Rare Burgundy amongst charity items on offer at 2007 Nederburg Auction

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This year’s collection of wines to be sold in aid of charity on the Nederburg Auction range from an 84-year-old Burgundy to a current vintage Cabernet Sauvignon still in the barrel.

The oldest wine on auction, the 1923 Vosne-Romanée, comes from the famous Dr Arthur Barolet Collection and remains in immaculate condition, says Stephan Welz, former director of Sotheby’s International, who is donating it in aid of the Nederburg Charity Trust. 

Vosne-Romanée is a village in Côte de Nuits and home to some of the most sought-after French wines produced from Pinot noir, renowned for their complexity, longevity and silky richness. When Barolet, a Burgundian medical doctor, died in 1969 he left a unique collection of 160,000 bottles of wine dating from 1911 to 1966. Originally auctioned by Christie’s, the wines found many discerning international collectors. This bottle was acquired over 30 years ago, says Welz, who is also the auctioneer at Nederburg on September 28 and 29.

The youngest wine being sold for charity is a 225-litre barrel of Cabernet Sauvignon, made by Razvan Macici of Nederburg from a top-performing Paarl dryland vineyard. Fermented in open tanks, the wine is now being aged in French oak for at least a year and will be bottled to the specification of the successful bidder. Each bottle will be individually numbered and carry the buyer’s personalised details.

Nederburg has also donated 12 prized vintage Edelkeurs, including the 1977, awarded Top Ten status in the 2007 International Botrytis Type Wine and Sweet Competition in Budapest, Hungary. The only wine outside Europe to achieve such a rating, the 30 year-old Edelkeur was evaluated alongside famous-name Tokays, Trockenbeerenauslese wines and Sauternes. The Edelkeur lot of wines spanning three decades comes with dinner at the Nederburg Manor House, hosted by Macici and the legendary Günter Brözel, who brought international fame to South Africa and Nederburg with his noble late harvest wines.

The final lot of Nederburg’s Amateur White 2003, blended by some of the country’s leading wine critics from wines pre-selected by Macici, will also be up for auction. The four-way blend is composed of equal quantities of Chardonnay, Viognier, Pinot blanc and Semillon.

Auction manager Christine Joubert says that in addition to Nederburg, five of the original producers featured on the auction every year since its inception, have donated some “particularly fine examples from their cellars”. Groot Constantia is offering a five-litre bottle of the estate’s flagship Gouverneurs Reserve; Simonsig, a five-litre bottle of its signature Bordeaux blend, Tiara 2005; and Overgaauw, a collection of six Ports that reflect the evolution in style from sweet to dry. Delheim has compiled an ensemble of wines that not only feature some 1975-vintage wines to mark the inaugural year of the Nederburg Auction, but also the last remaining bottle of Spatz Sperling’s 1980 Spatzendrek, and some special wines from his own cellar that pay tribute to South Africa’s wine luminaries such as Frans Malan, Sydney Back, Neil Joubert, Peter Barlow and Stevie Smit.

Chateau Libertas, another one of the old-timers, has donated a lot featuring three consecutive vintages of Chateau Libertas, South Africa’s grandfather of red blends, celebrating its 75 years on the market this year. The three vintages are from 1962, 1963 and 1964.

The Barlow family has donated a jeroboam of the Rustenberg John X Merriman 2002. Its jeroboams are only ever sold in aid of charity. Another jeroboam on offer is the Le Riche Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2003, presented by Etienne le Riche.

Boplaas is giving away five of its ports, every one rated five stars by the John Platter South African Wine Guide.

These collectors’ items will go under the hammer at the close of the main Nederburg Auction. All proceeds will be shared equally amongst the three beneficiaries of the Nederburg Charity Trust. They are the Hospice Palliative Care Association of South Africa, Organ Donor Foundation and an AIDS-HIV-support NGO, Mothers2Mothers.

Says Joubert: “Each of the local offerings represents a significant achievement in South African winemaking history and will enhance the cellars of serious collectors, while the Vosne-Romanée is a fascinating rarity deserving of a very special place in someone’s wine library.”