L ast year has positioned Sotheby’s Wine and Spirits as leading the market for single-owner auctions more than ever, with a record of over $100 million generated through these specific collections, notably with the first tranche of wines from The Epicurean’s Atlas, the legendary cellar of visionary epicurean and aesthete Pierre Chen.
Additionally, Sotheby’s remains the trusted partner of growers and producers in different regions of the world, whether through hosting the 163rd Hospices de Beaune charity auction in Burgundy, The Distillers One of One charity auction in Scotland, auctions with the Napa Valley Vintners and Collective Napa Valley, as well as direct-from-producer auctions with Masseto and Ornellaia among many others. Sotheby’s also had the privilege of working directly with The Macallan to recondition and authenticate The Macallan 1926 Valerio Adami 60 year-old bottle, and we were delighted to sell it for $2.7 million, culminating in the most expensive bottle of wine or spirit ever brought to auction.
In tandem with Sotheby’s 50th Anniversary in Hong Kong, wine and spirits auctions were also inaugurated in new parts of Asia – in Singapore and Shanghai – establishing Sotheby’s as the first major international wine and spirits auction house to host in those locations.
2023 Trends and Predictions for 2024
Despite some uncertainty in the market in the second half of 2023, we feel confident with the pipeline of sales we can see and the market has demonstrated that unique wines and spirits, priced correctly, have an enduring appeal. Mature Bordeaux continues to have a strong following, as do a number of key Burgundy domaines. —Nick Pegna