Wine Hunter

Sipping on a $13,500 glass of wine

Penfolds Grange. Image supplied

Going once. Going twice. Sold.

If you had a casual $81,000 lying around, what would you buy? Would it be put towards a home loan? A holiday? A new car? An extravagant shopping spree or maybe just go straight into your savings?

How about a bottle of wine? That’s exactly what one Australian bought.

Purchasing two, on Monday 16 December, $81,000 is the amount one bidder spent on one bottle of 1951 Penfolds Grange.

The auction, at which wine is sold on behalf of collectors, was hosted by Langton’s as part of their Rewards of Patience Auction – held every six months. Last year, the auction broke all world records for the staggering figures floating around. The evening saw a set of 1951–2015 Grange sell for a record of $372,800 alongside the two 1951 Penfolds Grange with a combined value of $162,000.

The online auction closed at 7pm and as the hammer went down for the final time, a complete set of 65 vintages was purchased by an Australian collector – breaking the previous record (by a mere $23,000) for a set of Penfolds Grange 1951-2014 which sold for $349,500.

Penfolds Grange set at Langton's Rewards of Patience auction. Image supplied,

Penfolds Grange set at Langton’s Rewards of Patience auction. Image supplied,

Langton’s head of auctions, Tamara Grischy, says that the auction price ($81,000 each) of the two bottles of 1951 Penfolds Grange was a staggering win.

“It’s rare to have one, let alone two bottles of this historic vintage in the auction, and for both bottles to fetch this price is absolutely sensational,” she says.

Ms Grischy continues by saying that the Penfolds Grange has put Australia on the world map of fine wine – representing the beginning of modern Australian wine.

“It is believed there are less than 20 bottles in circulation, and the 1951 Penfolds Grange is coveted among collectors who want to have a complete set.”

Also at the auction, a Penfolds Grange from 1953 (which is a Penfolds Cabernet) sold for over $31,000 – a 60 per cent increase from when a 1953 Penfolds Cabernet was sold in 2017 for $17,475.

“The Penfolds Grange Cabernets were made in addition to Penfolds Grange, which is made with Shiraz. Max Schubert only made two vintages using Cabernet, in 1952 and 1953, so these bottles are very rare,” Ms Grischy explained.

The most notable listing throughout the auction was one of the more affordable bottles, a Penfolds Koonunga Hill Claret Cabernet Blend selling for a relaxing $30.

The next auction will be held in June 2020.

If you love expensive things, then you’ll love our list of The World’s Most Expensive Whiskies.

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