A 12 litre bottle (a balthazar) of 1997 Penfolds Grange and a 6 litre bottle (an imperial) of 1998 Penfolds Grange both attracted record prices of over AUD$50,000 each - double the auctioneer’s estimates and both bottles representing the highest prices ever achieved for single bottles of Australian wine.
The imperial of 1998 Penfolds Grange set a record price of AUD$54,480 and the balthazar of 1997 Penfolds Grange a record price of AUD$53,346. These remarkable wine prices were highlights of Langton’s Shiraz Australia II online wine auction held this evening (Monday January 20, 2003).
Auctioneer Stewart Langton commented "Our online wine auctions have attracted an increased volume of bidding producing strong results. The entire proceeds of the balthazar of Grange will be go towards cancer research through the Cancer Council of Australia. The success of this extremely specialized type of wine auction illustrates the strong undercurrent of national and international interest in ultra-fine Australian Shiraz.”
The auction comprised 26 lots of highly sought-after, rare and collectable Australian Shirazes in large bottle format and barrel-sized lots. Barrels comprising 2002 Barossa Valley Estates E&E Black Pepper Shiraz sold for AUD$17027, 2001 Fox Creek Reserve Shiraz AUD$14762 and 1998 Peter Lehmann Stonewell Shiraz AUD$14756. They attracted interest from all corners of the globe - including several ex-patriot Australian and syndicate buyers based in Singapore, Hong Kong and the UK, as well as a swag of US buyers and a number of private buyers and syndicates based in Australia. A rare double magnum (3 litre) bottle of 1991 Hill of Grace Shiraz - arguably the finest vintage of the 1990s - attracted a record value of AUD$3068, almost triple the auctioneer’s estimate.
A complete collection of Seppelt Para Liqueur Port was sold for AUD$31,496 - the entire proceeds being donated to Australia’s Farm Hand Foundation (for drought relief). A complete collection of Penfolds Grange magnums achieved AUD$31,781 and a rare imperial of Jasper Hill Georgia’s Paddock achieved AUD$1942 - over double the auctioneer’s estimate.
Stewart Langton said "There is a remarkable enthusiasm for Australian Shiraz. The rare format bottles are generally one-offs - and are therefore highly collectible. Some of these buyers may crack open these bottles in the future, but in the meantime they are likely to be stored in cool conditions for the foreseeable future."