‘One of a kind’ Penfolds Grange 1951 bottle to ‘smash’ world record priceBy Christian Smith
An incredibly rare Penfolds Grange from 1951 – the first vintage of Grange – is expected to smash the world record price for a bottle of Australian wine when it goes under the hammer this month.
As if the bottle of Penfolds Grange 1951 wasn’t already circulating in extremely rarified air, it has been made even more exclusive due to the fact that it has been signed and re-corked by hand by Chief Winemaker and creator Max Schubert.
Should it sell at the Langton’s Rewards of Patience auction later this month, it is expected to shatter the previous record price paid for a bottle of Australian wine.
The current record stands at $103,000, paid by a Melbourne buyer who purchased a Penfolds Grange Hermitage Bin 1 Shiraz 1951 at auction last year.
This lot, though is expected to go under the hammer for around $120,000.
“This bottle is one of a kind in the world, and I’ve never seen anything like it in my more than 20 years in fine wine. We expect it to go under the hammer for around $120,000* if it sells,” said Langton’s Head of Auctions Tamara Grischy.
“It is difficult to establish the exact number of Penfolds Grange 1951 bottles in existence. There could be some unknown bottles lurking around in wine cellars, but because they are so incredibly valuable, we believe most of them have come to light,” she added.
“A Penfolds Grange set is a wine collector’s ultimate dream, and that is why the Penfolds Grange from the 1950s, and the 1951 vintage in particular, are so coveted,” Grischy explained.
Estimates suggest that there are around 35 bottles of the first vintage in existence – including 15 that are part of complete sets of Penfolds Grange, the wine collector’s dream.
“The story of Penfolds is as Australian as it gets – it’s the story of an underdog and dogged determination. Max Schubert kept making Grange in secret after he had been told to stop making it by his supervisors. He was a rebel and had a vision, and the wine world can forever be grateful for his refusal to do what he was told,” said Langton’s General Manager Jeremy Parham.
The auction is now open, and will close at 7pm on Sunday 18 July.