Lafite leaves HK buyers unmoved; DRC gains momentum

By October 6, 2011Auctions, Fine Wine Market

The results of Sotheby's fine wine sales in Hong Kong this past weekend underscore Lafite's recent fall from favour. According to Bloomberg, the auction house failed to sell all of the wine on offer on Sunday for the first time in 17 sales. And it was Lafite – the former darling of the HK market – that was once again one of the poorest performers.

Numerous lots of Lafite went unsold, including cases of top vintages such as the 2000, 2001, 2003 and even the acclaimed 1961. But what of the lots that did find buyers? At the Classic Cellar sale on Saturday, recent vintages of Lafite changed hands at or below current market prices – with very few exceptions. The Sunday sale, Finest and Rarest Wines, saw no improvement, with 6x150cl cases selling at an average of eleven per cent below the Liv-ex Best List Price.

The highest prices achieved on each day (for 6x150cl cases that were common to both auctions) are shown in the table below, alongside the September Best List Price.

Auction results 
Prices include buyer's premium. We have chosen to show 6x150cl prices as 12 packs were only available on Saturday.

Whilst Lafite continues to slow down, DRC is gaining momentum in Asia. In a recent blog, we highlighted the producer's auction success and increasing popularity in Hong Kong. Sunday's sale reflected the same trend, with four lots of Romanee Conti 1988 delivering the highest bids of the day – between £70,140 and £75,150 per case.