October 3, 2011 / 12:05 PM / 7 years ago

Sotheby's wine auction tests China's luxury demand

HONG KONG, Oct 3 (Reuters) - Sotheby’s has failed to sell out its wines at an auction in Hong Kong for the first time since it launched wine sales in the city in 2009 to tap apparently insatiable demand for luxury products from Asia, particularly China.

The auction house sold all 504 lots on Saturday, but finished its second day with 59 unsold lots out of 821, it said in a statement late on Sunday.

Buyers passed up a few lots of Chateau Lafite 2001, choosing instead to focus on other premium vintage wines, including 12 bottles of 1988 Domaine de la Romanée Conti selling for $116,346.

Overall demand over the two days remained strong with the sale raking in $12.7 million, despite increased caution from buyers amid growing global economic uncertainty.

“The Lafite sold pretty well, it was selling around the low estimate basically,” Robert Sleigh, head of Sotheby’s Asia wine department, told Reuters, adding that prices had stabilised a bit following gains in the past few years. (Reporting by Sisi Tang; Editing by Charlie Zhu and Nick Macfie)

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