A 1800 Joubert-Tradauw Jaubert Family Muscat fetched an impressive R42 500 at this year’s Nederburg wine auction on Sunday. The sale of the minute 275ml bottle (just over half a glass) means the sale equates to over R150 000 per litre.

Only six bottles of this 200-year-old vintage are sold each year from a 100-litre French oak barrel in a secret cellar in the Klein Karoo. The barrel is topped up each year.

Cobus Joubert, wine expert says the wine’s rarity accounts for its high price.

“The taste is unbelievable, it is unbelievably complex that it is hard to describe. It is extremely rich, but it has a youthfulness despite it’s age,” he says.

Joubert says the wine is sold mostly to private buyers and wine collectors.

In total, the 2015 Nederburg wine auction, now in its 41st year, recorded a staggering R6,163 million in sales, slightly down from last year’s record of just over R7 million.

South Africa’s finest and rarest wines were available for both private and public buyers to bid on, proving that despite tough economic times South Africans still enjoy a tipple.

Nederburg Auction Manager Dalene Steyn says: “This year’s auction showcased the finest line-up of wines in the history of this prestigious industry event, with the second-highest average price per litre being achieved.”

An average price per litre of R576 (compared to R597 in 2014) was achieved despite tough market conditions. Record rand per litre prices were set in four out of six categories, namely Fortified, Cap Classique, Port and Dry White.

“Bidding was especially dynamic, with the most diverse buying audience yet. More private buyers than ever before resulted in a competitive bidding experience,” added Steyn.

Tsogo Sun took the top honours in this year’s auction, spending R642 800, while Spar DC Western Cape and Spar DC Eastern Cape spent a combined total of R758 600 – up 65% on their 2014 spend.

Nederburg say the auction also saw a 5% increase in international sales, proving that South African wine is increasingly gaining international acclaim.