Penfolds auction set to break records as demand booms

More than 2100 individual bottles and 1500 lots of back vintage Penfolds valued at over $1.5 million are going under the hammer in Langton’s Penfolds Rewards of Patience Auction which opens today and is the world’s largest auction devoted exclusively to Penfolds.

“Penfolds is liquid gold, and it is one of the very few Australian wines that is actually an investment” said Langton’s head of auctions Tamara Grischy.

The pinnacle of the online auction is a rare vertical set of Penfolds Grange, which includes all existing vintages of Australia’s most famous wine from 1951 to 2015 (64 bottles in total).

The set is estimated to sell for over $400,000 and would break a world record for the highest price ever paid for a Penfolds Grange set.

Nineteen of the bottles have been signed by Max Schubert, the creator of Grange and Penfolds’ first chief winemaker.

“With the first vintages of Penfolds Grange from the 1950s becoming rarer, many collectors are struggling to complete their sets which is why these sets are becoming increasingly hard to find – it’s almost easier to buy a ticket to space!” Grischy explained.

It has been estimated there are only around 30 complete Penfolds Grange sets in existence in the world, making them incredibly rare.

The price for sets has increased by over 40% in the last three years alone. A set (vintages 1951 to 2012) sold for $214K in March 2017, and in December 2019, a set (vintages 1951-2014) sold for $372,800, which is the existing world price record.

Other highlights in the auction – which consist of back-vintage Penfolds which are not readily available – include 114 magnum bottles including 1990, 1996 and 1998 vintages of Bin 707, Grange, Magill Estate and Bin 389.

A Penfolds Bin 60A 1962 – which esteemed wine publication Decanter has named as one of the Top 10 wines to “try before you die” – has a $14,000 reserve price.

“We are also expecting prices for 1981 and 1971 vintages of Penfolds Grange to boom, with customers born in those years celebrating their 40th and 50th birthdays in 2021. Traditionally we see many customers looking to treat themselves with a Penfolds wine from their birth year for a milestone birthday,” she explained.

Langton’s has seen an increase in customer demand for premium wines – especially Penfolds – since COVID-19 restrictions were enforced in March.

The average price for outstanding vintages of Penfolds Grange in the Langton’s auction arm has grown approximately 23% since then.

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