Wine auction sales rise by 1.5% in second quarter



2015-06-26 13:48:54

Wine auction sales rise by 1.5% in second quarter

Slow progress for the wine market, while Burgundy finds room to breathe at the top

The Wine Spectator Auction Index has shown a 1.5% rise in value in the second quarter of 2014, with Burgundy continuing to shine.

Batard Montrachet Vinyard The Batard Montrachet vinyard in the autumn.Theappellation's white burgundies have seen the greatest price increase this quarter

The index, which tracks the price movement of over 20,000 auction lots in sales across the world, reveals that the overall market has grown this past quarter. Yet growth remains slow, with the ailing Bordeaux representing the largest category of wine at auction, but losing 3% in value.

The French favourite was subject to a boom in recent years, yet prices have plummeted after excited buying, and only the very finest wines are selling well.

"Bordeaux continues to lose market share, and the main reason is that the 2005 and younger vintages are simply not trading actively," said John Kapon, CEO of wine auctioneer Acker, Merrall & Condit.

"Yet there are definite opportunities in older Bordeaux, as I am a firm believer that if something [sold] consistently at a certain price level in the past, it will do so again."

Meanwhile, Burgundy saw some record results this spring, with 12 bottles of Domaine de la Romanee-Conti's Romane-Conti 2009 selling in May at Hart Davis Hart in Chicago for $155,350.

Burgundy rose 2% as a category, with Ramonet Batard Montrachet 1985 seeing the highest price increase at 52% - around $637 a bottle.

"Demand for all top-quality wines that are ready to drink continues to strengthen, particularly in North and South America, and also Asia," commented CEO of Sotheby'sWine, Jamie Ritchie.

"For younger wines, there is consistent demand, but the market is more price-sensitive."

The Asian market looks particular strong, with a 23% gain over the same quarter in 2013, and a total of $34.7m for 5,566 lots.

As Wine Spectator points out: "The Chinese market remains almost exclusively fixated on high-end lots, so it's no surprise that Hong Kong buyers purchased some of the quarter's priciest wines."

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