Asian buyers move in on London

Buyers from the Far East bought all of the top lots at Sotheby’s London auction this week.

Stephen Mould, head of Sotheby’s European wine department, said there had been a “resurgence of Asian buyers” for lots of good Bordeaux and Burgundy.

Some 44% of the lots at Wednesday’s sale were bought by Asians, including all 10 of the top lots – all of which were pushed comfortably over their high estimates.

Online bidding was particularly strong, accounting for 15% of sales against 16% in the room.

Mould added: “We were delighted with Wednesday’s sale results, with strong bidding on mature vintages of Bordeaux and wines from Domaine de la Romanée Conti due to a resurgence of Asian buyers.

“There was also great interest in Rhône wines with many of the Guigal lots exceeding their high estimates along with red Burgundy from top producers such as Rousseau from the same collection, which was also fiercely contested.

“This demonstrates the broadening interest in different wine regions of Asian collectors.”

The very top lot was a case of Le Pin 1990 which pushed its high estimate of £26,000 to settle at £30,550.

It was followed by an assortment of DRC 1998, which rose £7,000 over its estimate to sell for £19,975.

Other top lots included Pétrus 2000 (three magnums for £18,800), 1967 (£17,038) and Le Pin 1989 (£17,038).

The only Lafite in the top 10 was a case of 1986 which sold for £12,925. The top lot of Guigal mentioned by Mould – six bottles of Côte Rôtie La Mouline 2000 – effectively doubled its high estimate when it sold for £1,586.

Meanwhile at Christie’s sale yesterday (23 February), DRC collections from 2002 and 2000 topped the lists in an auction that was 99% sold by both lot and value (Sotheby’s was 87% sold on both counts).

Chris Munro, director of Christie’s London Wine Department said it was: “A tremendous start to 2012 as Burgundy took centre stage at the first Christie’s London wine sale of the year. We were very pleased with the results of the single owner collection which was 100% sold, and significantly exceeded the pre-sale estimate.

“Wines from DRC took the top spots with an Assortment vintage 2002 making £20,700 and a further Assortment vintage 2000 selling for £17,250. Further sale highlights included a case of Chambertin 1998 from Leroy, far exceeding its pre-sale estimate of £2,500-£3,500 achieving £10,350. And a case of Vosne Romanée Cros Parantoux 1999 from Emmanuel Rouget more than doubled its pre-sale estimate of £4,000-6,000 to sell for £10,925.”

The next London sales will be on 8 March for Christie’s and 21 March for Sotheby’s.


2 Responses to “Asian buyers move in on London”

  1. reece clarke says:

    Their pre-sale estimates were way too low to begin with so its easy for them to state they were well exceeded. DRC Assortment 1998 at £13,000, of course it sold for nearer £20k! Cros Parantoux 1999 from Rouget was £6000-£7000 about 4 years ago.

    The worry is the sellers actually agreed to these estimates knowing they would also be liable for 17.5% sellers commission on top. Sellers could easily have been caught out if the quality and market savvy bidders did not show up.

  2. Robert Giorgione says:

    Just as well, because allegedly, at present, the Russians and Asians are the only people with money to spend!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to our newsletters