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Asian wine investors buy-up top lots at Christie's auction by 02/02/2012  


Wine investors from Asia were the top bidders at a Christie's auction last week, buying all four top lots at the event that raised a total of $1.2 million (£750,000).

Top lot were two cases of Petrus from the 1982 and 2000 vintages, which sold for $58,080 and $45,980 respectively.

A case of Lafite 1982 went for $45,980 and, following China's new taste for Burgundy, an assortment of Domaine de la Romanee-Conti 1990 fetched the same amount.

Meanwhile, a London fine wine sale at Sotheby's managed to raise £1.6 million.

Petrus 1982 was also the reigning lot at the event (one case sold for £39,100), followed by Lafite 1982, Latour 1982 and Le Pin 1985, 1986 and 1989.

There were a variety of lots for sale, including a case of La Tour Figeac 1953 - which surpassed its £600 top estimate to go for £943 – and a case of Cos d'Estournel 1970.

Super seconds Lynch Bages 1982 and Gruaud Larose also exceeded their estimates in a positive turnaround for the market.

Indeed, January could be hinting at the start of a return in favour for the fine wine market. Sotheby's sale performed above the 2011 average of a 91.6 per cent sell-through rate by lot, by selling 95.2 per cent of all 665 lots.

Christie's achieve a 96 per cent sale rate as well.

Robin Kelley O'Connor, head of wine for Christie's Americas, said that the sell-through rate indicates that the market "remains strong, especially for a focused sale of this type that featured the very finest and rarest of top Bordeaux and Burgundy and Northern Rhone wines".

"Overall, the majority of wine prices performed within estimate or in some cases well above, which shows there is great vibrancy in the wine auction market," he added.

The wine sale at Christie's was billed together with the sale of Old Masters artwork in an unusual step. The sales were to be a "salute to France".