Sotheby's are holding another auction of Finest and Rarest Wines (including port) tomorrow (July 14) in London. Boasting 604 lots, there is no doubt of the dominant vintage in the sale.
Six lots consist of sets of Château Lafite 1982, including the four with the highest estimates. It is a universally well-regarded, as this quote from Sotheby's Serena Sutcliffe explains:
"Obviously, I have watched this great wine from birth and it is evolving slowly, in that inimitable Lafite way. In 2009, it has kept its intensely aromatic nose of enormous concentration - amazing when one considers the high yield of the vintage.
"Again, surprisingly, given the hot year, the taste is full of youthful acidity. Decant well in advance of drinking as it plumps out with every hour that passes, a sure indication of the very long life ahead of it."
The expectations of an extensive future naturally lends something to the prospects of the vintage for investment, and its frequent appearance at auction might suggest it is purchased particularly by investors rather than to enter a near-permanent collection - or be drunk.
The range of prices demonstrates the importance of (provable) condition when investing in wine. The two highest priced lots at £28,000-32,000 for 12 bottles are from a collection held in Octavian, Wiltshire, both sets in their original wooden cases.
Similarly, another set of 12 bottles is offered at £22,000-30,000 is it is tissue-wrapped and in pristine condition, whilst one set is at £20,000-30,000 - the lower estimate no doubt due to a raised cork on one of the bottles which is always off-putting.
Collectors of slightly more limited means who fancy the opportunity to own some Lafite '82 will be excited to see a set of four bottles for £5,500-8,500. They are of good appearance, but the labels were actually lost, meaning that Sotheby's had to cut the capsules to determine the vintage.
The sale also includes a 12 bottle lot of rarely seen Le Pin 1990 at £22,000-28,000 (in its original wooden case), and four magnums of Château Latour 1961 with a £12,000-18,000 listing. Watch this space for the results.
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