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Chinese buyer pays 10,500 euros for bottle of French prime minister's Burgundy

A Chinese winelover tastes at the Shanghai International Wine Trade Fair
A Chinese winelover tastes at the Shanghai International Wine Trade Fair Reuters/Carlos Barria/Files

A Chinese buyer paid 10,500 euros for a bottle of top Burgundy in an auction of bottles from the French prime minister's cellar on Friday. The bottle of Romanée-Conti fetched more than twice its guide price, although the sale failed to raise anything like as much as this year's sale of wine from the presidential cellar.

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Chinese buyer Huang Lishen, 27, said he will not taste the precious Burgundy, which was already on its way to its new home on Saturday morning.

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"I'm buying for a friend in China who imports wine," he told the AFP news agency.

Only 6,000 bottles of Romanée-Conti, the world's lost sought-after wine, are produced per year and the bottle's guide price was 5,000 euros.

Huang also attended the auction of wine from the cellar of the Elysée presidential palace in May and commented that prices at Friday's sale were "much lower".

In both cases the bottles were given special labels certifying their origin.

Friday's sale of 1,400 bottles raised 173,488 euros that will be used to help pay the running costs of the prime minister's office in a time of budgetary rigour.

That's far lower than the 720,000 euros raised by President François Hollande's sale of 1,200 bottles.

Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault and his guests will not be going thirsty, despite the sale.

It only disposed of 10 per cent of the cellar's contents.

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