Auction prices decline as bidders sit on their hands

By November 14, 2011Auctions, Fine Wine Market

Sotheby's sale in London on the 9th of November is the latest in a string of fine wine auctions to yield disappointing results. Only 80 per cent of lots found buyers and the auction raised a total of £713,200 – 18 per cent below its pre-sale estimate of £866,500. Even the top seller, Petrus 1982, failed to meet its estimate of £40,000, having achieved just £39,100 (including fees).

Ebbing demand for high-end Bordeaux saw the First Growths fall under the hammer at an average 17 per cent discount to the Liv-ex Mid Price (our trade-to-trade transaction price). Mouton Rothschild 2002 and Haut Brion 2002 were among the poorest performers, with the top lots fetching a quarter less than current trading prices.

The table below compares the sale's highest First Growth hammer prices (for 12x75cl cases) to the Liv-ex Mid Price. Please note that the Liv-ex Mid Price does not include merchant margins and represents the price merchants could expect to obtain when selling wine on the secondary market. Because we are approaching the results from a seller's perspective, the auction prices in our table are exclusive of buyer's premium.

 First Growth auction prices
All prices are in GBP and are for 12x75cl cases.

While prices for Bordeaux continued to decline, DRC fared much better. Single bottles of the 1990 vintage achieved mixed results, with Echezeaux and Romanee St Vivant outshining Tache and Richebourg.

DRC auction results
All prices are in GBP and are for single bottles.