Single bottles of wine sell for record prices at New York auction

Sotheby’s New York salesroom sold two rare bottles of wine for world record prices on Saturday. Sotheby’s image

NEW YORK – Two exceptional bottles of wine each broke the prior world auction record for a single bottle of wine of any size Saturday at Sotheby’s. The two bottles of Romanée Conti 1945 shattered the previous record when they sold for $558,000 and $496,000.

The wines were offered as part of a “white-glove” (100 percent sold) auction of rare Domaine de la Romanée-Conti emerging from the personal cellar of Robert Drouhin, which totaled $7.3 million – more than five times its high estimate.

Immediately following the conclusion of the Personal Cellar of Robert Drouhin, The Macallan 1926 60 Years Old (Sir Peter Blake Label) sold for $843,200 – the highest price in Sotheby’s history for a single spirit, as well as the top auction price for any spirit sold in North America. The Macallan 1926 represents the celebrated distillery’s oldest vintage, with only 40 bottles ever produced, of which, 12 were labeled and signed with an exclusive design by British artist Sir Peter Blake.

“Today marks an extraordinary moment not only in the history of Sotheby’s but also in the auction market for wine and spirits worldwide. The new world record established in today’s sale is further proof that the demand for wine and spirits of exceptional quality is at an all-time high, and that global collectors are willing to go the extra mile to acquire the rarest bottles of any kind,” said Jamie Ritchie, Worldwide Head of Sotheby’s Wine. “The world auction record for a single bottle of wine of any size, established by Sotheby’s New York in 2007, has stood for more than 10 years, and it was a privilege to top our previous success twice in one sale.”

Composed of just 100 lots, this historic offering of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti emerged after more than 50 years in the personal cellar of Robert Drouhin, patriarch of the family-run Maison Joseph Drouhin, who is internationally recognized as one of the wine industry’s most respected figures. The dedicated sale offered DRC vintages spanning from 1937 through to 1964, acquired by Drouhin and his father, Maurice, directly from the celebrated Domaine, mostly during their time as the exclusive distributors of DRC in France and Belgium – a highly-covetable attribute that amplified the collection’s pristine provenance.

Aged in a sherry cask for six decades, The Macallan 1926 represents the celebrated distillery’s oldest vintage, with only 40 bottles ever produced. Of the 40, 12 were labeled and signed with an exclusive design by British artist Sir Peter Blake, who is perhaps best-known for designing cover art for the likes of The Beatles, Eric Clapton, The Who, and Oasis, and 12 by Italian artist, Valerio Adami.