Winestate Magazine: The Success of Single Vendor Auctions

2017 brings with it a number of changes for the Mossgreen-Webb’s Fine & Rare Wine department that we are very excited about. After the extremely successful Saggio di Vino single-vendor auction in September last year, we have been contacted by owners of private cellars that also want to use this facility to sell parts of, or their whole cellar. These wines have the greatest provenance as they have been with the current owners in temperature-controlled cellars since their original purchase. Many of the wines from one cellar were purchased directly from Berry Brothers and Rudd and stored in bond until they were sent to New Zealand. To facilitate these single-vendor auctions we will be holding two live (and streamed online) auctions in some months and we will continue to have multi-vendor auctions on the day following a single-vendor auction. By the time this goes to print we would have completed the first single-vendor auction for the year and I look forward to sharing the results with you.

Our recent auctions have had some great successes, and not just with wine. We were very fortunate to receive a consignment of whiskies from around the world that took pride of place in our last live/online auction. With 50 whiskies from one vendor we achieved a sell through rate of 92%. While there were whiskies that represented great value, there were also some very rare bottles as well. Highlights from this collection were a Macphails 50 year old, Glenturret 1967 and a Macallan 25 year old anniversary bottling. There were also many independent bottlings that excited the bidders with a lot of activity from the floor. Another whisky that generated a lot of interest (from a different vendor) was a 1950’s bottling of Buchannan’s ‘Black and White’ Old Scotch Whisky that garnered interest from people from the West Highland White Terrier association of New Zealand. Coming to auction shortly (but hopefully sold by the time this goes to print) is a very early 1900’s bottle of Johnnie Walker. This bottle was distilled before Johnnie Walker released the Red Label in 1909. While Mossgreen-Webb’s specialize in fine and rare wine, we are always happy to consign fine and rare spirits as well. To highlight this point, we also had and will have ongoing, a consignment of cognac that takes rare to a new level. This has come from a barrel purchased from a shipper located in Haymarket, London for a gentleman’s christening present. The grapes were harvested from the 1906 vintage and was bottled in 1963 after 57 years in barrel. The producer is unknown but the grapes were from the Fine Champagne region of Cognac. A tasting of this was offered at the auction which helped with the bidding in more ways than one!

Other highlights from this auction was a great number of First Growth Bordeaux from the 70’s and 80’s. These, along with more recent vintages, were very well received with a Chateau Margaux 1983 attracting a lot of interest from the floor. This, however, was outdone by a bottle of Petrus 1982. Bidding started low on this but as the price escalated many bidders dropped out to leave a battle between two bidders. We also had a number of larger format bottles with double magnums of Chateau Figeac, magnums of Chateau d’Yquem 1996, Opus One 1995, Chateaux Haut Brion and Mouton Rothschild (both from 1998), 2011 Gaja Langhe Contesia and Dagromis Barolo and a 5 litre bottle of Gaja Barbaresco 2011 all selling.

Please keep an eye on our website for upcoming catalogues and auction results and feel free to contact me at [email protected] for advice on buying or selling at auction.