Once-In-A-Lifetime Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Collection Hits The Market06/07/2020
A superb collection of rare Domaine de la Romanee wines have just hit the market with a price tag of nearly $170,000. Affectionately referred to as “DRC” by those in the know, this iconic Burgundy winery has a reputation for producing some of the finest wines on the planet. They’re also the most expensive. Prices typically range from a few thousand pounds up to six-figure numbers for exceptional older vintages. The record holder is currently a bottle of 1945 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Romanee-Conti which went under the hammer for $558,000 (£424,000) at Sotheby’s auction in New York in 2018.
London-based fine wine investment company OenoFuture has recently acquired a very rare 33-bottle collection featuring many top vintages from the past two decades. For investors or collectors with deep enough pockets, this is an exhilarating opportunity to acquire bottles that are rarely seen on the market.
The offer is expected to attract significant attention given the exceptional investment performance of DRC over the past couple of decades. Returns on DRC are consistently mind-blowing, such as the 1978 La Romanée-Conti which has achieved a remarkable 38744.92% growth, or £251,842 per case, since release. More recently, the smart money has been on DRC’s slightly lesser-known bottlings like their Echezeaux which has seen growth of over 250% over the last decade.
You’d be forgiven for wondering exactly why these wines are so expensive. Scarcity plays a big role. DRC produces just 6000-8000 cases per year, a tiny number when you consider the thousands of collectors across the world who are vying to get their hands on them. All of their production is sold on a strict allocation basis, meaning that even those with bulging bank balances need the right connections to guarantee access. For their most iconic wine, the La Romanée-Conti itself, just 450 cases are released on average each vintage.
Just as important as scarcity is the incredible quality and reputation of DRC. The domaine only produces Grand Cru wines, the highest vineyard classification in Burgundy. Connoisseurs have been fighting to get their hands on these wines right back to 1706 when Marquise de Pompadour, former mistress of Louis XIV, went head to head with Louis-François de Bourbon in a bidding war over what is today called the La Romanée-Conti vineyard. In the end Louis-Francois prevailed, paying six times the price of other Burgundian Grand Cru vineyards.
According to Burgundy specialist and Master of Wine Clive Coates the new owner was not keen on sharing his acquisition; “Not even his friends, who according to Beaumarchais, would go down on their knees in front of him and mockingly plead for an indulgence of one single bottle, would move him from his avarice.” It’s a sentiment echoed by many collectors lucky enough to secure a few bottles of this prince among wines.
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