Strauss & Co Fine Wine Auctions produced another white glove sale on Sunday, with 90 lots from three great South African producers selling for R1,785,112. Early vintages from Alheit Family, Sadie Family and Vilafonté have never reached the secondary market and record prices tumbled. ‘The bidding was extremely competitive from start to finish, leading to strong prices. This further cements South Africa’s rise in the world of fine wine,’ commented Roland Peens, Strauss & Co Fine Wine Specialist.

Chris Alheit’s rare 2018 Radio Lazarus, of which only 72-bottles were produced but never released, reached an astounding R25,036 for 1 bottle. This is, by several fold, the most expensive young South African wine ever sold. One magnum of the 2017 vintage sold for R9,380, while a medley of 24 bottles from his revered single vineyards reached R56,900. His array of old vine Chenin Blancs started with the 2011 Cartology and gained him immediate international praise.

Lots from arguably South Africa’s leading producer, Eben Sadie, raised similar interest with a 12-bottle vertical of the flagship red, Columella from 2001-2012, reaching R113,800. A magnum of 2004 Columella fetched R12,898 and a 6-bottle case of the 2010 outsold the 2001 at R51,210. These are all new records for this iconic wine that recently received 100 points from Tim Atkin MW for the 2019. The maiden 2009 Old Vine Series, a game-changing 6 bottle case, also set a new record with R45,520.

Vilafonté’s leading Bordeaux-style blends, the Series C and Series M, offered rare lots from 2003 through to 2015. The luxurious, long-aging and highly decorated Series C is one of South Africa’s top red wines. A never-released double-magnum of 2004 reached R25,036 while the exciting 2015 vintage in the same format reached an impressive R23,450. A 6-bottle case of the fine 2009 was above high estimate at R31,864.

Sunday’s auction attracted 24% new bidders, showing the continued development of the market. There were also 230 viewers online watching!’ mentions Susie Goodman, Strauss director and auctioneer. The Alheit, Sadie and Vilafonté virtual live auction continues the highly successful online and virtual live auctions this year. A huge record was set by Strauss & Co in September for a South African wine. A mint bottle of 1821 Grand Constance sold for R967,300 at the Impression/Expression auction titled – From Hugo Naudé to Georgina Gratrix and 574 Years of South African Icon Wines. The joint venture between retailer Wine Cellar fine wine merchants, sommelier Higgo Jacobs and Strauss & Co started in 2019.

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