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Christmas gift tip (?): Auction records in profusion: Cheval Blanc 1947 for $300,000 or three Lafite 1869 for £437,000

>> Thursday, December 02, 2010

It’s almost as if there is inflation in auction price records. The press releases come in almost every day on new, stunning auction prices. Much of it seems to be driven by the incredible demand for extremely exclusive wines in Asia. Two new records were broken within just a few weeks. First out was Sotheby’s in Hong Kong with the highest price for a single lot and the (then) highest price per bottle: three bottles of Château Lafite-Rothschild 1869 sold for £437,900 (HK$5,445,000 or €534,941). Several other lots of Lafite were sold far above what was expected. Read more on

The per-bottle record did not last long though. In came a report from Christie’s in Geneva where they had sold a single bottle of Château Cheval Blanc 1947 for $304,375 (€ 219,994) which then was the new highest price paid for a bottle. To be fair, the bottle was big, an imperial containing 6 litres, so the old Lafite was still more expensive per litre… Here is also the top-ten lots at the Geneva auction:

- Château Cheval-Blanc -- Vintage 1947, 1 imperial € 219,994
- Château Cheval-Blanc -- Vintage 1947, 1 jeroboam € 169,510
- A vertical of Château Mouton-Rothschild from vintages 1945 to 2007, 64 bottles € 97,468
- Château Cheval-Blanc -- Vintage 1947, 1 marie-jeanne € 80,517
- Hermitage, La Chapelle -- Vintage 1961, 2 magnums € 80,517
- Château Lafite Rothschild -- Vintage 1982, 12 bottles € 63,566
- Château Lafite Rothschild -- Vintage 1982, 12 bottles € 63,566
- Château Lafite Rothschild -- Vintage 1982, 12 bottles € 63,566
- Romanée-Conti -- Vintage 2005, 6 bottles € 63,566
- Château Cheval-Blanc -- Vintage 1947, 1 magnum € 44,072

It is jaw-dropping prices but perhaps not too unexpected. Certainly nothing to get upset about (unless you had a bottle and dropped it). apparently there are buyers who think it worth these prices and it is after all much less than what is paid for some pieces of jewellery or cars.


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