Chinese Collector Nearly Buys Up Entire Wine Auction In Paris

Sale Of Wines Owned By French Actor Alain Delon Triples Estimates On Chinese Demand

A lot of six bottles Cheval Blanc 1947 sold for 20,000 euros at the auction today

A lot of six bottles of Cheval Blanc 1947 sold for 20,000 euros at the auction today

China’s new generation of wine enthusiasts are becoming a common sight in France, whether they’re bidding for lots at auction in Paris or buying up châteaux in the countryside. At an auction earlier today, one Chinese collector stole the show by driving prices through the roof with theatrical zeal. Held by the auction house Cornette de Saint Cyr, today’s sale of 1,000 bottles from the collection of the French film and stage actor Alain Delon ultimately pulled in more than 250,000 euros (US$333,800), well over the pre-sale estimate of 100,000 euros, with the Shenzhen-based media businessman Dong Guo acquiring 70 lots, nearly the entire action.

From Reuters:

Auction house Cornette de Saint Cyr, which sold wines of the cave of the Tour d’Argent restaurant in 2009, said Guo was president of the Yubang media group in Shenzhen and aimed to invite Delon to come to his city.

Delon was not present at the sale. Guo, with heavy-rimmed glasses, was sitting relaxed on a front-row seat, constantly lifting his hand with finger-signs to indicate his price increases.

Other buyers, like Paris-based wine trader Guerda Brahim, said some prices were ‘crazy’. “I came here to find some bargains to put in my cellar and sell them on to my clients,” he said.

The bottles had a Delon cellar-sign which made them not just interesting for wine collectors but also for people eager to own objects that had belonged to a film star like him. This was particularly evident as ‘Alain Delon’ labeled champagne or cognac reached prices at sometimes five times their estimate.

While we can’t say whether Dong Guo’s enthusiasm was partly fed by fandom, the fact that many bottles had Alain Delon cellar-signs and have clear provenance is a hallmark of Chinese auction buyers. Given these aspects, and the fact that the bottles ostensibly hadn’t traveled that far since being initially purchased by Delon, it’s not surprising that Guo’s bidding led to “crazy” prices — we see that in Hong Kong at nearly every wine auction.

 

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