Nederburg Auction 2017 sales results and highlights

Thursday, 5 October, 2017
Nederburg Auction
In pursuit of perfection, the 2017 Nederburg Auction has won new fans and impressed existing ones too. A change in format has been a very welcome update with producers and participants very complimentary of the event; having a day for tasting all auction wines (Friday 15th September) in a spacious, relaxed and exciting atmosphere and the auction on a single day (Saturday 16th September).

Ken Forrester said: “A fantastic day for the Nederburg Auction. The Nederburg Auction has once again pulled out all the stops, they’ve improved on a fantastic format they’ve been working on, they’ve been working really, really hard and I think their generosity in sharing this auction with the industry makes this auction the foremost wine event on the calendar.”

All South African producers are invited to submit their rare icon wines for inclusion at the Nederburg Auction. All wines selected are selected on merit through stringent selection criteria, carried out by a panel of global wine experts and Masters of Wine (MW) through an independently audited blind tasting. All wines submitted are scored by at least 4 members of the selection panel and given an average rating. Only the highest scoring wines are then selected for inclusion at the Nederburg Auction. The selection panel all judge internationally. By using mostly international judges the Nederburg Auction ensures that South African wines are being exposed to some of the most sophisticated and influential palates in the world and providing prominence for South African wines to international buyers.

Total sales at this year’s auction, now in its 43rd year, reached R6,343,750 and saw a refinement of 15% on 2016 figures for total litres sold at 8,781 litres selling at an average of R722 per litre (a marginal reduction of 2.5% from the all-time high of R740 achieved in 2016).

Participation from the Africa region increased notably, contributing 10.5% of overall sales (4.8% in 2016) and over 60% of registered buyers successfully winning bids. All 128 wines from 65 producers were sold, the fourth consecutive year without any unsold lots.

On the whites – Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc both achieved some impressive results. Chardonnay’s R/L increased by 35.3% on 2016 from R484 to R655 contributing 7.1% to overall sales. Chenin had a year-on-year R/L increase of 31.3% on 2016 from R501 to R658 per litre and taking 6.3% of overall sales. The selection panel were very impressed by how well some of the white wines have aged with some of South Africa’s white wines being the most exciting anywhere in the world. Tim Atkin (MW) said “The quality of both white and red has improved exponentially over the past ten years.”

The median buyer purchase increased by 23% to R25,000 per person from R20,250 in 2016. The 2017 Auction also saw a significant correction in the participation risk profile relative to the 2016 auction. In 2017 the top three buyers only contributed 15.6% to total sales compared to the 34.2% the top three buyers contributed in 2016.

The top-performing white wine’s per 750ml bottle were:

  • Ken Forrester The FMC 2009 at R1,833 per bottle = R2,444 per litre
  • The Old Vines Project, consisting of 2 x Alheit Cartology 2011, 2 x Boekenhoutskloof Semillion 2004 and 2 x The Sadie Family ‘T Voetpad 2015 at R1,833 per bottle = R2,444 per litre
  • Ken Forrester The FMC Single Barrel 2014 at R1,200 per bottle = R1,600 per litre
  • Perdeberg The Dry Land Collection Barrel Fermented Chenin Blanc 2013 at R800 per bottle = R1,067 per litre
  • David & Nadia Aristargos 2014 at R800 per bottle = R1,067 per litre
  • Perdeberg The Dry Land Collection Chenin Blanc 2013 at R800 per bottle = R1,067 per litre
  • DeMorgenzon Reserve Chenin Blanc 2005 at R1,375 per 1.5L bottle = R917 per litre, case of 4
  • Bloemendal Suider Terras 2015 at R667 per bottle = R889 per litre
  • Raats Old Vine Chenin Blanc 2014 at R1,250 per 1.5L bottle = R833 per litre, case of 4
  • Iona Chardonnay 2014 at R583 per bottle = R778 per litre
  • DeMorgenzon Maestro White 2012 at R583 per bottle  = R778 per litre

The above results clearly indicate how well white wines are being received and deservedly achieving price points similar to more established international wine regions. Chenin Blanc stole the show for white wines with six of the top ten highest Rand per Litre for white wines going to Chenin Blanc. Producers are making white wines with the ability to age extremely well with oldest top ten white being 13 years old. There is a growing appreciation for how well our white wines are aging with connoisseurs appreciating the complex layers derived from wood, tannin, fruit etc.

