1945 Vintage on Sale at Bonhams


(Bloomberg) -- A case of Chateau Latour 1945 wine from one of the top vintages of the last century goes on sale at Bonhams in London this week along with two bottles of Chateau Mouton Rothschild from the same year.

The Latour ’45 12-bottle case carries a presale estimate of as much as 25,000 pounds ($38,500) while the Mouton is estimated at as much as 6,000 pounds per bottle, according to a Bonhams statement.

The sale comes amid signs appetite for top Bordeaux is reviving after a three-year drop in prices in the face of cooling Chinese demand and a decline in the quality of vintages coming to market since 2011. The Liv-ex Fine Wine 50 Index has risen for the past two months after falling 40 percent from its 2011 peak.

Wines from years like 1945 are “iconic vintages that people feel a need to have,” Richard Harvey, head of Bonhams wine department, said in an interview Feb. 9. There’s also an appetite for historic wines from lesser years, with clients “buying these wines often as anniversary gifts,” he said.

Michael Broadbent, founder of Christie’s wine department, ranked 1945 as outstanding in his book ‘Vintage Wine,’ putting it among the top 15 years of the 20th century for red Bordeaux. U.S. critic Robert Parker gave the Mouton ’45 a perfect 100-point score, one of only four vintages from the estate to receive that accolade in the past century along with the 1959, 1982 and 1986 wines, according to his website.

Vintage Rioja

Other leading wines in the Bonhams auction scheduled for Feb. 19 include a magnum of Chateau Petrus 1953, estimated to fetch as much as 5,000 pounds, and cases of Marques de Riscal Reserva 1922, 1925 and 1938 Rioja, all at as much as 1,400 pounds per 12 bottles.

Burgundies include a case of Echezeaux 1970 Domaine de la Romanee-Conti with a price tag of as much as 3,000 pounds and a Domaine de la Romanee-Conti assortment from 2004 estimated to fetch as much as 12,000 pounds.

“It’s much easier to sell Burgundy because there’s much less of it,” Harvey said. “Bordeaux with far greater production is always going to be harder, but I certainly see an interest coming back into Bordeaux now with mature vintages that are hitting the right price point.”

From the Rhone a case of Hermitage La Chapelle 1990 is priced at as much as 3,800 pounds.

To contact the reporter on this story: Guy Collins in London at guycollins@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: James Amott at jamott@bloomberg.net Raj Rajendran, Emily Bowers

David Angel
David Angel