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Rare imperial of wine is a big chip off the block

A very rare imperial (6 litre) bottle of 1991 St. Hallett Old Block shiraz from the Barossa valley and a small collection of Penfolds Grange from the 1950's are among the highlights of Wickman's Fine Wine Auction this month. Nearly 300 lots of wine comprising mainly fine and rare wines but also a number of budget wines and stock that formed part of a failed wine investment group will go under the virtual hammer in the second week of August.

Leading the auction is the imperial of St Hallett Old Block shiraz from 1991, an excellent vintage that has collected accolades from respected Australian wine writers such as Jeremy Oliver and James Halliday. Previously another imperial of Old Block, signed by motor racing legend Sir Jack Brabham, sold at a local fund raising auction for an impressive $4,000. For those who wish to bid on this wine and open it on a special occasion there is good news; according to Mark Wickman of Wickman's Fine Wine Auctions, wine kept in larger format bottles such as a magnum or imperial will age at a slower rate than in a standard 750ml bottle because of the greater volume of liquid present to absorb any oxygen, so this imperial will probably still have at least another decade of life in it.

Also featured are a number of consignments of wine that were recently held as part of a premium wine investment portfolio. Originating from failed wine investment fund Heritage, they have had massive discounts applied because of the sheer quantity that is being released into the marketplace. Many of the wines were made specifically for the investment fund and have little or no buying support in the secondary market. Although they may be fine, premium wines, they will take quite some time to amass any realistic value, and until that time they represent an uncommon buying opportunity.

Wickman's Fine Wine Auctions has an online auction running now and will close for bids on the 8th August 2006, they will also be holding another one soon after in September and welcome expressions of interest from potential buyers and those interested in submitting wine to be sold.

Seeley International


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Rowe Scientific


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