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November 3, 2010

Chateau Lafite-Rothschild vintage wine sold for a record £147,020

London:An 1869 vintage wine of Chateau Lafite-Rothschild was recently sold at auction in Hong Kong for a record 147,020 pounds, leading experts to warn that fine wines could soon become unaffordable. The highest price was paid for the vintage that had been made while Napoleon III was ruling France and in the year the Suez Canal was opened. "When you see the prices that were achieved it recalibrates the market to a certain degree," the Telegraph quoted Robert Sleigh, Sotheby's head of wine in Asia , as saying. Wine dealers said the auction, organised by Sotheby's, had "redefined" prices for fine wine across the market, with some describing the prices as "complete madness". One warned of the "trickle down effect" whereby even wine usually on sale for 40 pounds or so in a good supermarket would start to increase in price. "It has to have a trickle-down effect," Gary Boom, the head of Bordeaux Index, which specialises in trading fine wines, said. "We've already seen that people who can no longer afford Lafite, start to buy Mouton, and those that can't afford Mouton, buy Leoville Barton. It goes on down the chain," he stated. Various vintages of Chateau Lynch-Bages have gone up by 10 percent in the last week. Simon Staples at Berry Bros wine merchant said the newfound enthusiasm by Chinese investors for fine wine would continue to drive up prices in years to come. "Demand is already outstripping supply. But once mainland China wakes up to fine wine and India too, we will have a serious shortage of supply. That has to force prices up," he stated. "It's exciting for wine merchants, but in five years' time I worry that it will be impossible for many drinkers to afford good wine," he added.

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