Latest trend in wine writing: ‘bubble’
Here’s a link to The National Business Review (whatever that is) which carries an article on the Andrew Lloyd Webber sale of wines held at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Hong Kong. What tickled me was the opening statement:
“In a sure sign China’s growing prosperity is reaching bubble proportions, bidders have paid top dollar in Hong Kong for part of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s vast wine collection.“
Oh. I see. Well, the author (Nevil Gibson….no, I haven’t either) must be referring to the currently proposed ‘Lafite bubble’, which was of course said to be ready to burst (incorrectly, in my opinion) in December by Andy Xie, an article on which I commented here. So let’s have a look at the wines then. What vintages of Lafite, and how much? Here goes:
1990 Domaine de la Romanée Conti – a magnum for £17,460
2002 Domaine de la Romanée Conti – three bottles for £8400
1982 Chateau Petrus 1982 – a case for £48,500
The sale also included “the finest white Burgundies ever for sale in the region“.
This doesn’t smell of a “burst bubble” (of whatever) to me. Assuming it was the Chinese and not ex-pats or similar who were buying (Gibson doesn’t specify), the story here is surely:
- the Chinese are buying other Bordeaux than Lafite, for “top dollar”.
- the Chinese are looking beyond Bordeaux to Burgundy, DRC specifically, but others too.
- ALW has wisely sold off lots of risky white Burgundy. He must know his wine, after all. Maybe.
Looks more like a widening of China’s appetite for expensive wine, than a burst bubble, to me.