We caught up with Strauss & Co fine wine auction partner and Director of Wine Cellar fine wine merchants Roland Peens, to chat about the upcoming 10 May Bordeaux-themed combined online auction.
Q: The Bordeaux -focused Strauss & Co combined fine wine, art and collectables online is set to take place on 10 & 11 May. What is new and different about this auction?
A: This year Strauss & Co will be offering a series of fine wine auctions based on categorised themes. Most will be online auctions and Bordeaux Auction on 10 May at 11am is no exception. The auction has been changed to a live virtual auction format, replicating a saleroom scenario, with an auctioneer conducting the sale live, in isolation. It will be live streamed to the audience who will be able to bid online from the comfort of their homes, in real time, lot by lot, as the auction happens.
Q: We heard through the grapevine that there is a new technology element to this auction?
A: The May Auction Strauss & Co will be conducted live, online, in partnership with Invaluable.com, the world’s leading international platform for buying art, antiques and collectibles online. This reaches more international bidders and it is exciting to sell the finest mature South African wines to the world. Pre and post bids are also available for this Bordeaux Auction.
Q: There is a theme to this auction – please tell us about this and about the wine lots on offer on the day? What makes these specific lots so desirable?
A: With so many fine wines available locally and internationally, Strauss & Co fine wine auctions has decided to theme each auction around famous wine styles. The live auction highlights the wines of Bordeaux. Not only are Bordeaux wines the most famous and long-aging internationally, but local wines such as Paul Sauer, Rubicon and Fusion V are of South Africa’s finest wines. All the Strauss & Co fine wine lots showcase rare vintages that are not available elsewhere in the market!
Q: What would you say is the single most enticing reason to purchase wine, art and collectables on auction?
A: Buying on auction allows the collector the best opportunity to buy rare items that are not available elsewhere. Savvy bidders may secure rare wines at keen prices, or competitive bidding could lead to new market prices being set.
Q: The Strauss & Co combined fine wine, art and collectables auctions are the result of a partnership between Expert Sommelier Higgo Jacobs, Wine Cellar fine wine merchants and Strauss & Co. Higgo Jacobs and Wine Cellar are the guardians of the quality of the wines on auction, please explain the processes behind sourcing, storing and logistics.
A: Since we are the first business to formalise the secondary market, there is no set procedure to the wine sourcing. Wine Cellar professionally cellars wine for 900 private customers and many have approached us to sell wine in their collection. Collectors from all over South Africa have, in fact, contacted us for realising the value in their collection. Higgo and the Wine Cellar team evaluate each cellar and taste extensively where required. Only the finest, best condition wines are then placed on auction. Wines are then shipped to the underground cellars in Observatory where they will be distributed post sale once permitted by law or held for further cellaring.
Q: We are interested in the aging potential of the fine wines on auction – can these wines be bought as an investment?
A: Each lot is considered at a different point in its ageing process. Younger lots such as Rauzan Segla 2014 and Kanonkop Paul Sauer 2012 are great investments and will be best in another decade or more. Mature wines such as the iconic Haut Brion 1989 may be 30 years old, but will outlive many of us and the pundits believe it may age a century! The full 12-bottle case of Rubicon 1995 is one of the rarest lots I have ever seen and it is arguably the greatest Rubicon vintage. I believe it will age for at least another 2 decades and is a fine investment!