By Andrew Starke

Doom and gloom on the world’s financial markets appears to have had little impact on top-end Australian wine sales with auction houses reporting excellent results to the end of October.

The experience of South Australia’s Wickman’s Fine Wine Auctions suggests wine retailers might expect better top-end sales in the lead-up to Christmas than first thought.

“Some excellent results were achieved for mature Bordeaux and for a majority of our Penfolds wines on offer, with some record prices being paid for very rare 'special bin' wines which have always been steeped in the aura and secrecy surrounding the conception of Penfolds Grange since the 1950's,” said auctioneer Mark Wickman.

However, whilst the other special bin wines achieved record highs, two bottles of the most famous ones, the 1962 Penfolds Bin 60a, were passed in.

A number of buyers commented that they would have 'snapped up both bottles' if they had been submitted at a Penfolds red wine clinic but they were not prepared to take risks at this stage.

A very rare ‘cliniced’ bottle of 1959 Penfolds Grange with a verified laboratory label was also passed in.

“Excellent results were achieved from all wines entered at $1 reserves, which encouraged extremely competitive bidding throughout the week, resulting in prices either near the expected high range or well placed at the lower end of the spectrum,” said Wickman.

“A clearance rate of around 44 percent was to be expected in the current financial climate and was certainly much better than the national average.

“With one final auction for 2011, I believe we can expect strong bidding and good prices to be paid in the lead up to Christmas, despite the uncertainty in the financial markets.”

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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