Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Saturday at the 2016 Nederburg Auction

This year's Nederburg Auction had 146 items, 1034 lots, 10 506 litres of wine to auction and made a final total of R7 593 200 with total sales increasing by 23% over last year, in spite of a slightly lower volume on offer of 4% from the 2015. Tsogo Sun was the top buyer for 2016, with a total of just over R1 million, followed by the SPAR group and the Singita group of luxury lodges. We attended on Saturday and had an interesting and enjoyable day. We didnt buy anything this year, the high prices were daunting
The invitation asked us to be there at 9am so that registration could take place and people could collect their paddles for bidding in the auction
Then it’s time for a glass of bubbly, or a coffee and croissant for breakfast
Oh, there were some canapés as well
Fruit on a stick, oysters and some orange juice
The Sommeliers were out in force to keep us full of bubbly all day. On offer in the morning was Pongracz Brut and Rosé, others were there later. This is Ndaba Dube from the Vineyard Hotel with a colleague
Lynne had a word with Ewan MacKenzie Badge aka The Wine Thief
Mark Norrish of Ultra Liquors in his lucky patriotic tie with his pretty daughter Julia
A happy band of auction warriors: Judy Brower of Wine.co.za, Benny Howard CWM of Meerendal, who is also one of the organisers of the auction, with the two English auctioneers David Elswood, International Head of Wine for Christie’s, and Anthony Barne MW from Bonham’s
Prior to the auction, which begins with a keynote speaker, we were able to taste the wines which would be on auction. Here is Riana Hall of Rudera
Clark Truter of Morvino & Siris Vintners tasting the Seven Springs Chardonnay from the Hemel and Aarde valley with winemaker Riana van der Merwe
The Downes of Shannon vineyards in Elgin have their wine in the auction and were obviously planning to bid for others, L to R: Stuart, Elizabeth and James Downes
Jean Vincent Ridon of Signal Hill wines with his auction wine Eszencia, made in the style of Tokai from Furmint and Sauvignon blanc. It is the highest ever rated South African wine on the US market, awarded 96/100 by Steven Tanzer
Guy Webber of Stellenzicht with his Stellenzicht 1994
Johann de Wet and his wife had a very exciting day. Their De Wetshof Finesse Chardonnay 1993 was the top white wine of the day, making a record price of R2000 per 750 ml bottle
Jane Beaumont and her daughter-in-law Nadia Hope with their Chenin blanc auction wine Hope Marguerite 2008
Following the official auction, there is always the charity auction and these were the lots for bidding on. That auction too broke all records
With all the current interest in Cinsaut and its positive effect on wines when they age, this Stellenbosch Cinsaut 1974 was a very interesting lot
A bottle of Zonnebloem Pinotage 1986. Pinotage does age extremely well
11 o’clock time for Tim Atkin MW to give his keynote address. The theme he chose was titled Heritage: Boom or Burden?
In his 45 minute speech we were given a full history of South African wine and, at the end, some stern comments to the industry that our wines are too cheap, with the result that these excellent wines are not respected in international markets. How can you sell a 95 point wine for £10? We must build an international brand and we must work together. We have heard this several times before and we agree
Tim Atkin has recently come up with a 5 tier Cru rating of South African wines, it is quite contentious but this does deserve consideration, and possibly a bit of re-jigging – some of our top wines ended up on lower tiers than they deserve, in our opinion
The audience
Razvan Macici, Head Winemaker of Distell, listens with interest
Dalene Steyn of Nederburg presents Tim Atkin with a token of thanks while he refreshes his palate with an apple
Auctioneer Anthony Barne MW of Bonham’s gets the auction underway
Just in case we were still peckish and too weak to bid, we were each given this platter of canapés. A small fishcake, a jar of aioli with fresh vegetables and a tiny muffin stuffed with paté
Spot the bids!
Lots were going fast and furiously and the prices were good. To speed up the day as Friday had been slow, they combined each single lot with another, so the minimum bid was for 2 cases
Yes, they keep us well hydrated too. Here Angelo Casu of Grand Dedale and Michael Pownall enjoy some Desiderius MCC as they were so busy bidding
Pearl Oliver, Sommelier at the Taj Hotel, enjoying the sale with a glass of Rosé MCC
Natalie Opstaele of Almenkerk looking unusually serious as she waits for their wine to come up
And the auction ends with lot 1034 Nederburg Private Bin Edelkeur Noble Late Harvest which went for R8 500 for one lot of 6 x 375ml bottles. The final total for the auction is in the top right hand corner of the screen: R7 582 400. At ± £427 000, one has to conjecture what a similar auction at Bonham's or Christie's in the UK would bring
Time for lunch, which was very delayed due to the auction running over about an hour and a half
The starter was a plate of smoked yellowtail and fresh mussels with a Cape Malay curry emulsion. We had some of the wines from the auction with our lunch
The second course was beetroot done three ways with some goats cheese, a good refreshing dish. The chef was one of our top chefs, Bertus Basson. His menu was very clever and none of the food was affected by the long delay
Then between the second starter and the main course they held the charity auction. Everyone could bid and the 18 lots made R500 033. The 33 Rand was a bit of fun that auctioneer Roland Peens of The Wine Cellar added to the Château Petrus 1988, signed by Christian Moueix, donated by Anthony Barne MW as that was the duty he had to pay on the bottle he donated to the auction. In front Ross Sleet and his wife Jan are wondering whether to bid on the Petrus or not?
Greg Parton was the successful bidder for the 1988 Petrus for which he had to pay R70 000. A snip!
The auctioneers relaxing over lunch with Benny Howard after a very tiring two days
Time for the main course. It did look a little weary, (it wasn’t) but it tasted delicious. The carrot is an aged carrot. They are fashionable at the moment and the aging in a straw clamp (as our ancestors used to do before refrigeration) intensifies the flavours but dehydrates the carrot slightly,. which is why it looks so wrinkled. The rich deboned oxtail stew was wrapped in a crepinette parcel, it was on a base of samp (dried maize reconstituted) and peas and came with a jus made with rich meat juices and some NLH?
You know dessert is on the way when some Eminence 2010 NLH arrives on your table. This was the last wine in the auction. We had some blancmange, very sweet. And a cheese platter
Grangehurst Winemaker Jeremy Walker and his wife Mandy were obviously enjoying themselves. Their wine earned very good prices
We shared a table and some good wines with Gavin Ferreira and Greg Mutambe, Deputy General Manager and Head Sommelier of The Twelve Apostles Hotel
A tired chef Bertus Basson with Sommelier Higgo Jacobs, who was responsible for all the wines served that day
Some of the auction wines which were available for drinking with lunch
A final double espresso please before going home at 5.30. An enjoyable day
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2016

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