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1951 Grange makes record $50k

An extremely rare bottle of the first Penfolds Grange wine made over AUS$50,000 at a silent auction in Australia yesterday.

The 1951 Grange Hermitage Bin 1 formed part of a selection of wines in the Oddbins wine auction from the Max Schubert collection – the private cellar of the legendary Australian winemaker and Penfolds pioneer. The wine was sold for AUS$50,200 (£19,955), an Australian auction record.

Other bottles under the hammer included 16 bottles of Grange from 1952 to 1984, a Penfolds Bin 13 Autumn Riesling and two bottles of Bin 707 from 1977 and 1979. The auction also included a bottle of the famed Penfolds Bin 60A Cabernet/Shiraz.

Another highly sought-after bottle, a 1958 Grange Bin 47, made AUS$19,100 (£7,200) in the auction, another record-breaking result. Along with the 1957 Grange, the ’58 is known as a ‘hidden Grange’ due to the fact that Max Schubert made the wine in secret, the Penfolds management having ordered him to cease production of the wine.

Schubert made the 1951 Grange as an experimental wine and the 160 cases produced were never commercially released. The rarity and historical significance of the wine as well its bottles, which were hand-blown, mean that the 100% Shiraz wine commands high prices at auction.

The AUS$50,200 investment is, however, unlikely to be gastronomically motivated – the wine itself is ‘past its peak’, according to the Penfolds book The Rewards of Patience.

Picture courtesy of Oddbins Wine Auctions

Written by Oliver Styles, and agencies

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