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2009 will kick-start the Asian futures market: Parker

Asian collectors and consumers are going to buy Bordeaux 2009 as avidly as the Americans bought 1982, Robert Parker says – a view corroborated by major merchants.

In the latest issue of The Wine Advocate, in which the critic publishes his scores for the 2009 vintage, Parker makes clear he thinks this is the vintage that will convert Asia to buying Bordeaux futures.

‘The old song and dance that the Asians don’t pre-pay for wines, preferring to buy in bottle, is no longer true.

‘Americans rarely bought “wine futures” thirty years ago, but all that changed with the 1982s, and it will change for the Asians with the 2009s.’

Parker also addresses the ever-interesting topic of price – but will not speculate much beyond expressing his ‘pessimism’ about prices remaining reasonable.

He also asks ‘how much Bordeaux will they buy beyond the most prestigious First Growths and Super Seconds?’

The same question was posed by decanter.com during en primeur week to many different proprietors and managing directors.

The general consensus was that if this is the vintage that will tempt Asians to buy futures, it will also tempt them to buy more than the top growths.

Nick Pegna, Berry Bros managing director in Hong Kong told decanter.com the level of interest from China as was ‘unprecedented’, with 60% more wishlists from mainland China than last year.

‘It is fascinating to see the inclusion of many other Chateaux than the First Growths including Palmer, Cos, the Pichons, Lascases, Pontet.’

On the right bank, Pegna said, interest extended beyond the icon wines such as Petrus, Le Pin, Angelus and Cheval Blanc, to Conseillante, Pavie, L’Eglise Clinet and Figeac.

As to price, Pegna expressed a wish that prices would be moderate. Set them too high, he said, and despite the involvement of Greater China, the campaign would ‘falter beyond the First Growths’.

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Written by Adam Lechmere

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