Nederburg Auctioneer Anthony Barnes had to work hardest to move the Nederburg Private Bin D234 Sauvignon Blanc 2009 at Saturday’s Auction. Which is strange as in terms of quality, IMHO, this Darling-fruited darling was superior to its sister Sauvignon Blanc made from Durbanville fruit that had no problem selling the previous day. An opinion seconded by sommelier Miguel Chan who put the wine in his top three Sauvignons of the Auction.
Nederburg cellarmaster Razvan Macici put it down to age. “Many South African’s don’t believe that Sauvignon Blanc can age, hence reluctance by retailers and restaurants to buy wine with a bit of bottle age.” Yet the 2009 vintage is widely regarded as the best vintage ever for SA Sauvignon Blanc and a vintage in which Darling played a blinder. At under R60 a bottle, canny bidders got a bargain.
But while some Sauvignons struggled, the overwhelming message from the Auction was a new found respect for age. While it came as no surprise that Nigerian businessman Obi Josephat Ndibe paid R68,000 for six bottles of 1948 Monis Collectors Port – last year he trousered six bottles of 1964 Nederburg Port for R62K – R20,000 for three bottles of 1961 Chateau Libertas smashed glass ceilings and whacked brand snobbery out of the grounds. Heck, Pick ‘n Pay often have the current release on special under R20 a bottle. A do-it-yourself pension scheme if ever there was one and with a 33,230% increase over fifty years, the kind of return Old Mutual would kill for.
Likewise, Zonnebloem were smiling all the way to the bank when a case of six half-bottles of 1961 Cabernet Sauvignon was knocked down for R5 500. Who said that wine in small format bottles can’t age? Other elderly Zonnebloem zimmerframers included bottles from 1966, 1971, 1974, 1981, 1998 and 2001. Both the 1971 Cabernet Sauvignon and the 1974 Shiraz fetched R10 000 for a case of six (regular size) bottles, confirming a serious case of gerontophilia.
How long before a wine entrepreneur organizes an Old Bottle Show – nothing from the current millennium, red, white, sticky or fortified. I’m betting punters would pony up big bucks for some serious gerontophilia.