The following article appears in The Agency’s Second Quarter 2013 Agency Report.

In May, British auction house Bonhams held their Fine and Rare Wines, Cognac & Single Malt Whisky Auction, featuring 450 lots of the finest wines and spirits on the market. The event was set in Hong Kong’s luxurious island Shangri-La Hotel and led to a flurry of bidding that indicates a growing demand for high-end single malts and Burgundy wines.

On the rare wines front, Romanée-Conti led the charge with five of the top ten sales. An assortment case of the 2001 vintage Romanée-Conti – described as “a saturated dark ruby color as well as a mouth-watering nose of leather, juniper berries, cherries, and spices” – went for roughly $24,500 US, at the high end of the estimated price.

A six-bottle case of the 1999 vintage Romanée-Conti topped that, though, selling for an astounding $73,600. Another notable Burgundy was the 1982 Chateau Lafite Rothschild; a 12-bottle case commanded $38,350.

Among whiskies, The Macallan single malts were dominant. A bottle of 50 year-old Macallan Lalique sold for roughly $34,000 US, thousands higher than anticipated. The whisky was in a limited edition Lalique Crystal decanter – one of only 470. The distillery also made waves with their sale of a 25 year-old Macallan Silver Jubilee for $8,400, specially bottled for The Silver Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in 1977.

Then there were the Japanese single malts. All 30 bottles available – from the legendary Karuizawa and Hanyu distilleries – sold for multiple times their pre-sale estimates. A bottle of Karuizawa-1968-Whisky Live 2012 went for roughly US $5,830, doubling its pre-sale estimate. A set of four Hanyu Ichiro’s Card series sold for $2,915. Japanese single malts are in high demand today, and prices are only expected to rise.


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The Agency has released the Second Quarter 2013 Agency Report, which shows the robust momentum of the luxury market continues in Los Angeles. A record 920 prime single-family home closings took place in the second quarter, according to the report. This represents a return to peak levels reached in 2005, when 927 closings were reported.

Download the full report here.