Fine Living | Need To Now

Time-limited luxuries

For sale: stunning Latour vintages stretching back 150 years

Time-limited luxuries

May 23 2011
John Stimpfig

While most wine lovers will be thinking about the latest must-have 2010 bordeaux vintage, a select few will be focusing their attention on a very special sale of older Château Latour vintages on May 27 in Hong Kong.

Latour’s owner, François Pinault, has put up a number of stunning vintages, spanning nearly 150 years from the Pauillac First Growth’s Reserve Cellar. Naturally, the wines will be sold through Christie’s, also owned by Pinault.

Every single bottle has been inspected by the president of Latour, Frédéric Engerer, and the winemaking team. In addition, each bottle also comes equipped with state-of-the-art Prooftag technology, a unique tracing system to further guarantee provenance.

Last October, a Sotheby’s auction of Château Lafite ended with the 1869 vintage. However, Latour has gone one better than Lafite by going back to the pre-phylloxera vintage of 1863. Ahead of it come some historic and stellar vintages such as the 1899, 1928, 1945, 1959 and 1961. More recent greats include the 1982, 1990, 1996, 2000, 2003 and 2005.

While prices are expected to be high, they will not scale anything like the heights of October’s Lafite sale, which netted more than $8m. Christie’s expects the 1863 to fetch between HK$80,000-HK$120,000 (about $10,287 to $15,430). Meanwhile, the top estimates of the ’45 and the ’61 are HK$720,000 (about $92,600) and HK$850,000 (about $109,300) respectively. In all, the 392 lots are valued at more than HK$25m/US$3.2m.