Savvy, young and thirsty, millennial buyers are emerging as the new buying force behind Christie’s two latest large wine sales that generated over HK$52.8 million.
Deep-pocketed millennials are quickly entering the gavel-wielding wine auction scene and now account for nearly half of new buyers at Christie’s two major wine sales last month.
Held on May 24 and 25 in Hong Kong, the two sales titled “Finest and Rarest Wines: Featuring Four Stunning Cellars & Library Vintages Direct from Château Léoville Poyferré” and “An Exceptional Private Cellar Part II” realized a combined sale total of HK$52,899,375 (US$6,784,906).
According to the auction house, the two sales attracted bidders from 18 countries across four continents and drew in a significant number of new buyers, driven by millennials who made up 47% of all new buyers.
Interestingly, 60% of the two sales were sold online through Christie’s LiveTM, a mode of shopping preferred by millennials as well.
The emergence of the new demographic buyers adds optimism to the future of wine auction scene and also serves as a testament to Hong Kong’ vibrant fine wine market.
Michelle Chan, Head of Wine at Christie’s Asia Pacific, commented, “We are delighted with the excellent results and international participation our diverse wine and spirits sales witnessed this season, demonstrating Hong Kong’s continued strength as an international hub for wine collecting.”
Notably, the sale of “An Exceptional Private Cellar Part II” resulted in almost half of lots sold exceeding their high estimates. And the top lot from “Finest and Rarest Wines: Featuring Four Stunning Cellars & Library Vintages Direct from Château Léoville Poyferré” containing 3 magnums of Château Mouton-Rothschild 1945 went for a whopping HK$812,500 (US$104,259).
In fact, bidders from both auctions demonstrated strong enthusiasm over large formats, according to the auction house. Large bottlings from prestigious châteaus led the wine in both auctions, and an ultra-rare methuselah of La Tâche generated a biddy frenzy among collectors. Large formats of Le Pin and Château Mouton Rothschild were also a hit at the auctions.
The appeal of bottles with excellent provenance also shone – every bottle from a collection direct from Château Léoville Poyferré was sold, and a selection of Château Haut Brion previously from The Personal Cellars of H.R.H. Prince Robert de Luxembourg Friends & Family were 100% sold.
For whisky, the exceptional offering from The Macallan was 100% sold and the full set of Karuizawa 36 Views of Mount Fuji realised over HK$1 million, according to Chan.
Burgundy in Spotlight
Following the two successful live auctions, Christie’s Spring sales of wines will culminate with two online auctions – “A Dazzling DRC Collection from a French Private Cellar” and “A Blue-Chip Burgundy Collection Purchased on Release”, which are open for bidding from May 26 till June 7.
This online sale of “A Dazzling DRC Collection from a French Private Cellar” will present an exclusive over 90 lots of DRC from a French Private Cellar. Encompassing every vintage from 1999 through to 2019 and with each of the DRC red Grand cru represented, with much of the stock still in OWC, this collection is expected to attract fierce bidding among collectors.
The single-owner sale of “A Blue-Chip Burgundy Collection Purchased on Release” boasts “first-class” provenance and condition, according to the auction house. Wines were bought on release and have been stored in the impeccable conditions at Berry Bros & Rudd’s bonded storage facility in the U.K.
“Wine collectors and enthusiasts still have the chance to acquire rare and exquisite bottles through our two online auctions of single-owner collections,” says Chan.
For more details and full catalogue for the two online sales, see below: