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China and Bordeaux Wine

24th August 2017


CHINA AND BORDEAUX WINE

Around the world especially in the new and up and coming markets many merchants have focused on purchasing wines of the 1855 classification of the Medoc region. The intent of the classification was not to give ordered status to the 61 chateaux over the various domains in Bordeaux forever, at nearly 120 years old that is precisely what has happened.

 

Still to this day the 1855 classification continues to notify traders that join the market and begin buying wine about the quality of each wine and the level of quality the wine is classified at. However there are always estates that perform better than others at a higher classification, and of course others that under perform. Overall the classification list is the most effective way to determine who currently has the finest wine in Bordeaux. No other wine province has been known to categorise their top estates in 5, straightforward classifications and having those results firmly guaranteed by the French Government.

 

All anyone needed to understand was First Growth was better than a Second Growth, Second Growths were above Third Growths, Third Growths were superior to Fourth Growths and of course, Fourth Growths were ranked higher than a Fifth Growth. It’s not to say Fifth growths were still good wines and of course exceeding all the unclassified wines.

Since the classification it made it very easy for the Chinese to make quick decisions on whether to buy wines and whether to focus their attention on left bank Bordeaux wines.

 

Bordeaux and China, the birth of the wine trade

 

1982 was an important year in Bordeaux’s history for many reasons. This was the year a vintage was created in an advanced era, indicating a new generation was about to take over Bordeaux. Also, this was the year Robert Parker kick started his career, the most significant wine critic of all time. Trading Company was founded then by Thomas Yip who had hopes to supply all the top hotels with fine wine but even luxury hotels were very rare, however in China and Bordeaux wine was hardly thought of.

 

Taxes on wine are abolished, giving birth to the Bordeaux boom in China

 

The astonishing drop in charges was expert to a well off, Government official and renowned wine collector, Henry Tang. Mr Tang without any assistance figured out how to initiate the drop in taxes on imported wine to Hong Kong. As you can imagine the day taxes were revoked sales on Bordeaux stock hit the roof, which surprisingly enough created a major price increase in wine the world had seen. Merchants were not fussed about the rise in prices as everyone was feeding off the buzz of not paying taxes to the Chinese government.

 

Bordeaux was seen as a luxury product. Imports detonated in volume and value. In less than 1 year, the sum sold to Hong Kong jumped between 150% and 200% by mid-2010. The measure of Bordeaux being sold to Hong Kong was unbelievable! They were obviously the biggest buyers of Bordeaux wines in the world as of right now.

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