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Wine News

Wine auctions up and down

Collectors of fine wine in the United States seem immune to the economic downturn as record prices are achieved for Domaine de la Romanée Conti, Screaming Eagle and Harlan Estate. The wines were sold by Boston-based auctioneer Skinner who held their first wine auction on September 19th.

They sold a three-bottle lot of Romanée Conti 1911 for US$20,250 per bottle (£11,516) – over three times the estimate. Christies holds the world record for DRC - a single bottle of the 1945 was sold in Geneva in May 2007 for £34,286.

Two bottles of Screaming Eagle 2005 went for US$2,430 apiece (£1,382 ) and three bottles of Harlan Estate 1993 went for US$810 a bottle (£461), breaking Sothebys' 2008 record of US$655 (£373).

Other auction houses have seen their wine sales continue to soar, for example, Sotheby’s in London who sold £2.6m worth of wine in September.

Meanwhile in South Africa it’s a different picture at two of the country’s annual high profile auctions.

At the Nederburg auction sales were down 6% on last year and the Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild sale achieved 3% less. The wines at both auctions fetch more modest prices of between £85 - £130 per case, but nevertheless the decrease in sales reflects the economic and political uncertainties facing South Africans after the resignation of President Mbeki.