South Africa’s most prestigious wine event, the Cape Fine & Rare Wine Auction, recently announced the line-up of outstanding wines that will be auctioned at the annual event on 22 May 2021.
Following a year that has impacted the South African wine industry like no other, the auction will celebrate the outstanding skill and tenacious spirit of the country’s wine makers. The wines selected for the auction represent the rarest and finest South African wines available today, including bottles meticulously preserved since the 1960s, wines produced under South Africa’s pioneering Old Vine Project, and the highest quality wines from the country’s most successful vintages – 2009 and 2015.
Some of the rarest wines that will go on sale include Chateau Libertas 1970, Kanonkop Paul Sauer 2009, Le Lude Rosé Agrafé 2012, Nederburg Private Bin Eminence 1999, Uva Mira O.T.V 2015, Vilafonté Series C 2005 and Zonnebloem Cabernet Sauvignon 1970.
See the full catalogue of auction wines online.
The wines selected for the auction have been painstakingly curated by highly-respected South African wine insiders, including master of wine (MW) Cathy van Zyl, wine critic and columnist, Michael Fridjhon, and wine judge and general manager of Singita Premier Wine Direct, François Rautenbach. Between them they have ensured that only the very best and most collectable wines will go up for sale.
For the first time, collectors from all over the world will be able to attend and bid for wines as the auction will be presented in a modern, hybrid virtual format. This will allow for live bidding online as well as in person, with in-room bidding taking place in Stellenbosch. Taking up the gavel once again will be lively Christie’s auctioneer Charlie Foley who has long championed the collectability of South African wine.
Niël Groenewald, Cape Fine & Rare Wine Auction Director comments: “We are delighted to announce the wines that have been selected for this year’s Cape Fine & Rare Wine Auction. It has been one of the most challenging years in the history of our industry, but the wines selected really showcase the outstanding winemaking talent in South Africa and the globally-competitive fine wines that are now being produced. Now more than ever, it is important to support our fine wine industry and its initiatives committed to preservation and growth, sustainability, diversity and inclusion. We are looking forward with great anticipation to seeing how this year’s lots perform.”
Charlie Foley, Christie’s Auctioneer adds: “South African fine wines present a real opportunity for both experienced collectors and those taking their first steps towards building a collection. Fine wines from the country are of exceptional quality but are the lowest priced worldwide. This makes them excellent value for money. Now is definitely the time to be trying South Africa’s fine and rare wines.”
Pristine old gems
This year, the Cape Fine & Rare Wine Auction will present some of South Africa’s rarest aged wines – those from vintages pre-dating 2000. Before the turn of this century, South Africa mainly produced wines for early drinking and there were few temperature-controlled cellars in the sunny climate to keep them pristine. However, the auction judges have sought out those wines of great provenance, from some of South Africa’s greatest producers that have been perfectly preserved and represent a significant investment opportunity due to their scarcity. Some of those on offer at the auction include the Zonnebloem Cabernet Sauvignon 1961, Graham Beck Brut 1994, Thelema Cabernet Sauvignon 1994 and Nederberg Private Bin Eminence 1999.
Owning a piece of history: South Africa’s Old Vine wines
Thanks to the pioneering work of respected viticulturist, Rosa Kruger, and her Old Vine Project an increasing number of South Africa’s older vines – dating back decades – are being protected, saved and brought back to life, after years of devastation. These vines are local to the country and produce styles of wine that showcase the true identity of South Africa as well as offering great structure, concentrated flavours and beautifully developed aromas. Offering buyers the chance to experience the best and truest expressions of the country’s native varietals, the judges have selected some of the finest wines being produced under this project, including David & Nadia Hoë-Steen Chenin Blanc 2017, Lammershoek Die Ounooi 2018 Chardonnay, and Sadie Family Vineyards Soldaat 2017.
Outstanding vintages: 2009 and 2015
Both 2009 and 2015 are vintages that proved the tipping point for South African wine, making it a global player in the fine wine market. Wines from these vintages display the qualities that have long made Old World wines safe investments including consistency, maturing vineyards and fine wine making techniques, long-term aging potential, and limited production. It is predicted that annual long-term returns of 10-20% are achievable on fine South African wine, making wines from its best vintages a great opportunity for collectors. Wines from these vintages selected for the auction include David & Nadia Skaliekop Chenin Blanc 2015, Delaire Graff Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 and Kanonkop Paul Sauer Bordeaux Blend 2009.
Wine collectors who would like to bid and participate as a buyer at the Cape Fine & Rare Wine Auction can register online.
Good to know
In partnership with the international auction house, Christie’s, and with the spirited energy of its auctioneer Charlie Foley, the auction takes place at the prestigious Rupert Museum in Stellenbosch. For the first time, in May 2021, the auction will be presented in a modern, hybrid format which will allow for live bidding online from anywhere in the world as well as in person.