Lafite Raises the Roof in Hong Kong

Three bottles of Château Lafite Rothschild 1869 were sold at a whopping $232,692 each, making it the world's most expensive wine.

Recent auction results in Hong Kong suggest that Château Lafite Rothschild is pulling away from the other first growths. On October 29, a Sotheby’s sale of 2,000 bottles direct from the chateau’s cellars pulled in more than $8 million, including $233,972 each for three bottles of the 1869, believed to be a record price for a single bottle of wine. The presale estimate was a much more modest $5,156-$8,379.

Not only rare vintages sold well above their estimates at the Sotheby’s auction; two cases of the yet-to-bottled 2009 were purchased by an anonymous bidder for $68,632 each, or $5,719 per bottle. Although the price paid for the 2009 is likely to have an immediate effect on the worldwide market, Wall Streeters who haven’t yet plonked down a sizable chunk of their annual bonus needn’t panic. A recent check of showed a potential arbitrage opportunity: numerous U.S. retailers are offering the 2009 Lafite for less than $2,000 per bottle.

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