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Sotheby's crowns its king of fine wines for 2013

A small vineyard in Burgundy that produces fewer than 500 cases of wine a year was the favorite of the Sotheby's set last year.

According to Sotheby's Wine Ranking for 2013, Domaine de la Romanée-Conti was the best-seller at the auction house last year: Of its total wine auction sales of $58 million, Sotheby's sold $7.2 million of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, which is known as DRC in wine circles.

"The story of the 2013 Sotheby's Ranking is the dominance of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti," said Jamie Ritchie, CEO and president of the Americas and Asia for Sotheby's Wine. "Despite very limited production, strong demand led to high prices, making DRC our biggest seller globally.

(Read more: Wealthy pour more money into vineyards)

The most expensive lot of wine Sotheby's sold last year was a case of Château Latour à Pomerol 1961 that fetched $167,508—or just under $14,000 a bottle—in London.

Asian buyers continued to power the biggest demand for fine wines, with Sotheby's sales in Hong Kong totaling $25.5 million last year. London sales came in at $20 million, with New York rang up $12.5 million.

(Read more: How China Is Transforming the Bordeaux Market)

Sotheby's said total sales of fine wines at live auction fell to $278.5 million from $335.6 million in 2012, mainly because of weaker Chinese demand.

The house also rated the top-selling wine producers by region.

Lafite ranked first In Bordeaux, while DRC topped the Burgundy list. Dom Perignon was the premier Champagne. Opus One was No. 1 in California, while Massetto was ranked first in sales for Italy.

—By CNBC's Robert Frank. Follow him on Twitter @robtfrank.

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