Sotheby's Wine Auction Analysis Report: August 2023

Sotheby's Wine Auction Analysis Report: August 2023
Petrus 2000 (12 BT), Source - Sotheby's.

This report provides insights and analysis based on the results of three wine auctions held in August 2023. The auctions analyzed are "A Monumental Cellar," "Exceptional Cellars Including Finest Wines Benefitting The PolG Foundation," and "Thousand Shades of Red | Inaugural Online Wine Auction."

1. Auction Overview:

  • A Monumental Cellar and Exceptional Cellars were held in New York, while Thousand Shades of Red took place in Shanghai.
  • Featured wines included prestigious labels such as Château Haut Brion, Château Mouton Rothschild, Château Latour, Château Pichon Longueville, Baron, and Château Lafite.

2. Key Insights:

  • High Demand for Château Haut Brion: This wine was prominently featured in two auctions, indicating its popularity among collectors.
  • Vintage Value: Older vintages, especially from the early 20th century, are highly sought after, reflecting their rarity and aging potential.
  • Provenance Matters: Wines with direct provenance, especially from the châteaux or notable cellars, fetched higher estimated values.
  • Asian Market: The auction in Shanghai underscores the growing demand for fine wines in Asia.

3. Comparative Analysis:

  • Top Wines Across Auctions: Wines like Château Haut Brion and Château Mouton Rothschild appeared in multiple auctions, showcasing their consistent demand.
  • Price Range Analysis: The auctions featured wines with a wide range of estimated values, catering to both seasoned collectors and new investors.

4. Vintage Popularity:

  • The 1920s, 1970s, and 2000s vintages were prominently featured, indicating their current popularity in the market.

5. Regional Focus:

  • Bordeaux wines, especially from the Pauillac and Pessac-Léognan appellations, dominated the auctions.

6. Condition and Presentation:

  • The condition of the wine, especially the label and capsule, played a significant role in its estimated value. Wines in pristine condition fetched higher estimates.

7. Provenance Analysis:

  • Wines with direct provenance from the châteaux or from notable figures like HRH Prince Robert de Luxembourg commanded higher estimated values.

8. Lot Size Analysis:

  • Larger lots, especially those with 12 bottles or more, had higher estimated values, indicating a preference for bulk purchases among buyers.

9. Descriptive Analysis:

  • Wines described with rich flavor profiles, such as notes of cassis, black cherry, and tobacco, were associated with higher estimated values.

Recommendations for Collectors and Investors:

  • Diversify Collections: Consider wines from different châteaux and vintages to spread investment risk.
  • Monitor Condition: Pay attention to the wine's condition before purchasing, as it can significantly impact its value.
  • Stay Updated: Regularly attend or monitor wine auctions to stay informed about market trends and potential investment opportunities.


The wine auction market in August 2023 showcased a diverse range of wines, with a particular emphasis on Bordeaux wines and older vintages. Collectors and investors should consider diversifying their portfolios, paying attention to provenance and condition, and staying updated on market trends to make informed decisions.


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