A Taste of things to come!
Spotlight on Fine Wine & Whisky
Showcasing the cream of Wales and beyond, our Selections & Collections Auction features luxury jewellery, prestige watches, Asian art & fine wines to name but a few sectors of the market. Consigned via our three venues, quality and rarity are all important. As part of our ‘Super Saturday’ double bill of auctions, this sale features some superb expressions from the Fine Wine world including Dom Perignon, Fonseca, Louis Roederer Cristal, Krug, and Romanée-Conti. Mostly consigned from a private collection in the Vale of Glamorgan, these bottles have been meticulously cared for having been housed in an active temperature-controlled storage cellar.
This collection is further complemented by additional entries of whisky to include White Horse, Lagavulin, John Jameson and our very own Penderyn. I must admit I am getting thirsty at the thought of stepping on to the rostrum in a few weeks’ time!
Over the decade ending in 2019, whisky far and away leads the luxury investment index with a growth rate of well over 500% and it is easy to see why. Late in 2019 a bottle of Macallan 1926 60-year-old single malt sold for a staggering £1.45 million at auction. With only 40 bottles produced and some bearing special edition labelling, it is often described as the Holy Grail of whisky. With each dram being roughly valued at £50,000 it is highly likely to have been bought by a collector looking to finalise a collection. Either that or somebody with very expensive taste!
Not all collectable whisky makes such eye-watering sums and value does not always mean ‘better’ but can often be more closely linked with rarity. If you are considering starting a collection look-out for rare, limited editions, vintage bottles, and examples from either ghost (closed) or mothballed distilleries. Always ensure the seal and cap have not been compromised which will ensure the contents are original. Check that bottles have been stored out of direct sunlight and at room temperature as whisky - a potential risk when collecting other forms of alcohol. I have been lucky enough to handle rare examples of whisky during my auctioneering career including examples from Port Ellen, Brora, and Bala to name a few.
The wine sector has also seen a healthy return of over 140% during the same period outperforming sectors such as jewellery, watches, furniture, and stamps. 2019 saw a reduction in growth due to, amongst other factors, political unrest, and economic uncertainty. But wine has become big business at auction with many provincial auction houses following the big three multi-nationals and offering wine and port within specialist sales. Offerings from Bordeaux first growths continue to be in high demand emphasising the importance of provenance in this sector.
Wine and art can often combine with many artists taking advantage of wine labels as a great opportunity to showcase their work to a wider audience. Chateau Mouton Rothschild established this tradition in 1945 and has thus brought together some of the most celebrated artists of their day, including Miró, Chagall, Braque, Picasso, Tàpies, Francis Bacon, Dali, Balthus, Jeff Koons and even Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales. In our recent past we had the privilege of selling the 1994 and 1995 bottles which realised a credible £460 + BP against a £300-500 estimate. The 1994 label was conceived by Dutch painter Karel Appel (1921-2006) and depicts a pair of drinkers dancing round a totem bottle attempting to liberate the spirit trapped within. The 1995 label was conceived by Barcelona born Antoni Tapies (1923-2012) and promises the wine will deliver a feast of the senses once opened.
We hope you enjoy perusing the wine and whisky in the July auction and if you are considering bidding then it is reassuring to know that you are bidding on interesting, luxurious assets that are both investable and very pleasurable.