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  1. #1
    Mid
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    Château Lafite Rothschild 1869

    Wine Auction at Sotheby's Hong Kong Makes History as a Baron's Tipple Fetches $8.4 Million
    Madeleine O'Dea

    Three bottles of Château Lafite Rothschild 1869 became the most expensive wine ever to be sold at auction when they fetched HK $1,815,000 ($232,692) per bottle in Hong Kong on Saturday night, three times the high presale estimate of HK $65,000. All three bottles were sold by phone to a single Asian bidder whose coup was the highlight of the all-Lafite sale by Sotheby's at which every one of the 284 lots was sold. The auction brought in an extraordinary total of HK $65.5 million ($8.4 million), tripling the high estimate of HK $20 million, and confirming Asia's status as the up-and-comer of the global fine wine market.

    The sale also confirmed the almost hypnotic power of the Lafite name in the Chinese market, a phenomenon that nobody is quite able to explain. Serena Sutcliffe, head of Sotheby's international wine department, thinks it may be because the Chateau's name is easy to pronounce in Mandarin. Others say the craze started with the wildly popular 2006 Hong Kong gangster movie "Exiled," in which the anti-hero rejects a glass of wine, snarling that anything less than Chateau Lafite is "garbage." Supporters of this theory say that soon after the release of the movie, fake bottles of Lafite began to flood the Chinese market.

    Buyers at the Sotheby's sale had no fears about provenance as the wine was consigned directly from the cellars of Château Lafite Rothschild in Pauillac and the auction at Hong Kong’s opulent Mandarin Oriental hotel was conducted under the gaze of Baron Eric de Rothschild himself, who had flown in especially for the event. Chateau Lafite is sinking deep roots in the Middle Kingdom: it recently forged a partnership with China's largest state-owned investment company, CITIC, to produce wine on the peninsula of Penglai in the Shandong Province.

    This is part of an assiduous campaign by the vintners to drive home their advantage at the pinnacle of the Chinese market, a campaign for which they have proven themselves remarkably adept. The announcement that they would celebrate the joint venture with CITIC by adorning all bottles of a 2008 vintage with the Chinese character for the auspicious number eight turned out to be a stroke of marketing genius — within 48 hours of the news the case price of Lafite on the Liv-Ex fine wine exchange had jumped 17 percent.

    Commenting on the Sotheby’s sale, the baron declared himself "delighted" by the outcome, which "brought Lafite to so many true connoisseurs and wine lovers." Sutcliffe was more succinct: Wine history was made today," she said.

    news.yahoo.com

  2. #2
    Philippine Expat Davis Knowlton's Avatar
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    Some people just have more money than they know what to do with.

  3. #3
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    Hope they're corked.

    Can a 140 yr old wine still taste good? Surely there's an age point where it begins to go bad in someway or another.

  4. #4
    Philippine Expat Davis Knowlton's Avatar
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    ^I don't think so. As long as they were originally corked properly, and have been stored properly since, I think wine is essentially timeless. I don't have links or anything, but I do recall a story I saw some years ago about wine jars being brought up from a cold water shipwreck site after many, many years, and the wine was still drinkable.

  5. #5
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    Fair nuff.

    Might bury some buckfast out the back garden for future generations to enjoy.

  6. #6
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    it's all about status,

    probably some Chinese peasant trying to impress his friends,

    they will probably get pissed on beers and then drink those bottles without telling the difference

  7. #7
    Philippine Expat Davis Knowlton's Avatar
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    ^^Won't work. Metal screw tops will rust.

  8. #8
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    When one has run out of Porches and Superyachts then one's dick is bigger than ... Oh ! DD will explain .....

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