When Roland Peens of Wine Cellar fine wine merchants met Bina Genovese and the Strauss & Co team in 2019, a dream of combined art, collectables and fine wine auctions started taking shape. A year later, in a time of disruption, Strauss & Co continues to propose fine art and wines across different growers and sites on auction online, with secure delivery post the Covid-19 lockdown. Bidding on Straussart.co.za runs from now until the 14th of April with 85 lots from 31 producers, including a fine mix of mature wines and highly sought-after collectables.
We chatted with Roland about getting your vinous fix from the comfort of your home, in these unusual times…
This year Strauss & Co will be offering a series of fine wine, art and collectables online auctions based on categorised themes. Tell us about the ‘Rhône online auction’ taking place until 14 April?
Strauss & Co fine wine auctions has an amazing line-up and the Rhône theme is an exciting and important one for South Africa. Although Shiraz was only widely planted from the 1990s and the rest of the Rhône varieties much later, many of SA’s top wines are made with these varieties. We produce some of the finest Shiraz in the world and all the top producers are listed. The line-up includes Porseleinberg, Mullineux, Hartenberg, Luddite, de Trafford, Boekenhoutskloof and more.
Under these disruptive circumstances, delivery of lots purchased on the auction will be made post the lockdown, is that right?
Since the Rhône auction closes just before the last few lockdown days, the delivery of the wines will be delayed by just a short while. The wines are sitting in our temperature-controlled cellars for the moment.
Can you give us some insight into this wine region of France and outline highlights from your own travels there?
Split into the Northern and Southern Rhône, the two areas are rather different in their style and make-up. The South is spearheaded by Châteauneuf-du-Pape, the first ever appellation in France. In 1933 it was decided that French law would be used to protect the quality of wine from this special town. Based on Grenache, the wines are rich, spicy and savoury with relatively big alcohols and generous texture. The Northern Rhône has a relatively short history of fine wine, with most of the region focused on subsistence farming before the 1970s. The rocky, steep slopes of Hermitage and Côte-Rôtie are simply the best Syrah vineyards in the world and produce incredibly refined, long-ageing, complex wines.
What are some of the benefits of buying fine wine on an online auction?
You can bid during lockdown! The online auctions also give you a long period to consider your bid, as well as research the wine.
Are there any specific lots you’d like to highlight for this auction?
We are humbled to offer the Porseleinberg 2011 – a vintage that was not released commercially due to the very low yields. We also have a great vintage of Chateau Rayas, the most famous and sought-after Chateauneuf-du-Pape.
For more information, and to browse the auction and register visit straussart.co.za/strausswine