'One of the 20th century's greatest wines' brings £69,000 at Christie's

A lot comprising six bottles of the Romanée-Conti Grand Cru 1971 lived up to expert's predictions, emerging as the top lot at a Christie's auction of Finest and Rarest Wines.

Originally considered inferior to its vintages of the previous two years, the 1971 has since matured into a highly coveted and exceptionally rare fine wine.

The respected critic Michael Broadbent MW, author of the Pocket Vintage Wine Companion, is among its many high-profile fans.

"Though it has the reputation of being somewhat hard, unyielding and 'untypical', it is these very factors which have so effectively developed the best over the past 35 years," he wrote.

In the end, the Romanée-Conti Grand Cru 1971 comfortably exceeded its £50,000 pre-sale estimate, eventually realising £71,300.

Another keenly-watched lot in the sale was 12 bottles of the Hermitage La Chapelle 1961 - once awarded the full three-digits on eminent wine critic Robert Parker's famous 100-point scale.

"This in unquestioningly one of the greatest wines made in the 20th century," enthused Parker. "This full-bodied, seamless, mouthfilling 1961 is truly immortal."

This immortality was confirmed when the 1961 emerged as the auction's second-highest lot, selling above its £45,000-60,000 estimate for a final value of £69,000.

The Christie's sale took place on June 10.


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