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St Henri prices surge at auction

Prices up to ten times those predicted were paid for early vintages of one of Australia’s greatest labels, St Henri, in a major online auction of Penfolds wines yesterday.

In a sale that grossed more than AUD$1.5m for 2,200 lots, St Henri prices pushed Australia’s greatest label, Penfolds Grange, into the backgroud.

A bottle of the first commercial release of St Henri, the 1957 vintage, sold for AUS$8110 against an estimate of $750-$1000.

An experimental 1955 St Henri, estimated to bring $250-$300, sold for $5750 and a 1959 sold for $3706 against an estimate of $750-$1000.

‘It was an astonishing sale. In 30 years I’ve never seen prices like it’, auctioneer Stewart Langton, of Langton’s, said.

Prices for Grange were well down on the record prices of several years ago. A bottle of the first Grange, the experimental 1951 vintage, sold for $43,700 compared with the record price of $54,000 and a set of 1951-1990 Grange brought $138,000 compared with the record $220,000 set four years ago.

Langton said buyers had been deterred by the high Grange prices of several years ago but were returning to the market as vendors.

Other above-estimate sales included: 1958 Bin 47 dry red – $6095 (estimate $500-$1000), and 1954 Bin 158 Mataro – $4104 (estimate $200-$300).

The results in full

$138,000 1951-1990 PENFOLDS Bin 95 Grange Shiraz (Collection)

$43,700 1951 PENFOLDS Bin 1 Grange “Hermitage” (Bottle)

$23,000 1979-1994 PENFOLDS Bin 95 Grange (Set of 16 magnums)

$18,975 1967-2004 PENFOLDS Bin 95 Grange (Set 38 bottles)

$12,100 1956 PENFOLDS Bin 14 Grange “Hermitage” (Bottle)

$8,110 1957 PENFOLDS St. Henri “ Claret” (Bottle)

$6, 095 1958 PENFOLDS Bin 47 Special Dry Red (Bottle)

$5,750 1955 PENFOLDS St. Henri “Claret” (Bottle)

$4,140 1954 PENFOLDS Bin 158 Mataro (Bottle)

$3,911 1955 PENFOLDS Bin 95 Grange Shiraz (Bottle)

$3,796 1971 PENFOLDS St. Henri Shiraz (Bottle)

$3,722 1962 PENFOLDS Bin 60A Cabernet-Shiraz (Bottle)

$3,706 1959 PENFOLDS St. Henri Shiraz (Bottle)

Written by Chris Snow in Adelaide

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