A very rare case of 1988 Romanée-Conti consigned from a private French collector was the top lot at Bonhams Fine and Rare Wines auction, yesterday (25th March), where it made a corking £42,550 against a pre-sale estimate of £35,000-40,000.
Wines from the Romanée Conti vineyard, the pinnacle of the Domaine de la Romanée-Contiin Burgundy, are considered among the very finest in the world, and it is exceptionally unusual to find a complete case of a dozen bottles.
This case, from the excellent 1988 vintage, was still sealed with its metal banding until opened for inspection by Bonhams, and its selling price translates to £3,545.83 per bottle.
The wines on offer consistently beat their pre-sale estimate prices. Other highlights of the sale included two lots of a dozen bottles of Château Lafite Rothschild 1986, which brought £14,950 and £13,800.
The rare case of 1988 Romanée-Conti, sold for £42,550
Champagne also fared well with two lots of Dom Pérignon Rosé 1973 making it into the top ten lots. A case of 12 bottles went for £9,200 (estimate £3,600-4,200) and a separate lot of 6 bottles sold for £6,670 - more than three times its estimate of £1,800-2,000.
The sale made over £521,000 in total, with nearly 90% sold by value.
"This was a marvellous result which shows that the market for fine wines with good provenance continues to surge forward," said Richard Harvey, Head of Department.
"Whilst the rise in the price of Chateau Lafite Rothschild has been well documented, it was very encouraging to see such strong prices for mature vintage Champagne."