• Tue
  • Dec 23, 2014
  • Updated: 7:43am
NewsHong Kong

Sold for HK$1m - Henry Tang cashes in on rare wines

Christie's auction house estimates the total sale of 811 lots would raise more than HK$29 million

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 16 March, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 16 March, 2013, 5:12am

Former chief secretary Henry Tang Ying-yen's top lot of wine, said to be among the rarest in the world, sold at auction last night for HK$1 million.

Christie's auction house estimated the total sale of 811 lots, which started yesterday and continues today, would raise more than HK$29 million.

"Henry Tang's love for wine began over 30 years ago," it said. "The upcoming sale represents a small portion of the Henry Tang Collection."

Henry Tang's love for wine began over 30 years ago. The upcoming sale represents a small portion of the Henry Tang Collection

The auction - "A Vinous Journey: The Private Fine Wine Collection of Henry Tang" - was attended by dozens of wine lovers and collectors, with some bidding over the internet.

But there was no sign of Tang or family members at the function in Central. His campaign for chief executive was devastated last year when it was revealed he had a huge illegal basement at his mansion in Kowloon Tong containing a wine cellar, Japanese-style bath and gym.

By 9.30pm most of the wines had been snapped up after keen competition. None of the buyers would comment, although a few said they were only employees bidding for their bosses. One wine expert said the top collection - six magnums of Romanée-Conti 1995 sold for HK$1 million, the upper end of estimates - was among the rarest in the world.

These were bought by an internet buyer, who also purchased another magnum for HK$140,000, a little lower than the expected HK$150,000.

Wine expert Keith Wong Wing-kit, business development manager of the company Wine Explorer, said that if Tang had bought this wine in 1995, it should have cost him HK$20,000 for each magnum.

Another highlight - 12 bottles of Montrachet, vintage 1978 - went for HK$700,000, slightly higher than the expected HK$400,000 to HK$600,000.

Today's highlight will be six magnums of Montrachet - vintage 1992, estimated to be worth HK$400,000 to HK$600,000.

Sam Tam, Christie's China head of wine, said: "We hope to provide wine collectors with valuable access into Mr Tang's comprehensive collection and share his personal journey in wine."

The auction house quoted Tang as saying he was selling because, "I realised I have far too much wine, and I would never be able to consume it in a lifetime".


For unlimited access to:

SCMP.com SCMP Tablet Edition SCMP Mobile Edition 10-year news archive



This article is now closed to comments

"I realised I have far too much wine, and I would never be able to consume it in a lifetime" in other words : "I have to seal my 2000sq ft basement, I have no more space to store it and need money to pay my wife sentence and the sealing cost. Also It's a trade-off for letting MY wife go to jail for MY personal space"
Henry Tang's wines would not have sold for such high price if he has not strongly promoted wine consumption and abolished wine tax for HK some 5 years ago when he was the Chief Secretary.
Now he has made tremendous profit out of the wine sale, I strongly feel that morally he owns people of HK the great profit difference in the sale.
Henry Tang should make a donation to HK charities because of this.
if the so-called "expert" Mr. Wong were really an expert, he would realize that Mr. Tang couldn't possibly have bought the 1995 RC back in 1995... Hello?!


SCMP.com Account