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Published:  23 July, 2008

Historic vintages sourced direct from the cellars of Chteau Latour broke all auction records last week at Christie's, with the 180-lot collection selling for more than triple pre-sale estimates. David Elswood, head of Christie's European wine sales, said: From the moment the hammer came down on lot one - a bottle of 1863 Latour selling for 5,280, with a pre-sale estimate of 2-3,000 - this was an extraordinary sale. New world records were established for virtually every one of the 64 estate-sourced Latour vintages offered.' Trade buyers didn't get a look in', according to a spokesperson, as substantial premiums' were paid by private buyers. Top of the lots was a dozen bottles of 1961 Chteau Latour, which sold for 34,098. In second place came a case from 1928, which realised 27,500. The only non-Latour wine in the top ten was a case of Ptrus from 1990, which realised 11,000. Totalling 898,734, the auction was 94% sold by value and 83% by lot. A fine wine sale at Christie's a month earlier saw Ptrus grab the top three slots in a sale that realised 516,960 - 92% sold by value and 85% by lot. Sotheby's latest Finest and Rarest Wines sale - which featured an interesting selection of Rhne wines alongside the usual Claret and Burgundy - also yielded some strong results. We were happy with the result of the sale, which demonstrated the continuing strength of the market,' said Stephen Mould, Sotheby's specialist for the sale. The Rhne section performed well, with the exceptional Cte Rtie from Guigal exceeding expectations.' The highest price (23,575) went to a 12-bottle case of 1945 Chteau Mouton-Rothschild. The top Rhne wine pipped Le Pin for third, with a dozen bottles of 1990 Chteau Rayas, Chteauneuf-du-Pape realising 4,025. The total sale reached 606,153, with 84.9% sold by value and 80.6% sold by lot.