Henri Jayer remained at ninth.

The only real change was at the end of the list. In 2013 Vega Sicilia was a surprise addition to the all-French list. Last year another Burgundian estate replaced it – Domain Drouhin.

Sitting at 48th place in 2013 it rocketed 545% in terms of sales to US$1m to scoop the last place on the list. The ex-cellar sale conducted by Sotheby’s in New York last spring almost certainly was the chief cause of this boom.

Jamie Ritchie: CEO and president Americas and Asia for Sotheby’s Wine, said: “Once again DRC triumphed in the Sotheby’s Ranking boosted by the $1.6 million Romanée-Conti ‘Superlot’.

“Bordeaux was also in demand in 2014 making up 62% of auction sales with Château Pétrus moving up to second place with a 30% increase. The continued resurgence of the US market meant that Asian buyers were less dominant last year although they still account for over half of global sales.”

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