There is a growing market for South Africa's older vintages and appreciation for their ability to age gracefully which didn't go unrewarded. Setting a new Nederburg Auction record for highest price ever achieved for a 750ml bottle of wine, the top performing red’s were:

  • Meerlust Bordeaux Blend 1978 at R16,000 per 750ml bottle = R21,333 per litre, case of 3
  • Chateau Libertas 1957 at R9,167 per 750ml bottle = R12,222 per litre, case of 6
  • Meerlust Cabernet Sauvignon 1980 at R11,667 per 1.5L bottle = R7,777 per litre, case of 3
  • Chateau Libertas 1967 at R2,667 per 375ml bottle = R7,111 per litre, case of 6
  • Lanzerac Cabernet Sauvignon 1970 at R1,583 per 375ml bottle = R4,221 per litre, case of 6
  • Zonnebloem Shiraz 1977 at R2,167 = R2,889 per litre, case of 6
  • Zonnebloem Cabernet Sauvignon 1987 at R1,667 = R2,222 per litre, case of 6
  • Rustenberg Stellenbosch John X Merriman 2008 at R2,500 per 1.5L bottle = R1,667 per litre, case of 4
  • Jordan Cobblers Hill 2003 at R1,333 per 750ml bottle = R1,778 per litre, case of 6
  • Hermanuspietersfontein Die Martha 2008 at R1,333 per 750ml bottle = R1,778 per litre, case of 6
  • Hermanuspietersfontein Die Arnoldus 2009 at R1,333 per 750ml bottle = R1,778 per litre, case of 6
  • Hermanuspietersfontein Die Martha 2006 at R1,333 per 750ml bottle = R1,778 per litre, case of 6
  • Stellenzicht Syrah 1994 at R1,333 per 750ml bottle = R1,778 per litre, case of 6

The Nederburg Auction was established as a platform to sell the world-renowned Nederburg Edelkeur and to this day it is the only platform where it can be purchased. Again, the Noble Late Harvest, Port and Fortified wines produced a solid performance with the top 10 being:

  • Nederburg Private Bin Edelkeur 1982 at R1,583 per 375ml bottle = R4,222 per litre
  • Nederburg Private Bin Edelkeur 1998 at R1,167 per 375ml bottle = R3,111 per litre
  • Nederburg Private Bin Eminence 1989 at R867 per 375ml bottle = R2,311 per litre
  • Monis Very Old Tawny Port 1989 at R1,667 per 750ml bottle = R2,222 per litre
  • Fleur Du Cap Special Late Harvest 1983 at R1,267 per 750ml bottle = R1,689 per litre
  • Nederburg Private Bin S316 Weisser Riesling Noble Late Harvest 2001 at R583 per 750ml bottle = R1,556 per litre
  • Nederburg Private Bin Edelkeur 2013 at R500 per 375ml bottle = R1,333 per litre
  • Nederburg Private Bin Eminence 2011 at R467 per 375ml bottle = R1,244 per litre
  • Durbanville Hills Rhinofields Noble Late Harvest 2012 at R433 per 375ml bottle = R1,156 per litre
  • Boplaas Cape Vintage Reserve Port 2006 at R700 per 750ml bottle = R933

South Africa retained 70% of all wines sold with the biggest share of foreign sales going to Taiwan with 6.5%, the United Arab Emirates 2nd at 5.3% and Mozambique 3rd with 5.1% of overall sales.

The percentage each wine type contributed to overall sales was largely the same as in 2016. With Reds contributing 71% overall (5,315 litres at R849 per litre), Dry White 19.3% (2,789 litres at R440 per litre), MCC 3.4% (203 litres at R1,073 per litre), Noble Late Harvest 2.8% (135 litres at R1,313 per litre), Port 2.3% (170 litres at R850 per litre) and Fortified 1.1% (180 litres at R378 per litre)

The significant increase in overall quality of South African wine is being hailed more than ever by local and international wine critics and this is evident in the achievements and awards they’re accumulating. With this, the world’s perception of South African wines has changed for the better, and the Nederburg Auction has very much benefitted from these success stories. The Nederburg Auction is an industry event and one that showcases the best South Africa has to offer.

Through the annual Charity Auction and the Auctioneers’ Bursary Initiative, the Nederburg Auction ensures it makes tangible differences to people’s lives and their wider communities. This year the Charity Auction raised R1.010 million for sp(i)eel, an art’s therapies collective, a non-profit organisation working throughout the greater Cape winelands. In addition to this, the Nederburg Auction – Auctioneers’ Bursary Initiative, a collaboration between the Nederburg Auction and auctioneers Anthony Barne of Bonhams and David Elswood of Christie’s was introduced in 2016 to assist aspiring young viticulturists who have the desire and motivation to complete their studies in viticulture.

The initiative aims to identify young viticulturists with potential for excellence through a detailed selection process and includes full tuition starting from the selected student’s third year of studies and continuing until they graduate. The bursary is offered within the wine industry to one student every two to three years.

The 44th Nederburg Auction will be held on Friday 7th and Saturday 8th September 2018.

To view the full sales results presentation, please click HERE.

For further information, please visit the Nederburg Auction website at