Rare value will be recognised – and rewarded. That’s the promise from a panel of top local and international wine judges appointed to moderate entries to the 40th Nederburg Auction to be held on 12th & 13th September this year.
South African producers were invited this week to start submitting exclusive, rare wines of enduring quality in line with the demands of increasingly discerning buyers.
“The event was founded 40 years ago on what was to become one of the most iconic wines of our time – the Nederburg Edelkeur. Now, more than ever, we want to showcase wines of that ilk,” says Auction manager Dalene Steyn.
“That’s why we adjusted our judging criteria over the past three years. Our clients want iconic wines, whether beautifully matured vintages or rare and exclusive due to scarcity, and we’ve created the platform to help build those wine reputations, help our producers create those new heroes. And we’re getting there – through the smaller Auction volumes and more competitive bidding seen over the past three years,” she says.
Steyn says the 2013 Auction was significantly more successful thanks to the same sales turnover achieved with less than half the volumes of the previous year.
“This was remarkable, and we believe an absolute testament to the enduring quality of the wines submitted. Buyers respond positively to the perception of the rarity we offer. This is the direct result of an internationally representative judging palate.
“This year, our judges again have clear instructions to spot the jewels out there. That’s why we invite producers to submit those celebrity creations in their cellars – wines that will have the judges sit up and take notice.”
The 2014 panel consists of:
• Tim Atkin MW, UK wine journalist and Master of Wine (MW), one of the most widely-read wine writers in the world;
• David Clarke, former Sommeliers Australia executive director and Platter’s South African Wine Guide judge;
• Ginette de Fleuriot Cape Wine Master (CWM), Bollinger Exceptional Wine Services Award head, Veritas and Platter’s judge and wine writer;
• Richard Kershaw MW, former chef, winemaker and International Master of Wine;
• Justin Knock MW, scientist, European-trained wine maker and boutique wine brand owner;
• Fiona McDonald, former editor of Wine magazine, freelance wine writer and international wine judge;
• Roland Peens, sommelier and wine retailer with Wine Cellar;
• Jörg Pfutzner, internationally-trained sommelier, Wine Business Management graduate and wine lecturer;
• Greg Sherwood MW, former wine marketing manager and now fine wine buyer for London-based Handford Wines;
• Callie van Niekerk, Distell group manager for wines and experienced taster on various panels, and
• Cathy van Zyl MW, international wine judge, chair of the Institute of Masters of Wine's education committee and associate editor of Platter's South African Wine Guide.
Auction judge Cathy van Zyl says there are undoubtedly South African wines developing icon status and, even though their numbers are few and prices high, they should still be marketed as the pinnacle of production. She says the Auction is one of a handful of fitting platforms to do so.
“To achieve iconic status among the worldwide group of serious collectors and connoisseurs, wines – no matter their origin – need to show consistency. Apart from positive wine reviews and guidance by global journalists and industry commentators, competition success over time goes a long way to demonstrate consistency, and plays a major role when it comes to establishing credentials.”
Steyn says the Auction turning 40 this year is an ideal opportunity for the industry to create a memorable milestone, both as an event and a platform to celebrate outstanding South African wines. “We have seen increasingly how discerning buyers are looking for really niche items. As Edelkeur led the way 40 years ago, these are the wines that will set future trends for standout status and prices,” she says.
Nederburg Auction 2014 - key dates:
• 1 February: Submissions open at Nederburg Auction.
• 25 February: Submissions close
• 13 & 14 March: Panel selection tasting
• 31 March: Results announced
• 12 & 13 September: 40th annual Nederburg Auction
For further information visit Nederburg Auction website or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.