The world in 2021 was, as expected, a year of adventure and a touch of spice; and it’s fair to say we never had a dull day at The Wine Auction Room. Before we sign off for the year, we wanted to share our reflections with you of a year of record auction results, supportive customers, and the year we welcomed many more through the front door. When we established our business a few short years back, we were clear that we wanted to bring a fresh approach to the secondary wine market. To shift the power to you, our customers, through high quality information, advice, and full transparency in all that we do. Pleasingly we witnessed the benefits of this new approach in 2021 returning consistent results for our vendors and buyers.
Not surprisingly Grange was a knock-out for our vendors where we witnessed three record hammer falls in a row. In May we presented the 1996 and 1998 vintages which achieved $1468 and $1586 respectively. In our June live auction, the 1976 vintage fetched $1821.
With celebrations on our doorstep, we’ve been thinking about the champagne that has passed through The Wine Auction Room. In April 2021, the 1982 Pol Roger Reserve Speciale achieved $481 (on estimates $250-350). Again, our June live auction saw 1996 Dom Perignon Brut realise $611 then in July, 2002 Dom Perignon Brut was snapped at $481 (on estimates $280-350).
Closer to home, Church Road Tom experienced a very strong year, consistently breaking $200 hammer fall.
Equally New Zealand Syrah performed well for our vendors, ending the year on a high. Our final sale for the year saw 2013 and 2014 Craggy Range Le Sol, Gimblett Gravels both achieve $258 (estimates $150-200). Over the range in the Hawkes Bay, 2016 Trinity Hill Homage, Gimblett Gravels realised $235 (estimates $ 150-180).
Our buyers were feeling confident in the sale room this year, enjoying the detailed information and photography for each lot, including the storage conditions of the wine prior to sale. Well-stored and aged German Riesling from mid-1990s to mid-2000s was well received (and pleasingly we have more to come in early 2022!) Riesling, Gewurztraminer & Tokay Pinot Gris from Alsace also featured across the year to great demand. It was wonderful to see these wines go to the deserving and tenacious bidders – they will be a delight to enjoy over the summer season.White Burgundy hit our sale room in the latter months of 2021, again to our buyer’s delight. 2016 Albert Bichot Meursault, Cote de Beaune was picked up for $105 and 2001 Yves Boyer-Martenot Meursault-Genevrieres 1er Cru, Cote de Beaune was snaffled at $94 and 2001 Michel Colin-Deleger et Fils Chassagne-Montrachet Morgeot 1er Cru, Cote de Nuits was taken home for $176.Red Rhone fans weren’t left languishing with our consistent offers of Chateauneuf du Pape, Cote Rotie and Hermitage. Over the year we featured Le Vieux Donjon, Domaine de Marcoux, Tardieu-Laurent, and Lucien et Andre Brunel les Cailloux in generous quantities from excellent vintages ( 2001, 2003, 2005 ). In September our lucky bidder secured the 2003 Tardieu-Laurent Cote Rotie for $99.Keeping it local, top-flight producers were the desired flavours; Te Mata, Craggy Range, Trinity Hill, Stonyridge, Destiny Bay, Te Motu and Church Road. Proving time again, that New Zealand Wine really does deserve a “Seat at the Table”.
Single Vendor Specialists
When leaders of their craft approach us to sell their collections in a Single Vendor sale, we are truly humbled. This year we had the absolute pleasure to present two amazing and iconic collections.Some years ago Tony and Beth Astle welcomed Reece into the Antoine’s family to learn the ropes of hospitality. Friendships were formed and career paths set. Now with more than 30 years of wine industry experience under his belt, Reece had the honour of bringing memories of Antoine’s into the homes of former diners. We wrote “the question was posed, ‘How does a suburb and its people bid adieu to not only a local icon, but an award-winning Auckland-wide institution?’” You answered with strong bidding on a wide range of New Zealand, Australian and French wine. The most spirited bidding was for Champagne ice buckets and flutes; items you could use again and again long after the wine is finished. You really did want to “bring a touch of Antoine’s into your in-home entertaining experience.” as we wrote at the time. After 47 years at the helm of Antoine’s, Tony Astle hung-up his apron and we all get to hang on to the memories.Pioneers and founders of Pyramid Valley, Claudie Elze and the late Mike Weersing, also offered their back collection of biodynamic wine for sale in August. Alas, our plans for a live sale in Christchurch were thwarted but that didn’t impede a great sale for these cult wines. Angel Flower, Earth Smoke and Lion’s Tooth were well represented but the Growers Collections was where the bidding got heated. Howell Family Cabernet Franc, Moteo Ridge Chenin Blanc and the Orton Vineyard Gewurztraminer all achieved well in excess of estimates. The Hille Vineyard late harvest Semillon was the standout performer, achieving double and sometimes three times high estimates. What a joy and honour to celebrate and share Claudia and Mike’s work.
Support in a life more restricted
There’s no doubt the impact of living with a pandemic has tested us all this year, with many hit hard. The hospitality industry with 170,000 workers being some of the hardest hit. We know them well – the barista, the waiter, the chef, the bartender, and the friendly voice who takes our order and assures us it will be ready in 10! Blair Duncan, of Red+White Cellar founded #helpforhospo and asked The Wine Auction Room to auction the epically generous donations from our NZ wineries. The collection was small and packed a mighty punch – a perfect platform for your generous bids to help those in need. Thanks to bidders and the donators of goods for auction – you all helped us cook up a little support for our friends.Mid-year we also opened the virtual door to The Wine Retail Room. For some, wine is simply a beverage. To us, each bottle has a story to tell which is why our kooky retail collection hit the spot for wine lovers. Establishing an everyday shopping portal for our community of fellow wine lovers seemed like a logical next step from our rare and fine wine auctions and climate controlled private wine vaults, which was well received – thanks for your ongoing support. Our selection continues to morph and change so be sure to let us know what you love and we’ll see what we can secure.As the restriction levels eased, we were thrilled to welcome the queue of patient collectors who were seeking certain conditions to store their wine, and just in the knick of time. As the bottles were quietly nestled in the private wine vaults, the notorious Auckland humidity hit. It was also a delight to see how collectors were optimising the vault space to suit their collection. Some stacked, some racked, some shelved and some re-discovered. Welcome to our community of wine lovers – it’s great to have you onboard.
We’re all set for 2022
So as the sun sets on a spicy 2021, we wish you all a restful summer season and a prosperous New Year. Enjoy your purchases with family, friends and loved ones – our team certainly is planning to do the very same (but not for too long).Our January auction is shaped and ready to be published on January 05, 2022. Our February 08 Live sale is shaping up beautifully with a selection to celebrate Chinese New Year including a large selection of Coleraine, Stonyridge Larose & Penfolds.Thanks for your incredible support over this crazy year and we look forward to creating new, interesting and noteworthy experiences for you in 2022. Stay safe and well, and enjoy the break.In vino veritas The Wine Auction Room The Wine Storage Room The Wine Retail Room