We all know about Asian buyers bogarting the Bordeaux at auctions these days but Burgundy’s top bottle is coming to America.
A private U.S. collector took the top lot at the Christie’s fine-wine auction in Geneva, Switzerland, May 17, scoring a 1945 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Romanée-Conti for an eye-popping $123,899, besting the high estimate by more than 50 percent and shattering the world record for the highest price ever reached for a 750ml bottle of Burgundy at auction. Take that Hong Kong.
The bottle comes with stellar provenance: It was originally donated by DRC owner Aubert de Villaine to Christie’s for a charity auction in Geneva in 2007, where it was bought and remained impeccably stored until this week, when it hit the block again to make history. Only 600 bottles of this end-of-war Romanée-Conti were ever made, and the 1945 vintage represents the final harvest from ungrafted pre-phylloxera vines. The entire Romanée-Conti vineyard was uprooted in 1946 and did not produce wine again until the 1952 vintage, which currently averages a mere $7,600 per bottle.