Vine Talk: Chinese speculators seen stocking up on '09 Bordeaux

Tue May 18, 2010 9:33am EDT
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By Adam Lechmere

LONDON (Reuters Life!) - Speculators, not drinkers, are likely to be the biggest Chinese buyers of Bordeaux 2009.

In a survey, asked five Bordeaux buyers, merchants and restaurateurs in Hong Kong and mainland China for their opinions on where the Bordeaux 2009 market was headed.

According to some of these veterans, 2009 will be bought to be sold on and buyers will be more sensitive to price than Europeans.

As Simon Zhou of Ruby Red Fine Wines in Shanghai said: "Speculators will be the biggest buyers of '09 Bordeaux. Wine drinkers will not buy as enthusiastically as most overseas trade and media seem to think"

Marcus Ford of the Wine Way in Shanghai said the same.

Although wine lovers are "warming up to the idea of en primeur" they wouldn't make their presence felt nearly as much as speculators from outside China hoping to capitalize on the Chinese thirst for fine Bordeaux in general and the 2009 vintage in particular.

But not all are convinced.

Another respondent, the connoisseur and en primeur buyer Michael Ma, said: "Vintners betting on an explosion of demand from China in '09 are likely to be disappointed" - especially if there are unreasonable price hikes.   Continued...