1945 Romanée-Conti Sold for Record-Breaking US$558,000

Sotheby’s curated a dedicated sale offering rare Domaine de la Romanée-Conti from the personal cellar of Robert Drouhin from an esteemed family of the wine industry. The sale was led by two bottles of 1945 Romanée-Conti, red Burgundy from Cote de Nuits. They were sold for US$496,000 and US$558,000 respectively, breaking auction record for a bottle of wine one after another at the same sale. The successful biddder of the most expensive bottle of wine is reported to be a private Asian collector.

The sale achieved a white-glove performance by selling all 100 lots offered. It offered Domaine de la Romanée-Conti that has been kept in the cellar of Mr. Robert Drouhin for more than 50 years. The Drouhin family were the exclusive distributors in France and Belgium for Domaine de la Romanée-Conti for many years and that gave them a great understanding of these wines.

The auctioneer put the hammer down at US$450,000

The labels are heavily damp-stained, scuffed but they are in excellent colour and clarity

Wine from Romanée-Conti is among the most sought after in the world. The vineyard is famed for the excellent quality of its wine. Its situation in the vineyard territory of Vosne is the most advantageous for the perfect ripening of the grapes. The bottles of Romanée-Conti 1945 offered at this sale are among the only 600 bottles produced. Though the labels of the bottles are heavily damp-stained, scuffed, they are in excellent colour and clarity.

These two bottles of 1945 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti were estimated at US$22,000-32,000 each. The most expensive one was hammered down at US$450,000 and sold for US$558,000, 25 times its estimate. The sale realised a total of US$7.3m, 5 times its sum of estimates.

Robert Drouhin

The previous auction record for a single bottle of wine was set by a jeroboam of 1945 Château Mouton Rothschild when it was sold for US$310,700 at Sotheby’s New York.

Romanée Conti 1945 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti

Lot no.: 84
Estimate: US$22,000 - 32,000
Hammer price: US$450,000
Price realised: US$558,000

Lot no.: 85
Estimate: US$22,000 - 32,000
Hammer price: US$400,000
Price realised: US$496,000

Auction summary

Auction house: Sotheby’s New York
Sale: Rare Domaine de la Romanée-Conti from the Personal Cellar of Robert Drouhin
Sale date: 13 October 2018
Lots offered: 100
Sold: 100
Sold by lot: 100%
Sale total: US$7,303,600