Edward Roberts International's December 13 wine auction created spirited competition among bidders on Sunday, with 90% of lots selling significantly over their estimates.
Leading the sale was a case of 12 bottles of 1982 Chateau Lafite-Rothschild. Entering the sale with a $20,400-27,600 estimate, they eventually sold for $35,891.
Corks were likely popped as the case left the auction block: it very nearly matched the $38,400 achieved by another dozen bottles of the 1982 at Christie's, last month.
Just behind the 1982 were a dozen bottles of the 1986 vintage. They doubled their lower estimate ($7,100-9,700), bringing $13,804.
Other prices in the sale were as follows:
- One Jeroboam 1971 DRC La Tache, est. $7600-10,300, sold for $12,257
- Five Bottles 1985 DRC La Tache, est. $9300-12,600, sold for $12,138
- Eight Bottles 2006 DRC Horizontal, est. 8100-10,900, sold for $9044
- 12 Bottles 2005 Leroy Pommard Les Vignots, est. $4100-6000, sold for $7854
- One Bottle 1985 Romanee-Conti, est. $6400-8600, sold for $7497
- Seven Bottles 1985 DRC Echezeaux, est. $3600-4800, sold for $7259
- Two Bottles 1990 DRC La Tache, est. $4600-6300, sold for $7021
- 12 Bottles 1985 Chateau Lafite-Rothschild, est. $3100-4100, sold for $6902
- 12 Bottles 1983 Chateau Lafite-Rothschild, est. $3600-4800, sold for $6307
- One Bottle 1961 Chateau Petrus, est. $5900-8000, sold for $6307
- Six Bottles Giacomo Conterno Barolo Monfotino Riserva, est. $3600-4800, sold for $4641
- Nine Bottles 2002 Chateau Lafite-Rothschild, est. $1800-2500, sold for $4046
- Two Bottles 1961 Chateau Mouton-Rothschild, est. $2800-3500, sold for $3808.
Of the above, the seven Bottles 1985 DRC Echezeaux were a star lot, doubling their estimate. Although, surprisingly, the 1961 Chateau Petrus - given a 100/100 "perfect" rating by fine wines expert Robert Parker - failed to reach its top estimate. But its value will undoubtedly continue to appreciate with time.
Edward Roberts International is currently accepting consignments for its next fine wine auction, scheduled for Sunday February 7, 2010, again at the Union League Club of Chicago.
The success both of this sale and the Christie's auction draws a close to a very good year for the fine wine markets, despite the recession.
The markets recovered strongly during the second half of 2009, according to Liv-Ex - thanks, in no small part, to growing interest in Asia.
With the top wines performing better than ever during some periods of the year, set to continue into 2010, now could be the ideal time to start your own fine wine collection.