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Wine and auctions, if Burgundy and Bordeaux hold back, Italy gains space and value in Hong Kong

The highlights of the auction signed by “Gelardini & Romani Wine Auction”. Top lot (but declining) Henri Jayer, then Monfortino and Soldera
“Gelardini & Romani Wine Auction” in Hong Kong in the latest auction

“After decades of exponential growth, at a time of great uncertainty for fine wines, with Burgundy continuing to fall since the bubble burst and Bordeaux prices stagnant for years now, authentic Italian excellences are holding up. And among them, the most identifiable wines are growing”. This is the summary, signed by Raimondo Romani and Flaviano Gelardini, that emerges from the latest auction held in Hong Kong, in recent days, by Gelardini & Romani Wine Auction, the only Italian auction house specializing in wines from Italy, which raised more than 500,000 euros, 98% of the catalog value, with average increases of 21.5 % on the auction base.
The top adjudications were a bottle of Vosne Romanée 1er Cru Cros Parantoux Henri Jayer 1999 for 7,200 euros (a high price, but dropping “steeply” compared to 2022, Gelardini & Romani point out, ed.), ahead of 3 bottles of Barolo Monfortino Riserva 1990 at 4,000 euros, and 3 bottles of Gianfranco Soldera’s Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 1997 Case Basse at 3,300 euros,
while the biggest increases, on an auction basis, were all marked by the Abruzzo-based label Valentini, with +200% for 2 bottles of Trebbiano d’Abruzzo 1995 (700 euros), 3 of Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 1985 (1,300 euros) and 7 of Trebbiano d’Abruzzo 1994 (1,400 euros).
Results that, Raimondo Romani and Flaviano Gelardini explain, “confirm that our policy of focusing on promoting only National excellence, rather than chasing easy profits around a few French labels, targeting mainly an Asian clientele, rather than the more “accessible” and “compatible” Anglo-Saxon expatriate community, even in these uncertain times, is paying off”.
Worth mentioning, again, is the renewed interest from young buyers from Mainland China and, above all, the clientele’s preference for wines that are between 10 and, at most, 40 years old. “After this auction, from our privileged observatory, because Hong Kong remains the world capital of fine wines, we can say that the market has now turned to new horizons and our Peninsula increasingly appears as the Promised Land”. Still, the auction house points out, it emerges that the specific vintages of the labels that achieved the highest adjudications and the greatest increases (but not only those) were all served at the auction presentation dinners that took place throughout the previous month, in the best Italian restaurants in Hong Kong, allowing customers to verify both the maturity and the state of preservation of the bottles that would later be offered at auction. “It confirms that, despite the growth of online, for example, which is still a good thing, in our industry, without personal relationships and without a real cultural exchange, through in-person experiences, you don’t go anywhere”.

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