A superlot consisting of 33 imperials of classified Bordeaux from the celebrated 1982 vintage sold for $245,700 -- triple its high estimate -- at a Zachys wine auction in New York on Dec. 6. The buyer, an anonymous private collector bidding through his agent, skillfully outmaneuvered a telephone bidder and a Maryland collector in the salesroom who lowered his paddle at the $200,000 mark.
The superlot -- which consisted of all the first-growths plus châteaus such as Ausone, Cheval-Blanc and Pétrus -- had been painstakingly assembled by the consignor over a period of several years. (An imperial is equal to eight 750ml bottles.)
"The allure of the lot lies in its numbers," explained an exuberant Jeff Zacharia, president of Zachys wine auctions. "Individually, the imperials would not have generated that kind of price, but jointly, they represent a magnificent instant collection."
The Zachys auction totaled $4 million (its strongest sale ever) and was 95 percent sold. Other highlights included a case of Château Le Pin 1982, which brought $49,140, 60 percent above the wine's average price in the third quarter 2003 Wine Spectator Auction Index. A dozen bottles of DRC Montrachet 1978 sold for $44,460, 61 percent above its auction index average. A double magnum of Château Mouton-Rothschild 1947 commanded $23,400, up 384 percent. All prices are inclusive of the 17 percent buyer's fee.
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