Takings at this year’s Nederburg Auction were down 16% on 2008, with the economic downturn depressing prices across all categories.
But organisers of the trade-only auction, which is seen as a barometer of the health of the South African wine industry, said receipts of just over ZAR4m, although down from last year’s ZAR4.79m, had outstripped their expectations, with records broken for the most expensive wines.
A six-bottle case of half-bottles of Chateau Libertas 1959 fetched ZAR23,000, the highest price in the history of the auction.
Other high-grossing reds included Chateau Libertas 1962, Zonnebloem Cabernet 1965 and 1967, Rustenberg John X Merriman 2001 and Kanonkop 1994.
Among the whites, Jordan Nine Yards Chardonnay 2006 and Vergelegen White 2005 both fetched ZAR250 a bottle apiece, with top prices also going to Uva Mira Single Vineyard Chardonnay 2007, Mulderbosch Chardonnay Barrel Fermented 2005 and Cape Point Vineyards Semillon 2001.
Five international buyers, including the UK’s Tesco Wine Club, accounted for 25% of the total sales, with other overseas buyers from Denmark, Botswana, Zambia and Namibia.
And three supermarket groups – the Spar Group, Makro and Checkers – were responsible for 38% of purchases, worth a total of more than ZAR1.5m.
Distell MD Jan Scannell expressed satisfaction with the results of the auction, pointing out that buyers had shown faith in South Africa’s finest rare wines.
The Nederburg Auction, now in its 35th year, also raised more than ZAR200,000 for local good causes with a charity auction. Top price here was ZAR25,000 for a set of Nederburg Tribute Shiraz 2007.
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Written by Richard Woodard