Christie's have benefited from the continuing enthusiasm of the Chinese market for fine wine, holding a very successful auction in Hong Kong last week. Making just short of $10m in total, there were many rare and valuable vintages on offer.
The top two lots sold were 12 magnums - split into six per lot - of 1961 La Tâche. Originating from the tiny commune in Burgundy, France, La Tâche is a monopole of the famous Domaine de la Romanée-Conti winery.
The two lots, consisting of bottles in varying condition, sold for the same amount - $92,881, a fantastic achievement for this old and venerable vintage.
As is often the case, Château Pétrus was very popular amongst the bidders. Twelve bottles of the 1982 vintage were offered with a high estimate of just over $77,000. The near pristine bottles contain a beautiful, garnet-coloured Burgundy.
Described as "intensely fragrant", with a nose of blackberry, fig and lavender, the 1982 Pétrus continues to fascinate collectors. Once again, it exceeded expectations by realising $83,593 - another triumph, which in fact dwarfed this equivalent sale at Sotheby's.
One of the oldest vintages available was also one of the most successful. Only three bottles of the 1929 Romanée-Conti were available in this auction; described as "refined, ripe, elegant", the classic red surpassed its pre-auction high estimate of $58,051, selling for a grand $77,401. That's a stunning $25,800 per bottle.
The inexorable rise of the rare wine market is inextricably linked to the growing wealth of the Chinese and their consequent interest in the finer things. This is, of course, potentially beneficial to investors who wish to sell at a profit.
With emerging economies like China and India getting involved, now could be a very good time to start a wine collection for the long-term. No one knows what heights prices will reach in years to come, but the current trend provides reasons to be optimistic - and that's something to drink to.