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Expert Opinion: Decanter on the humble wine auction sales in New York

Par Vitisphere Le 12 novembre 2008
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Expert Opinion: Decanter on the humble wine auction sales in New York
T

he economic and financial crisis, also reflects on wine auctions in New York, announces Howard G. Goldberg, correspondant of the British magazine Decanter in New York.
A few months ago, 80-100% of lots were sold, but only 67 to 70% found buyers in the last two auctions as stated by the magazine. Striking deficits are also noted among the prices, with noticeable discrepancies between the pre-sale estimations and the prices at which the lots are actually sold. The last sale at Christie’s, on 25 October, has seen only 67% of lots go under the hammer for a little more then $595,000, even though estimations predicted a sum of $979,000. Three days later, at the auction of Aulden Cellars at Sotheby’s, 28 October, only 70% of lots found new owners for about $2 millions, also a much lower sum then even the most pessimistic pre-sale estimates predicted.
Asian auctions seem to follow the tendency, as at the inaugural auction at Zachy’s in Hong Kong on 25 October, 85% of lots were sold for a price that will disappoint opinion holders believing in the infinity of the Asian markets and their possibility to absorb Grand Crus at the highest prices. The highest pre-sale estimation was an ambitious $ 8,627,400, the lots were actually sold at 5,201,503 dollars, which was even lower then the lowest estimation of $ 5,655,590.
Jamie Ritchie, head of Sotheby’s North America wine department, realises that the market is slowing down, but explains this with economic logic: “The price of wine, particularly at the higher end, has gone through a two-year period of unprecendeted increase. Not surprisingly, we now see a period of price adjustements.”

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