Chateau Lafite-Rothschild to star at Christie's $1.1m auction

Christie's wine auction in London on March 10 has wine lovers excited. Comprising more than 250 lots, the sale is expected to achieve in the region of £700,000.

The wines are offered from the extensive cellar of a British collector, who enjoys both drinking wine and collecting it. The vendor has decided to trim down his cellar, keeping only a small number of bottles for private consumption and providing others with a rare opportunity to acquire the very best.

"In the course of a broad, long, career in wine I cannot recall a private collection of wine of this size and quality," commented noted wine expert Michael Broadbent.

A jeroboam of pricey 1986
Château Lafite-Rothschild

"I can say without hesitation that it includes no wines that are less than outstanding."

Although not originally purchased for investment, a combination of luck, increased Asian interest in the market, and a discerning palate for the best quality wines has led to a number of cases now being worth much more than their original 'en primeur' price.

Three examples from Château Lafite-Rothschild include:

·         A superb 1986 vintage for which the 'en primeur' price in 1987 was £350 for a 12 bottle case, now estimated at £14,000-17,000.

·         A 1996 vintage, released in 1997 for £950 and now expected to achieve £12,000-15,000.

·         A 2000 vintage, released a decade ago at £1,950 per case and regarded as one of the most sought-after wines in the collection. Six magnums of the vintage are expected to realise £15,000-20,000.

Further highlights from the collection include nine bottles of Pétrus, vintage 1989, estimated at £14,500-18,000 and twelve bottles of Condrieu from Guigal, vintage 2004, which could tempt investors at the more affordable end of the market, with an estimate of £140-180.


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