China’s first fine wine auction has been hailed a success, with 93% of the lots sold for a total sum of RMB9.2m (US$1.3m).
The sale in Beijing, conducted by Beijing Poly International Auction Co, was focused entirely on the top châteaux and vintages of Bordeaux, with wines selected by French wine expert Claude Maratier.
Highlights among the 131 lots included two bottles of Lafite 1982 which fetched RMB72,800 (US$10,700), which was four times their estimate.
A presentation case comprising two bottles each of Pétrus, Latour, Margaux and Haut-Brion, all 2000 vintage, had been expected to raise RMB18,000-22,000 (US$2,600), but eventually sold for RMB201,600 (US$29,500).
Maratier told Chinese State news agency Xinhua that he was ‘very satisfied’ with the auction and hoped to co-operate with Poly on future fine wine sales.
Ma Zhefei, who managed the auction for Poly, said 90% of the buyers claimed they would drink the wines themselves, and were not buying for investment.
He added that the wines had been sold at about 70% of their current market price in China. High import taxes on wine on the mainland have led many fine wine collectors to buy in Hong Kong, where import taxes were abolished last year.
‘The demand is there,’ Ma said. ‘We will keep organising such auctions in Poly’s future spring and autumn auction seasons.’
Written by Richard Woodard