This week will have a historic auction evening in Hong Kong when both 750 ml and 1500 ml (magnums) of Penfolds Grange go up for sale.

There are ten known 750ml sets of Grange (1951-2004) around with the most recent acquired in an Australian auction in 2007 for AU$250,000 (HK$1.75 M, excluding the auctioneer’s premium). This will be Lot 2.

Lot 1 is also a first – that of magnums of Grange (1979-2004) which clearly age slower than their classic warm area equivalents in 750ml.

The sale is at the Langham in Kowloon; coinciding with the Hong Kong International Wine and Spirits Fair, and the wines have been displayed at the Langham since the October 26 in their pretty Transtherm wine cabinets. Bidders can register at for the evening auction, accompanied by dinner.

At 10am that morning, to get in the swing of what Grange is and why the great Aussie red can last so long, my esteemed colleague Nick Bulleid MW will hold a tasting of ’85, ’90, ’95, ’98 and ’02 Grange. Trot along and see if the ’90 is still a young classic – it regularly changes hands in Oz for around the AUD 500-600 mark and is top value after the 2004 hit the streets this year @ AU$695.

Cellar Link is the inspiration of Australian Eamon Egan who has established an online presence this year with sales of classic, rare and exemplary Australian wines around the globe.

On Oct. 4 Reuters reported that Hong Kong took the top spot among the major wine markets for fine wine ahead of New York and London when Sothebys sale peaked at USD$7.9 million. Late the previous month the US wine merchant Acker, Merrall and Condit sold US$6.4 million of top shelf wines in their First Asian event.

London-based Christies report that 61% of their global sales in London, New York and Hong Kong are to Asian buyers; and while Hong Kong sales are improving, they think the market is overheated. The top lots are mainly Domaine de la Romanee Conti burgundies which are historically produced in tiny quantities for the world, and resold on the secondary markets. Cases that are turning over include 90 DRC (12) HK$242,000; 99 La Tache (6) for HK$154,200; 99 DRC mixed (12) HK$202,300 and 05 La Tache (6) for HK$178,500.

Last weekend the New York-based Zachys held its October Sale 30-31 at the Mandarin Oriental. The buyers frenzy to date has been essentially for top Burgundy and Bordeaux; let’s see what blue chip Aussie delivers.

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