Strauss & Co auction results – April 2020

Strauss & Co Bordeaux-themed May line-up & record Rhône April sale results

Tuesday, 5 May 2020 | Roland Peens

Wine Cellar is excited to offer 115 lots of Bordeaux-themed fine wines on the Strauss & Co live auction taking place on Sunday, 10 May at 11 am. The line-up includes the greatest wines of Bordeaux – Petrus, Haut-Brion and d’Yquem – through to the most revered wines in South Africa. Apart from the 10 Meerlust and 16 Kanonkop lots, the list features 50 more producers. Large-format bottles, benchmark historical vintages and 100-point wines are also included. Place a pre-bid and register here.

The Strauss & Co Rhône-themed online wine sale (6 – 14 April) was the most successful sale to date since the exciting joint venture between WineCellar.co.za, sommelier Higgo Jacobs and Strauss & Co was established. The Rhône-session formed part of the ‘19th century, Modern, Contemporary and Post-War Art, Decorative Arts and Jewellery sale’ which showed a record number of lots, sale-throughs and total online sales. 96% of the wine lots were sold at prices just 2% off their upper estimates. 85 lots were sold at R706,474, all-inclusive, at a record average price of R1,605 per bottle.

The number of buyers and competitive bidding reached a new level and is a bold stride towards formalising the secondary South African wine market. Strauss & Co Chairman Frank Kilbourn adds, ‘we are delighted with the outcome of the sale and the way the market is embracing our fine wine auction initiative, justifying our belief in the quality and collectability of top-end South African wines.’

Following on the initial success of the two live and one online auction in 2019, we have refined our 2020 strategy and we will be hosting smaller, themed auctions, more regularly. With COVID-19 interrupting the live auction schedule, the online auction seemed to attract more attention. ‘With our online platform already established, we were well-positioned to make the most of the present increase in online activity. Attractively priced, curated small lot of the finest wines, perfect for private buyers, combined with online convenience all contributed to the success of this sale,’ comments Higgo Jacobs.

The top lots included the Rhône Valley’s most sought-after wine – Château Rayas. This iconic Châteauneuf-du-Pape is remarkably mysterious and rare, trading at multiple times the release price on the secondary market. Six bottles of the great 2005 vintage were sold for R13,276 per bottle. Guigal’s single-vineyard Côte-Rôties also yielded high prices; the 100-Parker-point 1998 La Landonne fetched R11,138 per bottle.

The Sadie Family Columella was the most expensive South African wine on auction with a 4-bottle set from 2003-2006 selling for R3,224 per bottle and a 6-bottle case of the 2008 at R3,127 per bottle. Single-vineyard and single-site Syrahs sold particularly well; Rust en Vrede Single Vineyard 2007 reached R2,071 per bottle, Rall AVA 2017 R1,954, Mullineux Iron 2013 R1,876, with Porseleinberg 2015 and Boschkloof Epilogue 2015 both reaching R1,759 per bottle all-inclusive of VAT and buyer’s premium.

The auction once-again included the finest South African wines and benchmark producers achieved solid prices for highly sought-after mature vintages. Four cases of 2005 Boekenhoutskloof Syrah averaged R1,661 per bottle, while the icons of Luddite (R1,466) and Hartenberg Gravel Hill (R1,221) also showed strong prices from the top 2005 vintage. More recent superstars such as Lismore fetched R1,075 for the 2011 Syrah and Keermont reached R1,173 for the stellar 2012. The ‘new-wave’ wines from the 2015 vintage showed strong returns considering their relative youth. The Sadie Family Soldaat 2015 reached an impressive R1,759 per bottle, while David & Nadia Grenache sold for R782 and Savage Red R743, also from the great 2015 vintage.

For more information, please contact Sarah Jordaan on wine@straussart.co.za.