Aficionados and investors spend record sums on fine wines

Aficionados and investors spend record sums on fine wines

April 06, 2021

Award-winning young wine producer Jing Song watched elatedly as her bottles fetched record prices at the first big fine wine auction of the year – but why are people investing so much in tangible assets as the economy contracts?

Bidders at Webb’s Fine Wines and Whiskies auction last week were greeted at the door of the Mt Eden auction house with a glass of Perrier-Jouët champagne. They were offered tastings of 2006 Chateau Magdelaine, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru and Nikka Taketsuru blended malt Japanese whisky – and that was all before things got interesting.

The first lot was a bottle of 1982 Te Mata Estate Coleraine – the first vintage of perhaps New Zealand’s most famous wine. Marcus Atkinson, the head of fine and rare wines for the auction house, had cautiously placed an estimate of $200-300 on it. Bang. It sold under the hammer for $881.25, including buyer’s premium – a new record.

A case of 2008 Stonyridge Vineyard Larose, that had never left the Waiheke Island winery’s temperature-controlled cellars, was estimated to sell for $150-220 a bottle. It more than doubled the upper estimate, selling for $5,640 for the case.

“I have no problem with what people do, once they’ve purchased it … If you want to drink it, drink it. If this wine means money to you, if it means something you really love, you do what you choose with it.”
– Jing Song, Crown Range Cellar

Three bottles of the 2013 Crown Range Cellar ‘Signature Selection’ Pinot Noir by Grant Taylor, which won Best Pinot Noir Trophy at the London International Wine & Spirit Competition in 2015, carried an auctioneer’s estimate of $200 to $400 a bottle. They sold for $2,291 – that’s more than $760 a bottle. to full article 

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