London sale of Finest and Rarest Wines featuring The Bordeaux Wine Bank Selection, The Adrian Bowden Collection Part III & A Classic Collectors Cellar on 21 March 2012 brought a total of £2,760,780 ($4,389,640), establishing the second highest figure for a London wine sale held by the company.*
Commenting on the sale, Serena Sutcliffe MW, Sothebys Worldwide Head of Wine, said We are particularly pleased that these great wine collections attracted buyers from around the world, including new clients who loved the quality and diversity of these stunning cellars. There was excitement in the room as bids ricocheted between the telephones and the internet, both facing a very high proportion of bids received before the sale. We shall continue to source fabulous collections of wine of true provenance that will give pleasure to all who enjoy great bottles.
With a sell-through rate by lot of 97.9% and by value of 99.4%, the sale performed above the pre-sale high estimate of £2.7 million ($4.29 million).** The morning session was 100% sold by lot and by value. Buyers from 21 countries competed for highly sought-after bottles, in a sale that lasted seven hours. Absentee bidding and telephone bidding accounted for 67% of lots sold, 21% of lots sold online, and 12% of lots went to buyers in the room. Asian buyers bought 29% of the sale by lot, while UK buyers represented 62%, with the remainder of Europe accounting for 8%, and other regions 1%.
The most expensive lot of the sale, three bottles of Vosne Romanée, Cros Parantoux 1990 Henri Jayer soared above its pre-sale high estimate and sold for £42,300, three times over the pre-sale high estimate of £14,000. Over half of the lots sold achieved prices above their high estimates, such as:
Lot 715, 1 magnum of Romanée Saint Vivant 2000 DRC sold for £3,525 against an estimate of £800-1100 (more than three times the high estimate)
Lot 723, 1 magnum of Echézeaux 1988 Henri Jayer sold for £8,225 against an estimate of £2,000-2,400 (more than three times the high estimate)
As well as top prices for Burgundy from DRC and Henri Jayer, a single bottle of Krug Collection 1928 achieved an impressive £14,688 while a magnum of the 1937 vintage fetched £12,338. A rare 12-bottle vertical of Vega Sicilia Unico spanning 5 decades (from 1941 to 1981) realised £4,935 (est. £2,800-3,200).
*Sothebys sale of The Andrew Lloyd Webber Wine Collection on 21 May 1997 brought a total of £3,692,821 ($6,056,783)
**Pre-sale estimates do not include buyers premium