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Henri Jayer sale is biggest wine auction ever

An ex-cellar sale of Henri Jayer wines has shattered all previous wine auction records to achieve an astonishing CHF34.5 million (£26.3m/US$34.5m), which the auctioneer, Baghera Wines, claims, “sets a new reference standard for all rare wine auctions”.

Held in Geneva on 17 June, the sale featured 855 bottles and 209 magnums of Henri Jayer wines that were all consigned to the auction by the late winemaker’s family.

There were around 100 active bidders from Asia, the Americas and Europe either in the auction room itself or bidding over the phone or internet.

Demand for the wines – which are reputedly the last that will ever be released from the cellars – drove many lots to quite unprecedented heights.

Particular highlights included: a 15 magnum vertical of Cros Parantoux spanning 1978 to 2001 which realised CHF1.1m (£841,211); one magnum of 1978 Cros Parantoux went for CHF144,000 (£110,000); six magnums of 1999 Cros Parantoux sold for CHF528,000 (£403,750) and a bottle of 1986 Richebourg made CHF50,400 (£38,500).

Michael Ganne, executive director of Baghera Wines, commented: “This historical auction opens a new page in the world of fine wines. The Baghera Wines’ team is delighted that this sale pays this ultimate tribute to the genius of Henri Jayer and will perpetuate his relentless creative spirit. The very last bottles from Henri Jayer’s cellar have thus reached another dimension: eternity maybe?”

Renowned as one of Burgundy’s greatest winemakers of recent times and a master of Pinot Noir, Henri Jayer’s death in 2006 (following retirement in 2001) has caused the inexorable rise of his wines on the international auction circuit; the rarity of his remaining wines, his reputation and an insatiable demand for top Burgundy combining to create the perfect storm in which a result such as this could exist.

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