On the 10th and 11th of September, Zachys hosted Hong Kong’s fourth largest auction to date. The event generated over £3.7 million in sales (for more than 900 lots) and saw a case of Lafite Rothschild 1982 fetch a spectacular £38,809 (12x75cl). Other top-selling lots included Tache 1999 at £24,511 and Pin 2005 at £22,468. That same weekend, Bonhams held a (smaller) fine wine auction in London, which again saw the eminent Lafite command some of the event’s highest prices, along with Petrus and Mouton Rothschild. But did the wines in London sell at a similar price level to those auctioned in Hong Kong?

The answer, it seems, is yes and no. If we compare the auction prices of wines that were sold in both London and Hong Kong (matching wines by vintage and by unit size), then it appears that those offered in Hong Kong sold at an unremarkable 2.74% premium to those sold in London. If, however, we convert single bottle prices to case prices and include them in the calculation, the premium is significantly higher at 7.93%.

In both cases, Lafite achieved noticeably higher prices in Asia. Whereas a 12-pack of the 2000 vintage sold in London at £17,250, the same case fetched an average of £18,213 in Hong Kong. Auction prices for the 1986 and 1982 vintages reflect the same trend, with buyers in Asia paying considerably more for the same wine.

The table shows the auction prices of a selection of wines that were offered in both Hong Kong and London.

Auction prices (HK v London