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Asian buyers snap up blue-chip Bordeaux in New York

New York became Hong Kong on 12 November when five different Asian bidders snapped up nine of Sotheby’s top 10 grossing lots at an auction featuring Bordeaux.

Petrus: the 2000 snapped up for $72,600

Sotheby’s US$5,403,527 sale opened with 128 cases from vintage 2000 consigned by Bordeaux Winebank.

The Winebank is a subsidiary of Norwegian businessman Henning Thoresen’s BWB Group, which specializes in trading wines certifiably originating in chateaus’ cellars.

Each of three 2000 Pétrus case lots (high-estimated at US$50,000) realized US$72,600.

Asians’ passion for Lafite Rothschild was demonstrated in the US$57,475 and US$54,450 paid for separate lots of 1982 Lafite (US$40,000 estimates) from two non-Winebank consigners.

One Winebank 2000 Lafite lot fetched US$36,300, and three more each fetched US$33,275 (US$25,000 estimates).

By comparison, at Sotheby’s record-smashing 29 October Hong Kong auction of holdings from Lafite cellars, one 2000 lot fetched US$71,806; two more brought $62,440 each; and another two $59,318 each.

In Manhattan on 12 November, each of Winebank’s 10 vintage 2000 Mouton Rothschild lots (US$15,000 estimates) brought US$22,990.

Jamie Ritchie, Sotheby’s New York wine department president, said ‘strong global demand saw 94% of the sold lots from the Bordeaux Winebank realize prices in excess of their high estimates.’

Winebank will offer vintage 2000 bottles at Sotheby’s 23 January auction in Hong Kong.

At NYWines/Christies’ sale on 12-13 November, an Asian private bidder paid US$120,000 for an Lafite superlot of 1996-2003 cases. The high estimate was US$70,000.

Written by Howard G Goldberg in New York

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