October was one of the busiest months of the year for auctions. The below chart looks at the spread in prices per 12x75 for some of the Bordeaux vintages that went under the hammer at a variety of auction houses, including Zachys, Sotheby, Christie’s, Acker, HDH and Bonham. There is quite a spectrum, with the spread between the lowest and highest prices varying between 0.9% and 67%. Mouton Rothschild 1982 (LWIN 10135441982), for instance, shows a £5,000 difference between the two extremes – with the Liv-ex Mid Price towards the top end.
We have also colour-coded the highest and lowest prices by region. Evidently, Hong Kong buyers pay the highest at auction: 66% of the top prices below were from Hong Kong auctions. Apart from Pontet Canet 2009 (LWIN 10143072009) in New York, the wines that overshot their Mid-Prices only did so in Hong Kong – and were often First Growths. New York is the place to go for lower price First Growths, with its auctions resulting in the cheapest hammer prices for the majority of Lafite, Mouton and Haut Brion vintages.
Of the Liv-ex Mid Prices for the 38 wines below, 12 fall somewhere between the lowest and highest price paid. Wines which have proved a success include Angelus 2009 (LWIN 10060452009) (where the highest hammer price overshot its Mid-Price by 11%), Lafite Rothschild 2008 (LWIN 10118722008) and Latour 2000 (LWIN 10123162000). These all fetched significantly higher prices at auction than their October Mid-Price value.
The other 26 wines can be seen as comparatively underperforming (from the seller’s perspective) across the auctions: even the highest hammer price fell below the Liv-ex Mid Price. Heavy price falls were incurred by Cheval Blanc 2005 (LWIN 10081082005), Margaux 2005 (LWIN 10127812005), and Petrus 1998 (LWIN 10140331998), which at its most expensive hammer price still went for 34% less than its October Mid-Price.
* Plese note that because we are approaching the auction results from a seller's perspective, and the buyer's premium does not go to the vendor, we have used hammer prices for our analysis.