Historic Records Set at Sotheby’s Wine Auctions in Burgundy and Paris

Historic Records Set at Sotheby’s Wine Auctions in Burgundy and Paris

Sotheby’s recently made history with two monumental wine auctions in France. The first auction dedicated entirely to Champagne and the first single-owner wine auction in Burgundy brought in a staggering combined total of €3.3 million ($3.6 million). 

These events showcased bottles from the legendary cellar of Pierre Chen, an epicurean and aesthete known for his extraordinary collection. The auctions featured wines from Burgundy and Champagne and were part of "The Epicurean’s Atlas" series.

Record-Breaking Burgundy Auction

On 2 July, at the exclusive Couvent des Cordeliers in Beaune, Sotheby’s held an auction dedicated exclusively to Burgundy wines. The event achieved a remarkable €2 million ($2.1 million), setting multiple records. Titled “Live in the Vines,” this auction was the first single-owner wine auction held in Burgundy, a region renowned for its Grand Cru vineyards. 

George Lacey, Head of Sotheby’s Wine, Asia, noted the vibrant in-person bidding and global competition, particularly from Asian buyers who accounted for more than 70% of the overall spend. Several lots sold well above their high estimates, underscoring the extraordinary quality of Chen’s wines.

Burgundy Records and Highlights

  • 2007 DRC Montrachet, 3 bottles – €15,800 per bottle, 50% higher than the previous world record
  • 2005 DRC La Tâche, magnum – €35,000 per magnum, setting a world record
  • 2005 DRC Échezeaux, 3 bottles – €10,000 per bottle, more than double the previous world record
  • 2011 Domaine Leroy Chambertin, 3 bottles – €16,600 per bottle, a new world record

The top lot was Chevalier Montrachet 2009, Domaine d'Auvenay, 6 bottles, which sold for €106,250 ($113,847).

2009 Chevalier Montrachet Grand Cru, Domaine d’Auvenay

Unprecedented Champagne Auction

Following closely, Sotheby’s in Paris held "The Ultimate Champagnes" auction on 20 June, marking the first-ever auction exclusively for Champagne. This event realised €1.35 million ($1.45 million), setting numerous world record prices. It attracted participants from 23 countries, with strong bidding from collectors in Southeast Asia and Continental Europe. Notably, a significant portion of the buyers were under 40 years old and new to Sotheby’s.

Champagne Records and Highlights

  • 1966 Dom Perignon P3 magnum – €23,750 per magnum, more than double the previous world record
  • 1990 Salon Le Mesnil 3 magnums – €8,300 per magnum, more than double the previous world record
  • 1985 Krug Collection 6 magnums – €3,500 per magnum, setting a world record

The top lot for Champagne was Salon Le Mesnil, Blanc de Blancs 1990, 3 magnums, which sold for €25,000 ($26,850).

The Epicurean's Atlas Series

Nick Pegna, Global Head of Wine & Spirits at Sotheby’s, had this say about the most recent auction of The Epicurean’s Altas Series:

“We are delighted to have delivered a group of exceptional results across these two sales in Paris and Beaune, both of which represented firsts for the auction market and for Sotheby’s. The innovative, global presentation of The Epicurean’s Atlas auction series has allowed us to capitalise on the worldwide demand and excitement that a collection as singular as Pierre Chen’s generates.” 

These historic auctions are part of a larger series that will continue with sales in New York in September and Hong Kong in November. Last November, the initial offering from Pierre Chen’s collection achieved $16.8 million in Hong Kong, one of the highest totals ever for a single wine sale. 

Chen’s collection, amassed over four decades, includes 25,000 bottles and represents a defining moment in the wine market. The continued success of "The Epicurean’s Atlas" series reflects the significant demand and appreciation for exceptional wines.

Auctions for Wine Collectors

Sotheby’s has set new benchmarks in the wine auction market with their innovative approach and exceptional offerings from Pierre Chen’s collection. The historic auctions in Burgundy and Paris have not only broken records but also highlighted the global appeal and enduring value of fine wines. With upcoming auctions in New York and Hong Kong, the journey of "The Epicurean’s Atlas" continues to captivate wine enthusiasts worldwide. 

UKV International AG helps wine collectors discover rare and fine wines to add to their collections. If you would like to discuss how to expand your collection speak to our wine experts today.