Wine Documentary Looks Into China’s “Red Obsession”

Bordeaux Boom On Film

Red Obsession started filming in 2011

This week, Unfiltered takes a peek at an upcoming documentary looking into the Bordeaux boom that has played out in China over the past several years. An all-Australian production, “Unfiltered” premieres this week at the Berlin Film Festival on February 13. Though the Wine Spectator’s wine blog finds much to like about the film, points are deducted by the fact that China’s wealthy have in many cases dropped their single-minded demand for Bordeaux, along with a handful of cliches the film makes sure to include.

From Unfiltered:

Overall, the film is a good primer on a swiftly evolving relationship, but it’s already dated. The scope is narrow, focusing on first-growths Margaux, Lafite, Latour and third-growth Palmer, with noticeable no-shows by Mouton and Haut-Brion. [Négociant and grower Christian] Moueix holds up his end representing the Right Bank, but there’s no real exploration of the négociants that actually sell the wine to the Chinese, and very little input from Lafite, even though the wine gets a lot of screen time.

Of course, it wouldn’t be about Bordeaux if there wasn’t some wince-inducing hyperbole, and the clichés about ultrarich Chinese wine investors titillate then tire—an interview segment with highly regarded wine collector Peter Tseng is intercut with clips of the sex toys on which he made his fortune coming off the production line, and the oversimplified depiction of Chinese collector George Tong, interviewed standing next to boxes of head-bobbing plastic dolls made by his company and comparing Bordeaux to Disneyland, borders on insulting.

Considering we’ve widely covered the rise and (muted) fall and (even more muted) re-rise of top-tier Bordeaux in China, we’re firmly in the “interested” camp when it comes to Red Obsession, and keen to see how it is received later this week in Berlin.

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