Fine Wine Market Leader
With a succession of blockbuster sales and high-profile lots, Christie’s international Wine department once again led the global fine wine auction market by value and frequency of sales in 2013. Over the past year, we achieved wine sales of US$75 million/£48 million/HK$580.8 million worldwide, including all live, online-only and private sales, as well as the annual barrel auction for Hospices de Beaune. With sale centers in Europe, Asia and the United States, our unrivaled international network of consigners and buyers positions us as the global wine auctioneers of choice.
Out of the top 10 wine lots sold in 2013 at Christie’s, seven were sold in our Hong Kong saleroom. The top lot of the year was a case of Romanée-Conti Grand Cru — Vintage 1978, Côte de Nuits, that went under the hammer in the Hong Kong November Fine and Rare Wines auction and realized US$476,280/£295,838/HK$3,675,000, setting a new world auction record for Romanée-Conti and a world auction record for any case of 12 bottles of wine.
In our London auctions, Christie’s saw competitive bidding and outstanding prices for exceptionally rare spirits and wine. In our December 2013 sale, we sold 12 bottles of the oldest rum ever offered at auction. Featuring an assortment of ‘Light’ and ‘Dark’ Rum dating to 1780, the Harewood Cellar Rum had several bottles achieve US$13,464/£8,225/HK$104,375 against a pre-sale estimate of US$982–1,310/£600–800/HK$7,614–10,152 per bottle. The same December sale in London also saw the extremely rare Terrantez Madeira, dating to 1715 and believed to be the oldest dated Madeira in existence, achieve a remarkable price of US$10,579/£6,465/HK$82,015 per bottle over its estimate of US$4,093–5,730/£2,500–3,000/HK$31,725–38,070.
Extraordinary results in auctions of fine and rare wines were also realized at Christie’s New York. In December 2013, Christie’s sold five bottles of the legendary 1961 Latour à Pomerol for US$29,400/£17,934/HK$227,215 to an internet bidder. This sale also saw bidders from Kentucky, California, Washington, and as far away as Hong Kong and South Korea competing on Christie’s LIVETM, underscoring the active interest in Christie’s wine sales by collectors worldwide.
Signature Cellars Online-Only Auctions
In 2013, Christie’s further strengthened its role in the online fine wine auction space, offering 11 online auctions—up from three auctions in 2012—with sales totaling US$4 million/£2.4 million/HK$31 million. Christie’s offered online wine auctions out of three sale sites in the US and Europe, expanding our global reach and enabling the highest-quality service for local markets. With property ranging from first-growth Bordeaux and other blue-chip wines to lesser-known treasures, Christie’s online sales serve seasoned collectors and enthusiasts alike.