For China's Wealthy Wine Collectors, Burgundy Is The New Bordeaux

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Photo: Gary Soup

For the last three years, Bordeaux vineyards dominated the Chinese wine market. But the latest Asian wine auctions reveal that Chinese buyers are no longer so intent on restocking their cellars with the same old juice, the Financial Times reports.In fact, that decline may be an indication that the once-surging Chinese wine market is experiencing a bit of a nadir.

AFP reports (via Sotheby’s) that the Hong Kong Sotheby’s first wine auction on Saturday yielded a sum of only $5.6 million, a pittance relative to the $6.43 million to $9.01 million pre-auction estimate.

Burgundies, however, sold very well despite the general decline in sales.

On Friday and Saturday, at an auction conducted by Acker Merrall & Condit, the world’s largest wine seller, three magnums of the 1999 DRC RomanĂ©e Conti (a Burgundy) sold for $81,333. The price set a record high for that vintage.

Commentators are hinting that Burgundy could be the new Bordeaux.

Simon Davies, head of marketing at Fine+Rare Wines, told the Financial Times: “The auction market is likely to remain tough for Bordeaux because people are paying what they think a wine is worth rather than paying absolutely anything just to gain face.”

The top price paid over the weekend was $231,719 for a case of 1990 Romanée Conti.

Whether or not that wine is “worth” such a price is a subject for another discussion.

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