This marks a significant increase on the AU$120,000 (£67,525) procured from the 2019 Barossa Wine Auction, and has provided a great fillip for a region rebounding from tough COVID-19-affected sales and export restrictions in the past year.
The auction is a highlight of the biennial Barossa Vintage Festival, and was conducted on Friday 16 April before a live audience at Chateau Tanunda Winery in South Australia.
The star attraction of the auction – a four-litre Imperial of 2016 Penfolds Grange – sold for AU$50,000 ($28,134) to an Australian consortium of private buyers, but a dearth of bidders for this item saw the price sit below expected peaks.
However, bidders were much more active across most other items in the 29-lot catalogue of special wines offered at the auction – with most items attracting at least 30% more than prices that auctioneers Langton’s had expected.
Some surprise attractions included an Imperial of Standish Wines’ 2004 The Relic Shiraz Viognier selling for AU$6000 (£3,376), and six bottles of Poonawatta Estate’s The 1880 Shiraz (2005-2010 vintages) selling for $2300 (£1,294) – more than 10 times the expected price.
The highest price yet paid for Barossa Grenache was recorded by a six-litre Imperial of Torbreck Wines’ 2010 Les Amis Grenache, selling for AU$6000 (£3,376) – reflecting rising buyer confidence in this style at the highest quality levels.
Other highlights included strong support for Henchke’s new release 2015 Hill of Grace Shiraz (packaged with a bottle of 2015 Hill of Roses Shiraz and 2015 Hill of Peace Semillon), which opened with a starting bid of AU$1900 (£1,069) before quickly rising to AU$3400 (£1,913).
Several specialised auction lots attracted lively bidding, including a set of nine Barossa wines that have attained 100-point scores (led by 1998 Greenock Creek Roennfeldt Road Shiraz and Cabernet) that attracted $8400 (£4,726) – and a set of 12 bottles of Rockford Basket Press shiraz (vintages 2006-2017) for $6500 (£3,657).
COVID-19 attendance limits resulted in a live audience of 190 people joined by 70 online bidders – but now the Barossa Wine Auction 2020 will, for the first time, stage a separate Sydney event (with 30 entirely different auction lots) conducted on Friday 29 April, and an online auction of 58 lots will continue to take bids until Sunday 2 May.
Barossa Grape and Wine Association chief executive James March said prices recorded across this year’s auction ‘served to set a new high benchmark for the Barossa, and underlined buyer confidence in Australian wine in general’.