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Antique Wine Company scores top lot at Burgundy auction

Published:  21 November, 2011

London's Antique Wine Company scooped the star lot at Burgundy's Hospices de Beaune auction yesterday.

Top lot the Pièce des Présidents reached €110,000, the third highest bid ever recorded. The 500 bottles of Corton Grand Cru red wine were successfully bid for by Stephen Williams, Antique Wine Company's managing director.

Williams said: "Naturally our motive in making this purchase is driven by a charitable effort to save the lives of young underprivileged children requiring heart surgery, and research into Alzheimer's, therefore  we were happy to pay a premium".

"Every day of the year we buy and sell lots of bottles more valuable than €220, and this puts us on the map as serious Burgundy merchants, an area of our business we wish to increase."

Last year's star lot, a 500-litre barrel of Nicolas Rolin, sold for €400.000.
This year's 151st Hospices de Beaune charity wine sale made a total of €5,809,915 over 765 lots, selling 100% by lot and by value.

A spokeswoman for Christie's said Asian buyers were very active, buying 13% of the sale.

Anthony Hanson, MW, senior consultant at Christie's, said: "Collectors and amateurs from 23 nations were buying directly at the Hospices de Beaune sale this year, which underlines the magnetic nature of this auction for wine lovers throughout the world.

"The investment by The Hospices de Beaune and by Christie's in spreading the renown of many of Burgundy's greatest appellations is bearing fruit. There were numerous Asian buyers in the auction room, as well as in the streets of Beaune - immersing themselves in Burgundy's traditional festivities".

In 2010 €6,922, 647 barrels were sold, reaching a total of €4,478,760.