China begins Yquem love affair

on 17/02/11 at 9:51 am

Wine

Château d’Yquem could finally be emerging as a preferred fine wine brand in the Far East according to merchant Bordeaux Index, which has just sold 600 bottles and 1,200 half bottles in a single trade to a Chinese buyer.

The famous LVMH-owned Sauternes has for some time been tipped as a must-have label in Asia, particularly after the Chinese authorities legalised the importation of sweet wines, including Sauternes, in September last year. However, forecasts of rapidly rising demand and subsequent price appreciation have not materialised.

Nevertheless, Gary Boom, managing director of Bordeaux Index, said of the significant Yquem sale: “Watch this space as we think it could mark the start of a love affair for this ‘liquid gold’ with the mainland Chinese buyers.”

Certainly the sweet wine has heritage, status and consistently high scores, which are all crucial in attracting the new fine wine Asian consumer. It is also reassuringly expensive – since LVMH acquired Yquem in 2004 the wine has been released in London at around £4,000, which is double the price of vintages released pre-LVMH ownership.

Should Boom’s belief prove true, Yquem could currently be viewed as good value, with pre-2000 vintages in particular appearing something of a bargain.

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