France under the hammer

A recent masterclass organised by online auctioneer, iDealwine, and the drinks business Hong Kong mapped out the latest trends at auction and the market evolution for France’s top wine regions from Champagne, Burgundy, Bordeaux, Rhône to the up-and-coming appellations of Jura, Languedoc, and Sauternes-Barsac.

From left to right: Jean-Baptiste Mage, owner of local wine shop The Wine Guild, Ivy Ng, publisher of the drinks business Hong Kong, Arthur de Lencquesaing, iDealwine’s international development manager and Alix Rodarie, iDealwine Asia area manager

In 2016, iDealwine reported a stellar year as buyers from more than 50 countries placed bids on its online platform, bringing its WineDex up by 7.08%; much of it thanks to the scarcity of icon wines, a shortage of Burgundy grand crus from recent vintages and compounded by the Rhône Valley’s growing appeal among collectors.

Among all bidders, France took the lion’s share of sales with 60% and a total value of €6.59 million, while Asia including Hong Kong and China made up about 15% of iDealwine’s sales in value. “Initially [Asian buyers are] more interested in classic Bordeaux top growths, however we have observed a strong appeal from Asian collectors for Burgundy wines, challenging bidders from our more traditional countries like France, the UK or Germany, especially with iconic wines like Domaine de la Romanée Conti, Henri Jayer or Domaine Leroy,” commented Arthur de Lencquesaing, iDealwine’s international development manager.

Despite representing a smaller percentage, cash-rich Asian buyers are more generous when it comes to fine wines. Compared with their counterparts in France, they spend an average of €160 per bottle versus just €80 in France, added de Lencquesaing.

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