Leading Bordeaux négociants tell Wine Spectator that sales to the U.S. were down compared to past big vintages like 2005. Sales to European markets, especially London, and Asian markets, such as Singapore, Tokyo, Seoul and Hong Kong, easily made up for the difference. Mainland China, a young market for futures, also showed growth. “2008 was the first year we experienced any real interest amongst the mainland Chinese consumers for en primeur,” said Don St. Pierre, Jr., CEO of the distributor ASC Greater China. “2009 marked a significant increase in that level of interest among wealthy Chinese clients. This was the year when we saw people really try to understand what this whole futures thing is about.”
I am surprised to see that sales in the United States have exceeded retailers' (lowered) expectations. But, as expected, those lower sales have been offset by the increased sales in Europe, Asia and other emerging markets.