August 1, 2009

Prices for fine wines rebounding quickly

Chinese investors are pouring into the fine wine market, easing fears it would be hurt by the global recession, experts say.

The latest example is Chateau Latour 2008, which when released in May was selling for $2,650 per case but has now risen to $5,000, while cases of Chateau Lafite Rothschild have zoomed from $3,250 apiece to $5,850 as more and more buyers chase a limited amount of product, The Daily Telegraph reported Saturday.

It's been a real success story, Simon Berry, the chairman of Berry Bros & Ruddy, told the newspaper. The wine trade was very nervous at the start of this year about the recession. But China probably hasn't been hit as hard as other countries and there are still an awful lot of rich people out there compared with 10 years ago. They really like the big names -- Lafite and Latour.

Berry told the Telegraph a customer came into his London shop this week and purchased 10 cases of 2003 vintage Chateau Lafite, which retails for more than $16,700 per case.

Prices for the best 100 vintages are recovering, rising by 4.5 percent since the start of the year, research company Live-ex reported.