News-Antique.com - Dec 17,2009 - 15 December 2009 – Sotheby’s completed its final wine sale of 2009 last week, bringing the total for wine auctions this year to £$41,755,284 (£26,609,300). The year ended with the sale of two magnificent private collections in London that fetched £1.8 million - the highest total for a London wine sale in 2009. Sales in New York concluded at the end of November with the auction that featured wine direct from Bodegas Vega Sicilia. That sale totaled $2.2 million and included the highest price for a single wine lot this year, the $102,850 paid for the David Alvarez Vega Sicilia vertical by a South American collector bidding live online. This has been an extraordinary year for wine sales at Sotheby’s with the introduction of live online bidding, the start of regular sales in Hong Kong, the sale of Wine Direct from the Cellars of Château Cheval Blanc and the sale of the first three parts of The Classic Cellar from a Great American Collector, one of the greatest wine collections that Sotheby’s has ever sold.
Discussing Sotheby’s wine sales in 2009 Serena Sutcliffe MW, Sotheby’s Worldwide Head of Wine, said: “This year will be remembered as the one in which Asian collectors overtook the US in the purchase of fine wine at auction. The demand for top vintages from the very best Châteaux has been so consistently strong this year that our sales, with only one exception, have achieved totals above their top estimates. The highlights in New York and Hong Kong have clearly been the two major private cellars from the US that have been so well received by collectors in Hong Kong and China. In London the sale of wine direct from the cellars of Château Cheval Blanc in June and the sale of in aid of the Charles Albert Frère Foundation in October,
which both achieved spectacular results, stand out as particular highlights. In 2010 we shall continue to focus on offering wines from established private collections, in the very best condition and with exceptional provenance, selling them in our three salerooms.”
Stephen Mould, Senior Director of Sotheby’s Wine Department, at the June sale in London auctioning a collection of over 1,000 bottles that had never before left the cellars of Château Cheval Blanc, the collection sold for £643,689 – double the pre sale low estimate. Jamie Ritchie, Head of Sotheby’s Wine Department in North America auctioneering at the sale of The Classic
Cellar from A Great American Collector in Hong Kong.
Asian Demand Drives up Sale Totals
As can be seen in the following chart, in 2009 Asian collectors have become the most important buyers at Sotheby’s wine sales worldwide –
Buyers in Worldwide Wine Sales 20%
In Hong Kong all three wine sales soared well over their high estimates and were effectively 100% sold; an exceptionally rare auction achievement. Buyers in these sales were predominantly Asian, with roughly 40% coming from Hong Kong, 40% from China, around 10%