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1811 Yquem goes for US$49k

A single bottle of 1811 Yquem has made US$49,000 at Christie’s latest New York sale, which also saw the, “world’s oldest dated Madeira” sold.

The sale took place from 2-3 December and made US$3.7 million in total. The bottle of Sauternes – from what is widely considered to be one of the greatest vintages of the 19th century – was authenticated by the estate’s winemaker Sandrine Garbay this October.

Its upper limit was US$60,000 so its final hammer price of $49,000 (£32,500) was, perhaps, something of a disappointment and it stands far short of the record for any white wine sold, which was also an 1811 Yquem, sold to French collector Christian Vanneque for £75,000 in 2011.

More impressive in this regard was a bottle of Terrantez Madeira from 1715 which made $19,600, well above its $15,000 high estimate.

Part of a collection of rare Madeira compiled by a Syrian embroidery merchant by the name of Braheem Kassab, each bottle was marked with his personal seal ‘B.A.K’. A large part of his cellar was auctioned by Christie’s in 1986 and the bottles are apparently “highly sought after”.

The catalogue said it was, “believed to be the oldest dated Madeira in existence”.

The second half of the sale featured the cellar of “investor and wine lover” Baron von Staff-Reitzenstein (who became a partner in former golfer Ernie Els’ South African winery in October this year), of which 1990 Petrus was the main focus.

A 12-pack of the Right Bank’s 1990 was the top lot, realizing $41,650, while three double magnums made $39,200 and another 11 bottles, $31,238.

A case of 2000 Le Pin made $35,525, while a rare full case of 1959 Mouton Rothschild made $20,825 and two bottles of that estate’s celebrated 1945 made $18,375. A further three magnums of 1952 Petrus made $15,952.

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