A collection of vintage wines from Chris de Burgh’s private cellar has been auctioned for more than £345,000 (€394,000) at Christie’s in London.
The set of 320 bottles and 84 magnums of mainly red wines had been expected to fetch in the region £200,000 (€235,000). The star lot was the singer’s complete collection of Château Mouton-Rothschild vintages from 1945 to the present.
The 62-magnum “vertical” set sold for £155,250 (€177,325), easily eclipsing the guide of £90,000 (€103,000). The price set a world record for a magnum collection of post-war vintages after a competitive bidding race from around the globe, according to Christie’s.
A self-confessed oenophile, De Burgh recently told Decanter magazine he’d become so attached to some of the bottles in his Enniskerry cellar that he felt it would be “almost sacrilegious” to drink them, and it was time for someone else to enjoy them.
His favourite and most-prized lot was a case of Château Lafite-Rothschild 1945, containing the original straw bedding placed in the box at the end of the second World War, which sold for £12,650 (€13,700).
Another highlight was a case of 1961 Château Latour which sold to sell for £39,000 (€45,000).
I’d love to get in touch with whoever bought the Mouton collection to see if they gain as much pleasure as I did from collecting it.”
Vintage wine has proved to be a somewhat of a shrewd investment in recent years with returns on red wine from Bordeaux outstripping stocks, property, oil and fine art in the last decade.
A 12 bottle case of 1982 Château Lafite-Rothschild has increased in price by nearly 900 per cent in the past 10 years, jumping from £2,613 to £25,000, according to figures from to Fine Wine Exchange Liv-Ex.
In the auction catalogue, De Burgh said he had been thinking of selling part of his collection for some time. Obviously, I’m looking at the economics of the wine trade and how the business of selling wine fluctuates, but it seems to be on the up at the moment.”