Close Menu

Sotheby’s Burgundy sale smashes records

Sotheby’s saw its first exclusive single owner Burgundy sale – the third tranche of the largest wine collection to come to auction – smash eight world records and achieve €2 million (US$2.1 million).

The sale, which was held in the 13th century Caves du Couvent des Cordeliers in Beaune this week, saw more than 175 lots from the cellar of visionary wine and art collector Pierre Chen sold.

George Lacey, head of Sotheby’s Wine, Asia said the strong activity seen across all channels, including a full room of “spirited in-person bidding”, was testament to the “outstanding quality of Pierre Chen’s wines”.

“Pierre Chen is a visionary collector who is intimately linked with Beaune and the wider Burgundy region. We are delighted that Sotheby’s, in partnership with Pierre Chen, has been able to continue to grow its presence and role within the community and market here, by offering this sale to our local and international clients immediately following the conclusion of the Musique et Vin festival, an important fixture of our annual calendar,” he said.

More than a third of the lots sold achieved prices above their high estimates, and Asia-based buyers accounted for more than 70% of the overall spend.

Lacey also noted in particular the number of new world record prices being set in the Beaune saleroom.

Among these was a three-bottle lot of 2007 DRC Montrachet which sold for €15,800 per bottle – around 50% higher than the previous world record. Similarly a magnum of 2005 DRC La Tâche, smashed the previous world record price to achieve €35,000 per magnum, while a three-bittle lot of 2014 DRC La Tâche topped another world record price, at more than €9,100 per bottle.

Other records beaten for Burgundy wines saw a three-bottle lot of 2005 DRC Échezeaux, achieve more than double the previous world record, at €10,000 per bottle, while a 12 bottle case of 1990 Rousseau Chambertin Clos de Bèze, sold for €8,300 per bottle, echoed by a record €5,700 per bottle for the 2009 Rousseau Chambertin, in a 12 bottle lot.

Meanwhile a three-bottle lot of 2011 Domaine Leroy Chambertin smashed another world record to achieve €16,600 per bottle.

The Beaune sale follows last month’s exclusive sale of Champagne from the collection of Pierre Chen, which achieved €1.35 million (US$1.45 million). So far, the two auctions held in France have brought a combined total of €3.3 million (US$3.6 million), making it easily the most valuable single owner wine collection ever sold by Sotheby’s in France. Around 45% of the lots sold achieved prices above their high estimates, and the average hammer price was almost twice the average lot value for wine sales at Sotheby’s globally between January and June 2024, at €7,198 per lot.

Two more sales in The Epicurean’s Atlas series from Pierre Chen’s cellar, will take place, in New York in September and Hong Kong in November.


It looks like you're in Asia, would you like to be redirected to the Drinks Business Asia edition?

Yes, take me to the Asia edition No