Shanghai DRC auction is 'just the beginning', says Christie's

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Christie's has high hopes for the future of fine wine auctions in Mainland China after selling several lots of Domaine de la Romanee-Conti at its second Shanghai sale.

Christie's sold 13 lots of DRC wines for a total CNY2.53m (US$410,000) in amongst jewelry, art and watches in Shanghai late last month.

Many of the wine lots fetched amounts that were within Christie's' pre-sale guidance range, although most fell short of the firm's high estimates - as the DecanterChina.com graphic below shows.

Simon Tam, head of wine for China at Christie's, told DecanterChina.com that he was very pleased with buyers’ demand considering it’s only been two years since Christie’s as a company announced it would hold independent auctions of collectible goods on the Chinese Mainland.

‘This was our second [wine] auction in China, and both have been 100% sold,’ said Hong Kong-based Tam.

Mainland China's wine auction scene remains tiny compared to Hong Kong, which has become the world's largest wine auction centre thanks to rising demand for fine wine in Asia and a decision in 2008 to abolish duty tax on wine imports.

Tam believes there is potential for growth on the Mainland. ‘The future is just beginning,’ he said. But, in a market known to have problems with counterfeit versions of the world's top domaines, Tam added, ‘what is very clear is that super provenance is everything.’

The top DRC lot in the Christie's sale was a 12-bottle haul of Romanee-Conti 1988, which sold for CNY1.1m (US$180,000), versus a pre-auction high estimate of CNY1.4m.

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