‘Grotto wines’ make £950k in London

A collection of fine wines stored in a grotto in a secret location in Northern Europe made almost £950,000 when sold in London by Sotheby’s earlier this week.

The first fine wine sale held by the auction house in London this year, the single owner sale collection realised £949,045 (US$1.3 million) – a little shy of its £1m high estimate – with nine bottles of 1989 Le Pin achieving the top price of £21,250.

Close behind the Le Pin lot was fellow Pomerol estate Petrus, a dozen bottles of the 1995 making £20,315. In fact, Right Bank wines and Le Pin in particular dominated the sale’s top lots, with bottles and magnums of Le Pin 2010, 2000, 2005, 2008 and 2011; more Petrus 1995, Ausone 2003 as well as 2000 Lafite all achieving high prices, often in excess of their high-estimate.

Stephen Mould, head of Sotheby’s Wine, Europe, said: “We kicked off the New Year with a superb cellar from a ‘Secret Grotto’, amassed over several decades and consisting of vinous gems centred around Bordeaux. Le Pin and Petrus were the brightest stars of the day, while prices for the first growths were solid throughout, with the 2000 vintage leading the way.

“The second growths on offer, including Cos d’Estournel, Léoville Las Cases and Montrose, all performed well, as did wines from St Emilion – Cheval Blanc, Ausone, Figeac and Angélus. A smattering of Burgundy and wines from Gaja were also sought-after. We now look forward to sales in Hong Kong on 27 January and in New York on 24 February.”

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