Spring has brought with it an influx of new stock to Langton’s, much of it premium Australian and Imported wine from strong vintages. This increase in wine volumes has provided an extraordinary opportunity to conduct several unique single vendor auctions in addition to the regular auction calendar. The combined effect of an increased number of auctions, steady demand and a proliferation of new listings has contributed to an upswing in market momentum.
Disparity between vendor’s reserves and buyer’s price expectations particularly in the mid-tier Burgundy market continue to persist, however robust prices for rare Burgundy from top producers and back vintages of classified growth Bordeaux have recently contributed to market traction. Although clearance rates slowed over the July and early August period, in September and October Langton’s continued to prune out both over-exposed lots and those with high reserves resulting in fresh catalogues and buoying clearance rates.
In September and October Australian wines from top producers continued to enjoy healthy price realisations as did premium New Zealand Pinot Noirs. Strong demand for Hill of Grace pushed prices of many vintages to top estimate levels. The extraordinary inclusion of a mixed case of Domaine de la Romanee Conti 1999 in Sydney’s September sale proved to be a highlight selling for $40250. Other exceptional prices were achieved in Melbourne’s October sale including 2 bottles of Quinta Do Noval Nacional Vintage Port, 1994 & 1997 each selling for $1425. Super-premium Champagne also featured with a bottle of Moet & Chandon Dom Perignon Oenotheque Brut, Champagne 1962 realising over $1700, and a Jeroboam of Louis Roederer Cristal Brut, Champagne 1999 achieving $3450. A single vendor insurance auction comprising primarily of Burgundy attracted a high level of interest with dynamic competitive bidding, as buyers sought out potential bargains among a strong offering of top producers and excellent vintages.
A larger than average volume of premium Penfolds wines listed in August and September resulted in softening prices for Penfolds Grange over early spring, although by the end of October, prices had picked up and were gaining strength. Strong demand for older vintages from the 1960’s led the results for Penfolds Grange with a 1962 vintage achieving over $1080 in Sydney and $1495 in Melbourne. The 1960 vintage also proved to be in strong demand achieving over $1700 in Sydney. Penfolds St Henri continued its upswing with a bottle of 1966 fetching over $1150. Larger formats also featured with magnums of Penfolds Block 42 Kalimna Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 achieving close to $1100.
Strong price results continued in the September/October period for well known Australian wines from good producers in the $50-150 price range. There was also dynamic bidding activity in Melbourne for classified wine from top vintages including Chris Ringland Shiraz 1998 reaching over $1000, Henschke Hill of Grace Shiraz 1998 achieving $632 and a magnum of Wynns Coonawara Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 1966 realising close to $580.
Bordeaux first Growths continued to perform well in Sydney with a sale of Chateau Petrus 2003 achieving $3,450, and back vintages of Chateau Latour 1959 and 1982 selling for $2,101 and 1904 respectively. The opportunity for collectors to acquire strong vintages of Domaine de la Romanee Conti in Melbourne continued apace with prices for La Tache 1999 realising $4255 and La Tache 2002 achieving over $3090. A rare bottle of Domaine de la Romanee Conti – Le Montrachet was a highlight of the October Melbourne auction selling for $2875.
With Christmas fast approaching and the Langton’s Classification of Australian Wine V now released there is an increased sense of momentum in the Australian fine wine market. Strong economic conditions, an increase in volume of fine wine and a traditional upswing in seasonal demand all point to a positive finale to 2010.