Winestate Magazine: Ever Popular Sauternes

Since our last report Mossgreen-Webb’s has had three auctions – two of which have been single vendor cellars. The single vendor auctions are certainly proving to be very popular with our buyers due to provenance and the stories behind the cellar. This has brought many new buyers both to the auction room and to the online platform. They also bring with them a higher sell through rate which is exciting for both the vendor and us.
The first single vendor auction featured the wines from a prominent New Zealander who loves fine wine. Many of the wines had been purchased from the well know and notable wine merchants, Berry Brothers and Rudd in St James, London. His passion had grown into one of New Zealand’s great cellars anchored by selection of fine Classed Growth Bordeaux.

Many of other French regions were well represented. From the Rhone the collection had Paul Avril’s Clos des Papes Chateauneuf du Papes of 2003 and 2007. Burgundy had the great Bonneau du Matray Corton of 1996 and Corton-Charlemaine 2003. There were also multiple vintages of Chateau d’Yquem in magnum and bottle format as well as Chateau Climens from Sauternes. All these wines proved very popular especially the Sauternes and the Clos des Papes. These had many bidders and sold for above their High Estimates.

Italy was represented by the Super Tuscan Sassicaia and Barolo heavyweight Giacosa Falleto and Spain by the fine 2001 Atardi Vina El Pison Rioja in magnum.

The New World wines included Screaming Eagle from Napa and Penfold’s Grange 1996 from South Australia. While the high prices of the cult Screaming Eagle were a bit much for many the 1996 Grange was extremely popular.

It was, however, in the wines from Bordeaux where this cellar excelled. Every lot was a great offering with wines from hallowed vintages like 1982, 1989, 1990, 2000, 2005 and 2009 – most with very high critics points. There were First Growths, Second Growths, Super Seconds, Left Bank, Right Bank and different format bottlings. This was indeed a cellar that had been put together with a lot of thought.

The auction went extremely well with a full auction room and a great number of absentee bids. We were able to offer many of the wines in case lots and smaller quantities that pleased both the collectors and the drinkers alike. Sell through percentage on the evening was in the high 70’s and due to the high numbers of some of the wines in this cellar we will be able to continue to offer many of these wines in the future.

The second single vendor auction was an online only auction and featured the wines of a very well-known restaurant in Auckland’s well to do suburb of Herne Bay. While this was a far more commercial offering it also had many fine wines that had been collected over the previous 20 years of trading. Again, this auction proved very popular – especially with the many regulars of this restaurant who snapped up the wines they had previously enjoyed at this establishment. Sell through percentage was again in the high 70’s with many above the High Estimate. This left both the vendors and bidders extremely pleased especially the bidders who picked up their favourite wines at considerably less than what they had been previously paying for them due to restaurant margins.

Single vendor auctions are something that Mossgreen-Webbs prides itself on; not just for wine but across all departments. However, with wine it proves to be very desirable to our buyers due to the background of the consignor and the knowledge that all the wines in an auction having been stored in the correct conditions. We will continue to actively source these single vendor cellars to bring to the market.

To be the first to hear about auctions and upcoming catalogues, subscribe to our e-newsletter at