Three bottles of Chateau Lafite-Rothschild 1869 vintage wine each sold for a record price of HK$1.8 million ($230,000) at a Sotheby’s sale in Hong Kong, underlining Asia’s dominance of the auction market for trophy label wines. That makes these the most expensive bottles of wine ever sold at auction.
The entire sale of treasures direct from the legendary Chateau Lafite brought in a total of $8.4 million, tripling the pre-sale high estimate of $2.5 million. The sale featured 284 lots of Lafite, as well as the other chateaux owned by Domaines Baron de Rothschild, all with direct-from-the-cellar perfect provenance. Before being shipped to Hong Kong, these bottles never left the cellars in which they were placed immediately after being made.
All eight of the wine sales Sotheby’s has held in Hong Kong this year achieved 100 percent selling rates, the New York-based company said. As the Asian buyer had acquired three bottles of Lafite 1869, there was a likelihood that at least one of them may be opened and drunk, dealers said.
Lafite came top of the first official quality-based classification of Medoc wines in 1855. The chateau was bought by Baron James de Rothschild in 1868, and bottles have since been labeled Lafite-Rothschild.