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Spotlight On: Salon Champagne 1996

The 1996 is undervalued in comparison to the 1985 vintage

John Siudut
Posted: May 7, 2008

Older bottles of vintage Salon Champagne can command heavyweight price tags at auction. At the April 25 Acker Merrall & Condit sale, a six-bottle lot of Salon 1985 (95, $200 release price, $736 current price) sold for a high of $4,598 or $766 a bottle. A a six-bottle lot of Salon 1982 (95, $100 release price, $623 current price) sold for $3,872, or $645 a bottle.

The 1996 (95, $350 release price, $311), however, which recently started trading at auction in the fourth quarter of 2006, has yet to escalate in price. At the April 25 Acker sale, five case lots of the Salon 1996 sold for between $3,872 and $3,630, or $323 and $303 a bottle, but other recent sales have been lower, like a 12-bottle lot at Acker's March 29 auction which sold for $2,904. The current average, $311, for the 1996 is below its release price of $350 and is only a percentage point above the average price of $309 that it began selling at when it appeared at auction in the fourth quarter of 2006.

If you're in the market for Salon 1996, the upcoming Zachys sale on May 14 includes a case lot of the 1996 and the estimates are below the range of recent sales at $250 to $291 a bottle.

This data comes from the Wine Spectator Auction Index, a composite of average prices for wines sold at commercial auctions. The average prices from each quarter have been indexed to 100 beginning in the fourth quarter of 2006. This chart plots the index value of of Salon 1996 against the index value of Salon 1985 and the Wine Spectator Auction Index.

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