The market for the finest bottles of Bordeaux is not in decline, according to one expert, with estates still able to command top prices.
Having once achieved record prices at auction, a recent Sotheby's sale in Hong Kong provided further evidence of a downward trend for Bordeaux.
Prices overall were down on 2011 levels, while six lots of First Growth Chateau Lafite Rothschild, once the darling of the Asian wine market, went unsold.
However, Stuart Walton, chairman of the Circle of Wine Writers, claims that the top Bordeaux estates need not worry about having to reduce their prices.
He insists that the likes of Lafite, Chateau Latour and Chateau Mouton Rothschild can continue to command high values, and the recent dip is more down to the economic climate than a waning interest in Bordeaux.
Mr Walton explains that the health of the Chinese economy is closely linked to that of the eurozone, which serves as a major export market for Asia.
The expert believes that Chinese officials are placing a great amount of pressure on eurozone ministers to sort out the ongoing debt crisis, adding: "If the financial woes of the world begin to settle down it could well be that demand [for Bordeaux] within the European countries and North America [will then] strengthen.
"Then they will have completely weathered the storm in that respect but it will be very much with the help of the Chinese market."
What is not in doubt is that Bordeaux is now having to compete with nearby Burgundy for sales in Hong Kong.
Interest in the top Burgundy estates, such as Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, has grown rapidly in recent months, and these labels are currently commanding the highest prices at auction.
This trend is likely to be strengthened by reports of the high quality of the 2010 Burgundy vintage, with en primeur interest from Asia already high.
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