Vin­tage wines fetch pretty penny in Hong Kong auc­tions

The Myanmar Times - - The Pulse -

SOME 2000 bot­tles of vin­tage French bur­gundy wine from the ven­er­a­ble Mai­son Bouchard Pere et Fils, in­clud­ing one from 1846, were snapped up at a Hong Kong auc­tion over the week­end.

The 1846 vin­tage, from the Meur­sault-Charmes re­gion, sold for HK$134,750 (US$17,451) – far ex­ceed­ing a top-ranged es­ti­mate of HK$80,000 – to an undis­closed bid­der af­ter en­thu­si­as­tic bid­ding at Christie’s Hong Kong of­fice.

The auc­tion house de­scribed it as the old­est bot­tle in the Bouchard cel­lars, with a pale golden colour and a hon­eyed char­ac­ter.

Tim Trip­tree, se­nior spe­cial­ist and head of sales for Christie’s wine de­part­ment said he was “de­lighted” with the re­sults from the Bouchard sale.

“Early ex­am­ples of Bur­gundy like those pre­sented in the sale are ex­tremely rare, with 16 bot­tles in our sale dat­ing from the 19th cen­tury,” Trip­tree said fol­low­ing the auc­tion.

“The strong re­sults from to­day’s sale re­flect how Bur­gundy wines con­tinue to be avidly col­lected in the [Asian] re­gion,” he said, adding that the bot­tles were recorked af­ter they were opened, tasted and checked.

Another high­light of the sale saw a 1865 Mon­tra­chet sold for HK$196,000, much more than the top range es­ti­mate of HK$60,000.

Hong Kong, which abol­ished du­ties on wine im­ports in 2008, has been a gate­way to the boom­ing wine mar­ket in main­land China, but an aus­ter­ity drive in China has made of­fi­cials wary of bag­ging high-end bot­tles.

The crack­down on ex­cess de­pressed sales in 2013 and 2014, but the Chi­nese mar­ket has since picked up.

Gilles de Larouziere, pres­i­dent of the Hen­riot wine group, which owns Mai­son Bouchard, had pre­vi­ously said the sale was tak­ing place in the south­ern Chi­nese city be­cause of “ex­tra­or­di­nary en­thu­si­asm for great French wines”.

The vine­yards of Mai­son Bouchard Pere et Fils, which the Hen­riot fam­ily of Cham­pagne took over in 1995, cover around 130 hectares (320 acres), of which 12 hectares pro­duce grand cru wines and 74 hectares grow sec­on­drank­ing pre­mier crus.

It was founded in 1731 and has a col­lec­tion of some 150,000 bot­tles.

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