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Consumer thirst for Burgundy ‘nowhere near quenched’

The sustained and spectacular growth in Burgundy over the last year is set to continue into 2022, according to iDealwine, who noted that the trend was “going nowhere anytime soon”.

In the latest rankings published by the global online fine wine auctioneer, Burgundy occupied 49 out of the top 50 most expensive bottles auctioned – up from 39 last year – and 41 of the 50 top lots, up from 36 in 2020. This last ranking also includes multi bottle lots.

For the second year in a row, the most expensive bottle came from Domaine Leroy on the Cote d’Or, which is owned by Lalou Bize-Leroy.  In 2021, the 2006 Musigny went under the hammer for €28,244, up from €17,499 for a 2001 vintage in 2020. Meanwhile the most expensive multi-bottle lot was a mixed case of Domaine de La Romanée-Conti (which Bize-Leroy owns a quarter of) of 12 x 2017 Grand Crus, (including a Romanée-Conti Grand Cru, La Tâche Grand Cru, Richebourg Grand Cru  and Romanée-Saint-Vivant Grand Cru) which fetched €42,857.

DRC also took the second, third and fourth spots in the most expensive bottle ranking.

It was also notable that as a result Bordeaux lost all its places in the top 50 most expensive bottles for 2021 for the first time. However  iDealwine said this was more that it had been “eclipsed by Burgundy’s rising prices”, rather than losing its popularity.  But with the price of Burgundy’s grand crus set to soar even higher on the back of this year’s result, Bordeaux’s now loosened grip on the most expensive wines at auction over the last few years is likely to continue.

However the region did claim ten places in the lot ranking which includes multi-bottle lots, with Petrus, Cheval Blanc, Mouton-Rothschild, and mixed cases all featuring, including a 16-bottle Carré d’As case (Petrus, Latour, Margaux, Haut-Brion), which reached €27,016.

Outside of Bordeaux and Burgundy, the only other wine region in the ranking was the Languedoc, with a 1992 bottle
of Grange des Pères (the first vintage produced by the late Laurent Vaillé) reaching €8,350.

Intense year

2021 was a record year for the online auctioneers, with 48 auctions held and over 190,000 bottles going under the hammer – an increase of 8.5% on last year. This helped generate an estimated €41million in sales, boosting growth of 24%.

In addition to fine wines, there was strong spirit growth, with whisky particularly attracting attention due to iDealwine’s ongoing partnership with La Maison du Whisky on the Fine Spirits Auction. This saw six fine spirits generating approximately €2million.

iDealwine’s CEO Cyrille Jomand said it was a record year driven by the heightened global demand for fine wine.

“Our 100% online auction model that first disrupted the fine wine industry 20 years ago, has culminated in our position as the world’s leading online auction house,” he said.

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