Global and local wine commentators are unanimous in their enthusiasm for the high quality of wines South African winemakers have achieved in the past few years. Nowhere was this unstinting fervour more adequately captured than this weekend’s Cape Fine & Rare Wine Auction, formerly known as the Nederburg Auction. At the end of play on Saturday 19 October 2019, collective hammer prices were captured totalling R 2 623 000.*
The new-format auction aims to create an industry-led platform showcasing the finest and rarest South African wines to wine enthusiasts, investors and collectors worldwide. The auction was held in association with acclaimed auction house, Christie’s. This year, the enigmatic Charlie Foley brought down the gavel on 124 of SA’s finest wines during an impressive showcase of spirited bidding.
With a reputation comparable to that of the famous Hospices de Beaune auction in France and Kloster Eberbach in Germany, the Cape Fine & Rare Wine Auction further embedded its status as South Africa’s leading wine auction with impressive numbers to match. On Saturday afternoon, the unaudited results showed that just under 3 000 litres of wine was sold, with an all-time auction high rand per bottle of R660 on average for 750ml – a 12% increase on last year’s R590. The average price per bottle of white wine was R471 for a 750 ml bottle. Illustrating the growing popularity of Chenin Blanc, the biggest white wine performers were David & Nadia Hoë-Steen Chenin Blanc 2015, De Morgenzon The Divas Chenin Blanc 2013 and Alheit Vineyards Magnetic North Mountain Makstok 2015 which all received the highest bid at R1 000 per bottle. For red wines, Vilafonté Series C 2005 in 5ℓ Jeroboam landed the gavel at an impressive R22 000 – which equates to R3 303 for a 750ml bottle. The average price per bottle for red wines was R733.
With the world market increasingly focused on the fine and rare wines from South Africa, the Cape Winelands is in a stronger position than ever to showcase its fine wine investments. This year, the Cape Winelands is proud to host its first-ever Cape Fine & Rare Wine Auction, an evolution of the historic Nederburg Auction in 1975.
This premium auction event will be led by South Africa’s wine producers, who will offer their iconic local wines on a single, collaborative platform. The Cape Fine & Rare Wine Auction will unite industry stalwarts and emerging winemakers, to showcase Cape wine at its finest to local and international audiences and buyers.
Representing 64 of South Africa’s best producers, the auction will be held on the 18th and 19th of October, at the Rupert Museum in the heart of Stellenbosch. Buyers will have the opportunity to bid and secure an investment in a choice of 128 wines, all with proven provenance. These fine and rare wines were painstakingly curated by some of the most respected South African wine insiders, including Master of Wine (MW) Cathy van Zyl, Critical Wine Writer and Columnist, Michael Fridjhon, and Wine Judge and Buyer François Rautenbach. Commenting on the selection process, Fridjhon said: “This is the first time – to my knowledge – that the selection process for an auction of this kind has included criteria around investment potential over and above a rigorous wine quality assessment. The older examples were checked to ensure they had aged gracefully. Where necessary mature wines were recorked. Everything has been done to ensure a perfect experience for the buyers.”
The Cape Fine & Rare Wine Auction will feature wines from some of the country’s most exclusive wine vaults: A selection of Klein Constantia’s famous Vin de Constance, historically venerated in literature by both Charles Dickens and Jane Austen for its calming properties, will be made available. Buyers will also be able to claim lots of Kanonkop’s Paul Sauer 1995, a predecessor of the famous 2015 vintage which was the first-ever South African wine on release to elicit a perfect score (100/100) from an international wine critic. A selection of new wave Cinsault-led wines by producers such as Mullineux & Leeu Family Wines, Sadie Family Wines, Naudé, Darling Cellars, Roodekrantz, and Metzer Family Wines – inspired by old vines and wines such as the 1959 Chateau Libertas lot – have also been included in the Auction catalogue.
“The Cape Fine & Rare Wine Auction provides a perfect juxtaposition between the past and the future. Buyers will appreciate that the curated list highlights the similarities between South Africa’s stalwart producers and their younger counterparts. The auction thus really reflects the deep-seated respect and camaraderie of the local wine industry,” said Auction curators.
This year sees a number of debut participants including Alheit Vineyards (Magnetic North), Boschkloof (Epilogue), Dalla Cia (Georgio & Teano), Keermont (Fleurfontein), Keet (First Verse), Lismore (Syrah), Luddite (Niels Verburg Shiraz), Newton Johnson Family Vineyards (Family Vineyards Pinot Noir), Sadie Family Wines (Columella) and Waterford Estate (The Jem) entered into the auction line-up.
The Cape Fine & Rare Wine Auction will also allow buyers to rediscover brands like Plaisir de Merle and its 300-year history of making French-inspired wines on the slopes of the Simonsberg, and celebrate initiatives like the Old Vine Project side by side.
The curators added: “We included incredible heritage wines from the Tabernacle, arguably South Africa’s most famous rare wine vault, and with the help of Amorim Cork, the world’s leading cork supplier, we have re-corked all older vintage wines on auction this year, with fresh new Amorim NDTech corks, under strictly controlled and certified processes.”
Paying homage to the heritage of the event, Nederburg has its renowned Edelkeurs on offer, from 1979. Günter Brözel, Nederburg’s cellarmaster for 33 years until his retirement in 1989, was the creator of the famous Nederburg Edelkeur; the auction its only point of sale since its inception in 1975.
Fundamentally an exercise in showcasing the value of Cape wine, the Cape Fine & Rare Wine Auction will be executed by the international auction house, Christie’s. Facilitating the international reach of the auction, Christie’s has included a South African ‘super lot’ in their Fine & Rare Wine Auction later this year in London, followed by a similar offer in Hong Kong in 2020. This will ensure international exposure and set the tone befitting the competitive quality and history of South African wine.
The two-day event will open with a pre-tasting at the Rupert Museum on the 18th of October. A charitable auction on Saturday, 19th October, will be preceded by the main auction. For a full list of the wine on auction, please click here.
If you are interested in attending this exclusive wine event, please register your interest as a buyer on the auction website at www.CapeFineRareWine.Auction. Those unable to attend, but still looking to bid can do so by phone, proxy or mandate bidding.
Keep up to date with all auction news and events by following The Cape Fine & Rare Wine Auction on Twitter @CapeFineWineAuc Instagram: @CapeFineRareWineAuction Facebook: Cape Fine & Rare Wine Auction.