A wine auction organized by Sotheby in Hong Kong on Saturday exceeded all expectations, reports Bloomberg. Rich wine lovers bid for ten hours on 800 lots and eventually spent HK$52.9 million (4.81 million euros), against Sotheby’s estimate of HK$40 million. Not included in those amounts are the auction charges. It seems the economic crisis is forgotten at least in Asia. According to Bloomberg one of the reasons for the higher than expected revenue is the fear of inflation in China. Rich Chinese are trying to secure their wealth by converting some of their cash position into valuable assets such as fine wines.
Some wines fetched remarkable prices. An imperial (6-liter bottle) of 1982 Chateau Lafite Rothschild fetched HK$363,600 (33,000 euros) or more than twice the estimated value. A Swiss dealer currently sells a 6-liter bottle of Lafitte for 12,468 euros (VAT and shipping not included). But buyers must beware: there is much fake Lafite 1982 in circulation. But this cru has an almost mythical reputation with Chinese buyers. Two magnums of Petrus 1982 fetched HK$435,000 (39,576 euros), more than three times the estimated value of HK$130,000. Petrus 1982 has a much lesser reputation than Lafite. In his most recent tasting note Parker says that the wine tastes like water and is herbaceous. He nevertheless still awards 93 points.