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Vega Sicilia boss: Spanish wines undervalued at auction

Spanish wine is greatly undervalued on the secondary market, says Vega Sicilia owner Pablo Alvarez.

During a recent dinner in Hong Kong, Alvarez said it was ‘natural’ his wines should appear in international auctions alongside the likes of Châteaux Lafite, Latour and Mouton Rothschild – but said that other top Spanish wines were conspicuously absent.

A cursory examination of prices at auction shows Chateau Lafite attracts two to five times as much as Vega Sicilia, depending on the vintage.

‘It’s good that Vega Sicilia fetches triple the release price,’ he said, citing the November 2009 Sotheby’s auction which yielded US$1,088,698 (£712,694).

‘But it shouldn’t be the only Spanish wine in this position. Rioja is the most important region of Spain, and the one that has been producing top wines for the longest.’

Alvarez told decanter.com that as one of the major producers of the world, Spain’s presence and perceived value at auction was disproportionately low, and that the market must re-evaluate them.

‘I agree many Spanish wines merit a higher profile,’ said Stephen Mould, head of Sotheby’s European wine department.

‘Perhaps the Spanish just haven’t promoted them as aggressively as the French. While first growths sell themselves, if you look at Lafite: they are still out there promoting themselves as number one.’

‘You have to get out there and wave the flag.’

Bordeaux 2009: All the coverage

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Written by Maggie Rosen

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