Aulden Cellars-Sotheby's set two international records in Manhattan on Nov. 22 with the $3 million auction of a pristine, single-owner cellar belonging to Maryland-based collector Dr. William Harter.
Six bottles of the legendary Château Mouton-Rothschild 1945 brought $70,500 -- 197 percent above the wine's average price in the third quarter 2003 Wine Spectator Auction Index -- and a case of Château Lafleur 1961 sold for $74,438, up 62 percent from its Auction Index average.
The Harter cellar also included nearly 700 bottles of Château La Mission-Haut-Brion in various formats. Three magnums of La Mission 1949 fetched $13,512 (up 145 percent) and a dozen bottles of La Mission 1959 were snapped up for $21,150 (up 68 percent).
Even lesser growths got swept up in the momentum. A case of Domaine de Chevalier 1982 estimated at $550 to $750 sold for $940 (inclusive of the 17.5 percent buyer's premium), up 67 percent.
"Anything with great provenance is being eagerly snapped up by an army of international collectors," said Jamie Ritchie, Sotheby's senior vice president.
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