East Coast Wine Trail

East Coast Wine Trail
East Coast Wine Trail

Monday, 16 December 2019

Record price paid for a set of Penfolds Grange

A set of Penfolds Grange from 1951 to 2015 has been sold for a world record $372,800 in the Langton's Rewards of Patience Auction. 

The auction closed at 7pm last night, and the complete set of 65 vintages was purchased by an Australian collector. The previous record was for a Penfolds Grange set from 1951 to 2014 which sold for $349,500.
“We’ve seen fewer and fewer of Penfolds Grange sets on the markets, and the collectors are certainly looking for them, so watch this space – I’m sure the demand will keep going up,” said Jeremy Parham, general manager of Langton’s.
“Every set is unique and has its own unique value depending on its condition and provenance. This was a super set that was in perfect condition, so I’m not surprised about the result.” 
Two rare bottles of the first-ever vintage of Penfolds Grange from 1951 sold for over $81,000 each, which is also a record. One bottle of the 1951 Penfolds has previously sold for $80,000.
“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,” said Tamara Grischy, head of auctions at Langton’s.
 “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. This wine truly represents the beginning of modern Australian wine, as Penfolds Grange has put Australia on the world map of fine wine.” 
A Penfolds Grange from 1953 – which is a Penfolds cabernet – sold for over $31,000, which is another record. The previous time a 1953 Penfolds Cabernet was for sale in 2017 it sold for $17,475*, which means an increase of 60%.
“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,” Grischy explained.
One of the more affordable bottles sold was $30 for a 1990 Penfolds Koonunga Hill Claret Cabernet Blend.
“This is an absolute bargain for a wine that is almost 30 years old, and it is drinking beautifully at the moment,” she said.
The wines in the Langton's Rewards of Patience Auction are sold on consignment, meaning on behalf of collectors.
“The Penfolds Grange set, one of the 1951 Penfolds Grange bottles and the 1953 Penfolds Grange Cabernet were sold on behalf of a collector in South Australia. He was understandably thrilled by the results,” Grischy said.
In total, over 1800 bottles of Penfolds went under the hammer in the on line auction and fetched over $1 million.
“The market demand for Penfolds remains strong and healthy,” Grischy said
“I think we love Penfolds because it’s such an Australian story, it’s the underdog story defined. Max Schubert was Penfolds first chief winemaker, who started making the Grange as an experiment. At the time, Australian winemakers were mainly making fortified wines.” 
“He believed in his conviction, and he kept making the Grange, although he was actually told to stop making it by his supervisors. He was a rebel, and the wine world can forever be grateful for his refusal to do what he was told,” she added.
Langton's Rewards of Patience Auction is in its 23rd year and takes place every six months. The next auction will take place in June, 2020.

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