Sotheby’s claims lead in wine auction results

UK-based auction house Sotheby’s claims to have “dominated” the global fine wine auction market in 2016 with sales in excess of US$70 million.

lot-140-mouton-rothschild-2000The house’s sales figures for the year of $73,759,393 (£59.2m), represent a 22% increase on last year’s figure of $60.4m.

New York was far and away the auctioneer’s most prosperous market, representing $33.9m worth of sales, followed by Hong Kong on $21.9m and London $17.8m.

Over the course of the year Sotheby’s sold 17,989 lots over 27 auctions – including 10 single-owner sales – in the three markets, with an average lot price of $4,047.

The house’s most successful sale of the year was from the cellar of billionaire wine collector William ‘Bill’ Koch, which totaled $21.9m (the same as the entirety of the Hong Kong sales) – an auction Sotheby’s described at the time as “redefining the auction landscape”.

Jamie Ritchie, worldwide head of Sotheby’s Wine, commented: “With a 22% increase in auction sales to $74m, we significantly outperformed the market. Our ability to source the world’s great wines, and expand the fine-wine collector base by bringing in new clients on a global basis, is unparalleled. The market for rare wines that are ready to drink continues to be very strong, while younger wines are maintaining their prices and reasonably stable. We expect strong demand to continue in 2017 and look forward to announcing a strong series of sales.”

Sotheby’s held its last fine wine sale of the season in London yesterday (14 December), brought in a total of £1.4m.

The sale was dominated by Burgundy, with cases of red and white Domaine de la Romanée-Conti at the top of the bestsellers list, eight magnums of Carré d’As 2000, 10-bottles of 1982 Lafite, 2000 Mouton-Rothschild and 1989 and 1998 Petrus also performed well.

Stephen Mould, head of Sotheby’s Wine for Europe, commented: “We were delighted with the results of the final sale of the year, which achieved a total above the high estimate and demonstrated the continuing strength of our London wine auctions.

“Domaine de la Romanée-Conti commanded the top prices, while bidding for blue-chip Bordeaux remained solid throughout the sale. As we are in the festive season, Champagne corks were popping with Dom Pérignon 1996 and Dom Pérignon Rosé 1996 flying over their estimates. Elsewhere, a great selection of Coche Dury exceeded expectations to bring sparkling prices.”


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