19 June, 2019 | At the inaugural Strauss & Co Fine Wine Auction held in Houghton, Johannesburg, in June, a 275ml bottle of Jaubert Family Muscat 1800, a solera-style sweet wine held by the Jaubert family since 1800 who release two bottles per year, was sold for R51 200.
This is a record price for a local wine, which international critic Neal Martin scored 99 points in 2011. The GS Cabernet 1966, now a 20th century South African icon, sold for R34 140, setting another record for a local wine. Produced as an experiment by then Monis winemaker George Spies, it was reportedly very tannic in its youth and the bottles were given away as gifts. Leading wine authority Jancis Robinson scored this wine a perfect 20/20 in 2015. Mvemve Raats de Compostella 2008 achieved the highest price on auction for a modern wine at
R2 845 per bottle.
According to Strauss & Co chairperson Frank Kilbourn, the auction was ‘a great success’, with 78% of the 183 lots sold, achieving a total of almost R1.4 million, inclusive of buyer’s premium and vat.
The largest buyer at the auction was Marble Restaurant, owned by Gary Kyriacou. Marble restaurateur and celebrity chef David Higgs said, ‘We have just returned from the US and it’s evident how the top restaurants elevate their premium wines over there. We are very happy with our purchases and these wines will bolster our commitment to showcase South Africa’s best wines at Marble.’
Most bidders were private clients as the sale offered a unique opportunity to purchase mature modern wines and rare icons.
‘This is an exciting time for fine South African wines and the auction results buck the current economic conditions,’ says Roland Peens, director of fine wine merchants Wine Cellar. We also received excellent insight into which wines and brands are considered auction-worthy.’
The next Strauss & Co Fine Wine Auction takes place on 14 September 2019 in Cape Town.
For more information visit straussart.co.za/wine