South Africa

You won’t believe how much this 200-year-old bottle of wine was sold for

Sold! The Grand Constance 1821 to the highest bidder.

You need to be in a certain tax bracket to attend a Strauss & Co’s Impression/Expression auction. Numerous wines and boutique art went on sale and the auction broke multiple records in the wine categories.

The sale included five iconic South African wines, with the auction starting on Tuesday and concluding on Wednesday (15 September). They made an 88.5% combined sell-through rate, the statement read.

A 200-year-old bottle of Grand Constance 1821 stole all the headlines – it sold for an astonishing R967,300.

The Grand Constance 1821 was reportedly destined for French political leader Napoleon before his death. The Grand Constance 1821 is a sweet red, with only 12 remaining in the world. The wine is from the Groot Constantia vineyard in the Western Cape.

In the artworks categories, they also sold for impressive amounts. The art collection included renowned South African artists Georgina Gratrix, Irma Stern, JH Pierneef and Hugo Naudé.

The highest selling artwork was work by expressionist painter Irma Stern done in 1965. It depicted three naked figures at Cannes harbour, which sold for R1.93 million.

The ages of the wines totalled 574 years and included reputable red wines: 1957 vintage of Chateau Libertas, South Africa’s oldest red wine, and iconic George Spies (GS) Cabernet Sauvignon 1966. The two red wines sold for R91,040 each.

Wine expert and sommelier Higgo Jacobs, co-founder of Strauss & Co’s wine department, said the wines were from a “bygone era”.

“It offers the buyer the experience of a piece of sensual history that is still very much alive.”

The wines sold formed a collection purchased by three South African wine personalities on auction in London in 1983 and were carefully cellared at Simonsig Wine Estate, and Jacobs added this had firmly established South Africa’s status as a producer of “world-class sweet wines”.

The other three wines, the first commercial vintage of the Klein Constantia Vin de Constance from 1987, sold for R34,140.

A 275ml bottle of the Jaubert Family Muscat d’Alexandrie, drawn from a 115-litre barrel in the care of the Joubert family for more than 200 years, sold for R91,040.

Compiled by Sandisiwe Mbhele

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