Auction highlights: The most expensive wine lots of 2017


Can you guess which bottles ranked as some of 2017’s highest selling fine wines at auction? Sotheby’s and Christie’s auction houses reveal their top wine lots of the year…

Which wines were driving the bidding at auctions in 2017? Credit: Christie's
Which wines were driving the bidding at auctions in 2017? Credit: Christie

Christie’s top wines of 2017

Last year Christie’s auction house held 16 live wine auctions all over the world, including London, New York, Hong Kong, Paris and Geneva.

UK auctions

Christie’s highest-selling lot was a 12-bottle case of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti’s Romanée-Conti 1988, sold in London’s September ‘Fine and Rare Wines’ auction for £198,000.

In second place was the coveted Château Cheval-Blanc 1947, a 12-bottle case sold for £168,000 in the December ‘Finest and Rarest’ London auction.

Eight out of Christie’s top 10 wine lots were from Burgundy, dominated by Domaine de la Romance-Conti (DRC) wines: three lots of Romanée-Conti 1988, one of Romanée-Conti 1991 and La Tâche 1996.

A single bottle of Château Lafite-Rothschild 1806 made seventh place on the list, it was sold for £45,600 at London’s December auction.

US and Asia auctions

The top selling wine from Christie’s New York sales was DRC’s Montrachet 1990 (12 bottles), sold for US$104,125.

Other US highlights included three bottles of DRC’s Romanée-Conti 1990, which reached a price of $98,000.

Twelve bottles of Petrus 1947 sold for $49,000, and three bottles of 1975 ‘Black Seal’ Madeira, sold for $46,550.

Château Cheval-Blanc 1947 was the highest selling lot among Christie’s Hong Kong auctions; its May auction saw a case of 12 sell for 1,592,500 HKD (US $203,740).

Christie’s auction house hosted 16 fine wine sales in the UK, US and Asia in 2017…
Christie’s auction house hosted 16 fine wine sales in the UK, US and Asia in 2017…

Sotheby’s top wines of 2017

Sotheby’s auction house hosted around 21 wine sales in London, New York and Hong Kong in 2017, reaching a grand sales total of over $64 million.

Towards the close of 2017 its ‘A Life of Luxury’ auction in New York made headlines for hitting over $2.6m in sales.

The lead consignment entitled ‘DRC Spanning Four Decades, Rousseau in Historic Vintages and Top-Flight Bordeaux’ sold 78 lots for an eye-watering $619,244. The top lot was Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, Romanee Conti 2013, which sold for $55,350 , above the estimate of $30,000-40,000.

Sotheby’s wine specialists’ auction highlights for 2017

Two lots from the April Hong Kong sale: Vosne Romanée, Cros Parantoux 1990 Henri Jayer (12 bottles) and Hermitage, La Chapelle 1961 Paul Jaboulet Aîné (12 bottles). The respective upper estimates for the lots were 1.4 million HKD and 1 million HKD, and both sold for 1.2 million HKD each (US $157,051).

In New York’s ‘Finest and Rarest’ October sale, the top lot was a case of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, Romanée Conti 1996 (6 bottles), selling for $134,750 (est. $60,000-$90,000).

Although the year’s leading lots were vastly dominated by Burgundian cult wines, California earned a spot in the auction highlights with a ‘Vertical’ 43-bottle consignment of Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon — the highest-selling wine lot at the September Hong Kong sale, hitting 1,163,750 HKD (US $149,007).

All of the specialist highlights were purchased by private buyers from Asia.

*Exchange rates accurate at time of publishing, but may be subject to change.

Written by Laura Seal for

Translated by Sylvia Wu / 吴嘉溦

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