A superlot consisting of 50 cases of Château Mouton-Rothschild 1982 from the pristine collection of Park Smith sold for an astounding $1,051,600 (inclusive of the 19.5 percent buyer's premium) at Aulden Cellars-Sotheby's in New York City on Saturday, Nov. 18. The sale marks the highest sum ever paid for a single lot of wine at auction.
The bidding was a jousting match that raged back and forth from the salesroom floor to the order book to the telephone. The lot was finally snared by an anonymous European telephone bidder.
Smith purchased the 600 bottles of Mouton-Rothschild at a Zachys-Christie's auction in 1997 for $420,500 (the provenance was assured, as the original consignor had acquired the wines upon release). At the time, Smith's winning bid topped the Wine Spectator Auction Index average by 28 percent. With an average price of $1,753 per bottle, the absentee bidder paid a 123 percent premium over the current auction index average for Mouton 1982, which is $787 per bottle.
The 1,237-lot Park Smith collection raised $5,328,833, and all proceeds from the sale will benefit the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass. Smith graduated from the school in 1954.
Sips & Tips | Wine & Healthy Living
Video Theater | Collecting & Auctions