Collectors accustomed to buying Bordeaux directly from the manufacturer, only "pre premier" or as futures before they are placed on the market, enjoy the opportunity to buy old bottles that have never left the cellar of the castle.
Château Lafite Rothschild, perhaps the most famous of the first Bordeaux producers, offers this opportunity at a large live auction of 692 lots, all directly from the Lafite cellar and other properties owned by the Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) The New York retailer and Zachys auction house held a sale on March 30 in Le Bernardin Privé in New York.
The 150-year-old auction of the famous French property of baron James Meyer de Rothschild was a bottle of Château Lafite Rothschild 1868 produced in the same year. The offer, which includes a dinner for four in the castle, is estimated at between $ 13,000 and $ 20,000. The wine was produced a little more than a decade after the classification system, classifying the Bordeaux castle from the first to the fifth, was created.
In the end, the buyer in 1868 will acquire "an extraordinary part of history," says Jean-Guyom Pratt, president and chief executive officer. "You buy the only machine that goes back in time."
<img srcset = "https://asset.barrons.com/public/resources/images/ON-CW464_1868la_D_20190220143834.jpg 620w" sizes = "620px" src = "https://asset.barrons.com/public /resources/images/ON-CW464_1868la_D_20190220143834.jpg Bottle Chateau Lafite Rothschild, 1868, Paulliac, produced by Baron James Meyer de Rothschild bought the famous winery in Bordeaux, France
Because the 1868 harvest, which Lafit has only five bottles, is one of Bordeaux's greatest harvests. In Lafite, these wines, which are clearly old, sophisticated and velvety, "taste like pretty young wine," says Prattus – almost as if it is still 1868.
The sale also includes Château Lafite Rothschild 1870, also considered an exceptional crop that is expected to sell between $ 12,000 and $ 18,000, as well as nine other 19th-century bottles. There are also wines that are sold directly from the cellar of other properties in Lafite, including Château Duhart-Milon, considered to be Lafite's "little brother" popular in Europe, and Château L 'evangile, a small estate on the right bank of Bordeaux, which is popular among North American collectors, says Pratt.
More than 500 large-format bottles, including several imperial (up to eight bottles), signed by Baron Eric de Rothschild and his daughter Saskia de Rothschild, chairman of the Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite ) from last year.
All bottles were labeled for the auction before being placed in custom-made wooden boxes.
Laffieth sells bottles from her cellar 10 years ago at an auction in Sotby, Hong Kong. This auction, though available to bidders worldwide, is deliberately focused in the United States because "we wanted to send a strong signal to the market that we do not want to forget the American wine collectors," says Pratt.
Burgundy today dominates the sale of a good wine market, in particular by selling a 1945 Bottle of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti or DRC from Robert Drouhin's cellar at Sotheby's in New York. For Pratos, this makes sense given the quality of Burgundy and the small production levels of the French name. But Burgundy requires a special collector who is willing to train for the region's producers, many of whom make wine from the same vineyards.
"Bordeaux has a significant advantage," says Pratt. "Not only are the wines wonderful and fantastic but they are produced in much larger quantities and are easily accessible due to the volume and the way the wines are sold." "Chateau Lafitte has the same mystical reputation as Romane-Conti and several others , but remains considerably cheaper than these wines, "he says.
Despite the high prices for several bottles of Burgundy, Bordeaux remains the cornerstone of the good wine market, says Charles Antin, a senior international specialist at Zachys and an auctioneer for the sale of Lafite. It is not important that the Lafis is from Burgundy or Bordeaux, or the Italian Piedmont on this issue.
"These are works of art," he says. "It's an opportunity to buy Lafit 1870, widely regarded as the greatest Bordeaux of all time. My experience is whether it is art or jewelery or wine, this kind of origin and rarity outnumber the market, especially at the global level. "