Sotheby's $88.2m landmark year is 'best in 40 years' for wine auctions

According to new figures released by Sotheby's, its Wine auctions in 2010 brought an overall global total of US$88,270,602. This is more than double last year's figure and the highest in the company's 40 years of wine auctions.

The year once again saw extraordinary demand from Asian collectors, with every bottle offered in the eight Hong Kong auctions finding a buyer and major Asian participation in its London and Hong Kong sales. 

"This has been a landmark year for Sotheby's Wine. We achieved our largest ever total and now hold the record for a standard sized bottle, a bottle in any format and for a wine lot sold at auction," said Serena Sutcliffe MW, Worldwide Head of Wine at Sotheby's.

Sotheby's successful worldwide sell through rate was led by Hong Kong where every bottle in every sale has found a buyer.

Meanwhile, January 2011 marks Serena's 20 year anniversary as Head of the Wine Department. "I am thrilled to be celebrating it in Hong Kong with the Andrew Lloyd Webber Wine Collection which we are offering on 22 January," she said.

World record prices

Sotheby's Lafite Ex Cellars sale set a new record for a single standard sized bottle at auction when a bottle of Château Lafite 1869 sold for $232,692.

This means that Sotheby's now holds the World Records for both a standard bottle, a bottle in any format (the Jeroboam of Château Mouton Rothschild 1945 which fetched $310,700 in February 2007 in New York) and any wine lot at auction.

In the case of the latter, that was 50 cases of Château Mouton Rothschild 1982 which sold for US$1,051,600 at Sotheby's New York in 2006. 

All sold out in Hong Kong

Globally, 99% of wine lots found buyers. Meanwhile, every sale Sotheby's has held in Hong Kong since January 2009 has been 100% sold, making a total of 6560 consecutive lots sold. "Sotheby's is the only auction house to have achieved such a remarkable record," said the auction house.

Sotheby's Asian sales were led by two auctions of wine direct from the Châteaux: Cheval Blanc, Yquem and Dom Pérignon which fetched $2.6m in May and Lafite Ex Cellars which brought $8.3m in October.  

Click here to view Sotheby's 2010 wine sales statistics

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