Bordeaux underperforms at Christie’s first online-only auction

By August 22, 2012Auctions, Bordeaux, Regions

Monday marked the end of Christie’s International’s first
online-only wine auction. Running for two weeks, the auction mainly featured Bordeaux
bottles, with the sale raising $819,715.

From the seller’s perspective (i.e. excluding the buyer’s
premium) top Bordeaux underperformed at the auction, with many going for well below
their Liv-ex transaction prices, as shown in the table. Vintages of Latour fell
between 10% and 32%, while super Right Bank wine Ausone also failed to inspire,
with its 2003 making just $4,800 for a case of six bottles: well below the
expected $5,500 – $8,000, and at 42% below trading price.

Nevertheless, there were anomalies, with some of the Firsts
seeing success: Margaux 1996 and 2000 may have fetched prices beneath their
market value, but Margaux 2003 (LWIN 1012781) exceeded it by 16%, while Mouton 2000 (LWIN 1013544) went for
5% above its Liv-ex transation price. Likewise, Petrus 1997 (LWIN 1014033) reached a 12%
increase on its Liv-ex transaction price, although its 1999 fell 31% below it.  

Per Holmberg, head of wine at
Christie’s New York,
noted the prevalence of Bordeaux in the auction, and said, “We are consciously trying to get more Burgundy.”

All prices below are for 12×75, and have been converted from US dollars to GBP.  


* The difference has been calculated using the hammer price
and the last Liv-ex transaction price. Hammer prices plus buyer’s premium (a
21% commission) and the Market price (the best available price from a leading
merchant) have been included for reference.