© Sotheby's | Sotheby's House of Krug auction in New York
Eager buyers push prices high above pre-sale estimates.
By Diana Goodman | Posted Sunday, 02-Dec-2012
A Sotheby's sale of Krug rarities delivered direct from the headquarters of the Champagne house in Reims has resulted in record prices. The auction in New York spanned nearly four decades of Krug production, with the bottles being kept for all that time in the House of Krug's cellars.
In total, Sotheby's said, the 530 Krug lots realized "$782,285 – 50% above the high estimate of $522,100." The auction house reported particularly strong online participation, with internet bidders competing for more than half of the lots and winning 22 percent.
The top 10 lots were bought by collectors from North and South America. Bottle sizes ranged from 750 ml to 3-liter jeroboams.
A rare case of 1990 Krug Clos du Mesnil, which had a pre-sale estimate of $25,000, was knocked down for $58,188.
Sotheby's said other highlights included two bottles of Krug Grande Cuvée Fraicheur, which went for $1,960, double the pre-sale high estimate; a 1973 Krug Collection magnum, which sold for $12,250; a six-magnum vertical of Krug Clos du Mesnil, which fetched $42,875; and three bottles of 1995 Krug Clos d’Ambonnay, which brought $22,050.
Serena Sutcliffe MW, international head of Sotheby’s Wine, said the level of interest in the historic Krug Champagnes had been "electrifying," and prices had "soared into the stratosphere."
A number of other rare wines also realized high prices, including 12 bottles of 1990 La Tâche, which sold for $67,375 against estimates of $37,500-$50,000, and 12 bottles of 1990 Josephy Roty Charmes Chambertin ($11,025 against estimates of $5,000-$7,000).
Sutcliffe said "exceptional prices" had been paid for Romanée-Conti and Burgundy in general, with mature top growth Bordeaux also doing "very well."
"We had the feeling that people were treating themselves with great bottles for the holidays to come," she added.