US Overtakes Hong Kong in Wine Auction Market Sales Volume
For the first time since 2010, US sales volume in wine auctions surpassed that of Hong Kong in the second quarter of 2012. Despite this, price per lot in the Hong Kong auction market still far outweighs that of the US by more than double, $6400 vs. $2600. Essentially, Hong Kong sells less lots for more money. This has been the result of continued economic weakness in Europe, a soft en premieur 2011 campaign and counterfeit allegation cases.
Many wine categories declined in the United States, including Bordeaux sales by 4.4 percent. The 1995 Château Mouton-Rothschild fell 26 percent to average $394 per bottle while Château Pétrus gave up 21 percent to average $1,666. In contrast, the 1990 Château Cheval-Blanc gained 60% to an average of $1,393 per bottle. Blue chip California wines fell 11.7%. Burgundy, meanwhile, always the stalwart, eeked out a 4% gain.
It’s also been noted that white Burgundy and white Bordeaux as well as Italian wines are all gaining interest in the Asian market.
In order to lessen the risk of counterfeit wines, auction houses such as Sotheby’s is making every effort to access wines directly from estate cellars. Clearly this has soothed the nerves of bidders as a recent Sotheby auction yielded a cool $30,625 for a single bottle of the world renown 1947 Chateau Cheval Blanc and $55,125 for a bottle of 1892 Chateau d’Yquem.