Wednesday, September 16, 2015

The 2015, 41st Nederburg Auction, Paarl

Does putting your wine in a prestigious wine auction pay? Does it alter the profile of your wines and your farm? Does it help to raise the prices of the wines? These questions were much discussed at the auction this year. Opinions obviously differ. We were invited to the auction this year. John went as Media and Lynne went as a buyer. You have to be there at 08h30 to register, which was a little hard after our last week, but we got there and could enjoy a good coffee and a Danish pastry before the auction began at 9. Esteemed wine expert and writer Robert Joseph gave the opening address "Producer, know thy Market" about modern wine marketing and the current trends and it was really informative, entertaining, controversial and uplifting. We hope the industry members present took away some new approaches. His presentation is available to view on the Nederburg site
The majority of the lots of wine in the Auction on Saturday were from good private producers, with a few Nederburg and other Distell wines scattered through the list. Most of the wines on offer were auctioned on Friday. Auctioneer Anthony Barne MW from Bonham’s in the UK took us at a measured pace through the lots and good prices were received. The Auction raised R6163000, slightly down on the previous year's figure but, apparently, there was less wine entered this year. Most producers we chatted to are very happy with their results
Lynne managed to get a case of the Graham Beck Blanc de Blanc 2009 (we will be drinking this at John's 70th later this year) at the beginning of the auction, but then the big buyers got involved and not much was available. The charity auction was good, but a little disappointing as the big donors and buyers were not there being generous. The 1960s bottle of Château Petrus Pomerol went for R26000, not the R100000 hoped for, which is what it is said to be worth. R 257500 was raised for charity over the 15 donated lots. Then it was time for lunch
Lynne registering and collecting her paddle
Early morning arrival on quite a chilly, cloudy day
Breakfast was a Danish pastry and an Americano coffee
Then some a welcoming taste of some JC le Roux bubbles
Everyone was heading to the tasting of the wines which were being sold that day
KWV Viticulturalist Marco Ventrella and a colleague on the KWV stand with their incredible 1948 Limited Release port. It was so viscous that you had to change your tasting glass afterwards as the flavour and aroma continued
Alastair Rimmer, cellarmaster at Kleine Zalze, in very appropriate attire
Beautiful flowers
The room was filled with buyers, tasting
James Downes of Shannon Vineyards with a bottle of his Shannon Sanctuary Peak Sauvignon Blanc. Estimated at R720 a case, it made on average R2100 a case
Boets Nel of De Krans with the 2001 Cape Vintage Port and his neighbour and cousin Carel Nel of Boplaas. The four cases of this port each made R2,800
Joined by Carel’s wife, Jeanne
Johan de Wet of De Wetshof pours a taste of their 2009 Bateleur Chardonnay. The four cases each went for R3500
Jeremy and Mandy Walker of Grangehurst with their magnums of Grangehurst 2005, one of our favourite blends. Each lot consisted of 3 x 1.5L magnums and they sold for between R5000 and R4500 a lot.
Pieter 'Bubbles' Ferreira with his Graham Beck 2009 Graham Beck Blanc de Blanc and Kobus Potgieter, Managing Director, Hartenberg Wine Estate. The lots of 6 went for between R2800 and R2500
Pieter with his beloved wife Anne
Bruwer Raats with his excellent 2006 Family Old Vine Chenin Blanc, which went for R3000 to R3200 a lot
Time to take our seats for the opening address, armed with yet more bubbly
Friendly serving staff
Carina Gous of Nederburg opens proceedings
Standing room only in the filled hall
Robert Joseph begins his opening address
Cape Wine Master Duimpie Bayly listens intently
The Walkers are amused or are they?
Time for a quick break. Johan Krige of Kanonkop with WOSA CEO Siobhan Thompson and her husband, Gary
Time for the auction to begin. Auctioneer Anthony Barne steps to the podium
Restaurateur and sommelier Neil Grant, owner of Burrata, Bocca and The Open Door
Johann Krige of Kanonkop, Wynand Grobler of Rickety Bridge and Gareth Robertson
Shall we bid on this lot? Duimpie & Sue Bayly
The Manor House at Nederburg
Having a look and a try on at the fashion show are Juliet Cullinan, Pieter Ferreira and Yegas Naidoo of Miles for Style. John was setting up the photo when an irritating person with a cellphone hijacked his picture and he ended up with a side view
We need a picture of THAT! Guy Webber, winemaker at Stellenzicht, sets up a photo
Sommelier Ndabezinhle Dube of The Vineyard Hotel, helping out on the day, as were many of our top sommeliers
The auction is over and the final total made over the two days is ...
Then it was time for the lively charity auction lead by sommelier and wine retailer Roland Peens. Here, Robert Joseph helps out to raise money for charity with the lot of his new book and two good wines: a Pichon-Longueville Pauillac 2009 and a Chateau Suduiraut Sauternes 2007. The lot made R10000.
Distell Head Cellarmaster Razvan Macici. He was Head winemaker for Nederburg until his recent promotion
The marquee, where lunch was served
Chef Chris Erasmus of Foliage restaurant in Franschhoek was cooking most of the lunch menu
The Tom Yum soup with seafood and a smoked line fish dim sum dumpling, a waterblom, sorrel leaves and preserved lemon. It is always difficult to keep the food hot when serving hundreds of people for lunch. the quid was sadly still raw on one plate
It went perfectly with the Nederburg Riesling
The main course of smoky BBQ salt beef brisket on a bed of wild mushrooms, chickpeas, lentils & slightly undercooked potatoes, topped with a sorrel and chickweed 'salad'. We sat next to Emil Den Dulk of De Toren and he produced a bottle of the 2004 De Toren “Z”. which went phenomenally well with the brisket
Dessert was a " flower pot" of unsweetened dark chocolate in a crumbly pastry pot topped with edible flowers, a swipe of carrot cultured cheese cream. Very Rose geranium flavoured chocolate 'rocks" and an unusual buchu ice cream. Quite a tour de force of different flavours and textures. The medium dry Monis Sherry calmed the palate
The decor in the marquee was very innovative and they made use of old cartons and lots of other recycled materials
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2015
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