Records smashed at Penfolds wine auction

A 65-bottle set of Penfolds Grange has sold for a world record of $372,800 in an online auction.
A 65-bottle set of Penfolds Grange has sold for a world record of $372,800 in an online auction.

A mystery buyer has paid a world record $372,800 for a 65-bottle complete set of Penfolds Grange wine in an online auction.

Two 1951 bottles which sold for $81,000 each were also among more than 1800 bottles of Penfolds wines that went under the hammer in a Langton's auction which closed on Sunday night.

The prized set, which included bottles from 1951 through to 2015, smashed the previous high price of $349,500.

Langton's general manager Jeremy Parham said fewer sets on the market made for high demand among collectors.

"Every set is unique and has its own unique value depending on its condition and provenance," he said.

"This was a super set that was in perfect condition, so I'm not surprised about the result."

Head of auctions Tamara Grischy said the 1951 vintage was particularly rare.

"It is believed there are less than 20 bottles in circulation, and the 1951 Penfolds Grange is coveted among collectors who want to have a complete set," she said.

"This wine truly represents the beginning of modern Australian wine, as Penfolds Grange has put Australian on the world map of fine wine."

Ms Grischy said the Penfolds Grange set and one of the 1951 bottles were sold on behalf of a South Australian collector.

"He was understandably thrilled by the results," she said.

Other record sales from the auction included a bottle of 1953 Penfolds Grange that sold for more than $31,000.

The last time a 1953 Penfolds Cabernet was up for sale was in 2017, when it sold for $17,475.

Ms Grischy said, in total, bottles of Penfolds fetched more than $1 million at the auction.

Among the cheaper bottles was a 1990 Penfolds Koonunga Hill Claret Cabernet Blend sold for $30.

"The market demand for Penfolds remains strong and healthy," she said.

"I think we love Penfolds because it's such an Australian story, it's the underdog story defined.

"Max Schubert was Penfolds first chief winemaker, who started making Grange as an experiment."

Australian Associated Press