Wine sales at the world’s five biggest auction houses fell by a quarter to about $160 million in the first six months of 2012 as lower prices for top growers combined with investor caution sparked by the economic slump.
Three bottles of Chateau Lafite’s 1869 vintage each sold for a record price of HK$1.8 million ($230,000) at a sale in Hong Kong last night, underlining Asia’s dominance of the auction market for trophy label wines.
A waiter is pouring generous rations of wine in the private dining salon of Chateau Margaux on the left bank of the Gironde estuary in southwestern France. Baccarat crystal schooners are filled to the brim with one of the world’s rarest liquid investments. The costly history of downing Chateau Margaux unfolds.
Sipping Cristal champagne and 39 other blue-chip labels, New York wine lovers kicked off the autumn auction season at a two-night Acker Merrall & Condit sale on Sept. 10. They bid big, especially for Chateau Lafite and Romanee Conti, spending $4.9 million -- a sign auction prices are still rising.