Sep 162010

HONG KONG.- No other wine has captured the imagination of the Chinese wine connoisseur like Château Lafite-Rothschild.

From the high-end restaurants that line Beijing’s Dongcheng District to Shanghai’s Three on the Bund Complex, Lafite is a name that inspires a hushed reverence. So it is fitting that on 29 October 2010, Sotheby’s Hong Kong is dedicating an evening auction to wines procured directly from Lafite. Nearly 2,000 bottles, dating from 1869 to 2008—and which have never left the Château until now—will be offered for sale. It is almost unheard of for Lafite to release library vintages from their private cellar, but the estate wanted to take the opportunity to honor some of their biggest fans.

Lafite’s now legendary status in Asia is understandable. One of only five First Growth producers in Bordeaux, Lafite can trace its heritage to the mid 1500s, and the unique quality of its land to a time before dinosaurs inhabited prehistoric France. The near mythical soil of Lafite is linked to the Paleozoic era, which accounts for the white, grey, and rust colored stones that give Lafite’s wines their unparalleled power and finesse.

The chance to buy a bottle Lafite at auction is already a thing of beauty, but to have access to so many vintages, cellared at the estate, is sure to draw its most devoted followers. The sale is expected to fetch between $1.5 and $2.5 million. (All bottles will have a label with the Sotheby’s designation and all bottles are laser engraved at the bottom “Hong Kong 2010”)

As Serena Sutcliffe MW, Worldwide Head of Wine at Sotheby’s, put it: “This historic sale of treasures from the fabled Château Lafite is personally immensely exciting for me, as well as being a great honour for Sotheby’s. A long career in wine could only be crowned by an auction of this magnitude – and this magic. Château Lafite is an enthralling wine that has conquered the world with its beauty and this unique opportunity to buy its greatest bottles, direct from the cellars, will not come again. It is entirely appropriate that this landmark Lafite sale should be held in Asia, whose wine lovers have recognised its extraordinary quality, excitement and longevity. This auction represents Château Lafite in all its glory and those who acquire these wines can feel they have walked into the legendary cellars and found paradise.”

Baron Eric de Rothschild, whose family has owned the vineyards of Lafite since 1868, added: “When people fall in love with our wines, we want to make sure that they have the chance to savour them at their best. It is a pleasure to honour this new Asian clientele who are taking such an interest in prestigious vintages of great chateaux and reviving an old tradition of appreciation of Bordeaux wines by the Far East. We are delighted to work with Sotheby’s on this exciting sale!”

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