Press release – Great Tokaj Wine Auction 2014

Press release
29th April 2014

Tokaj Spring 2014

Total of 90 433 € at the second Great Tokaj Wine Auction

The second Great Tokaj Wine Auction took place on Saturday 26th April in Sárospatak, Hungary, as part of the Tokaj Spring weekend. The Auction brought in 90 433 €, a 34 % increase on 2013 results. Of the twenty-four lots offered by 21 producers, 18 were sold. That is 75 % of the lots, an increase on the 60 % sold last year.

Intense bidding for István Szepsy’s lot, Furmint Nyúlászó “58” 2013 particularly brought the room alive with two bidders raising the hammer price to 26 667 € from a starting price of 4 000 € and an estimate price between 4 800 and 5 500 €. This barrel of 136 l litres, 182 bottles of 750 ml, made a final price (including VAT and commission) of 147 € a bottle. The Hungarian entrepreneur who acquired the lot thus becomes the exclusive owner.

The four following lots went under the hammer for over their starting price and in their estimate range.

The Úrágya Hárslevelű 2013 from Füleky, sold at 3 333 € (+ 54%) from a starting price of 2 167 €, making it 18 € a 750 ml bottle.

Samuel Tinon’s Szent Tamás Furmint 2013 started at 2 667 € and went under the hammer at 4000 € (+ 50 %), 22 € a 750 ml bottle.

The Szent Tamás Selection 2013 from the Szent Tamás winery offered at 4 667 € was sold for 5 667 € (+ 21 %), that is 31 € per 750 ml bottle.

The first Auction lot was the Diókút Sárgamuskotály Late Harvest 2013 from Béres, starting price 4 000 €, was sold for 4 667 € (+ 17%), that is 17 € a bottle of 500 ml.

The Hegymegi Tokaji Száraz 2013 from Disznókő, went from the starting price of 1 267 € to be sold at 1 600 € (+ 26%), 9 € a 750 ml bottle.

The two identical lots of the Dobai-Somos Late Harvest 2013 from Füleky (half barrels) climbed from the starting price of 1 667 € to go under the hammer at 2 000 € (+ 20 %), that is 15 € for 500 ml.

Also sold were the Szent Tamás-Makovicza Furmint Late Harvest 2013 from Budaházy at 2 000€ (7 € for 500 ml), the Köveshegy Furmint “184” 2013 from Szent Benedek at 2 167 € (12 € for 750 ml), and the Furmint Selection Öreg Király 2013 from Barta at 4 000 € (22 € for 750 ml), Tokaji Aszú 6 puttonyos Hetedik 2011 from Disznókő at 10 000 € (37 € for 500 ml), Furmint Úrágya 2013 from DemeterVin at 3 167 € (17 € for 750 ml), Tokaji Aszú 5 Puttonyos 2010 from  Tokaj Kereskedőház at 5 333 € (20 € for 500 ml), and the Hárslevelű Becsek 2012 from Holdvölgy at 2 167 € (12 € for 750 ml).

The Tokaji Aszú Eszencia lot from Orosz Gábor did not find one single buyer. Forty bottles reserved before the auction were knocked down at 67 € a 500 ml bottle, and then two more buyers purchased 30 and 40 bottles at the same price.

Wineries that participated in this year’s auction are: Bardon, Barta, Béres, Budaházy, DemeterVin, Dereszla, Disznókő, Füleky, Gizella, Gróf Degenfeld, Holdvölgy, Kubus, Orosz Gábor, Samuel Tinon, Szent Benedek, Szent Tamás, Szepsy, Tokaj-Hétszőlő and Tokaj Kereskedőház Zrt.

“The proportion of lots sold, the hammer prices and the packed auction room all show we are right on track. The passionate bidding for the Szepsy lot that resulted in a 26 667 € record demonstrates what an auction, a well-constructed catalogue, the atmosphere and adrenaline can create,” enthused Nóra Winkler, the auctioneer who animated the auction, catching and running with its momentum.

40 % of the final price (without 27 % VAT) is destined to the Confrérie de Tokaj and will be used to help finance organisation of the event (the 2013 Auction income helped the Confrérie to stage the 2014 event), to fund part of the running costs of the Confrérie and to help preserve and rebuild the cultural landscape of the historic wine region, part of the UNESCO World Heritage since 2002.

The Auction offers exclusive lots of contemporary wines selected by the producer and confirmed by the Wine Tasting Committee composed of wine experts Gabriella Mészáros, Nicolas Godebski, Ronn Wiegand and Dániel Ercsey. The 136 l lots are 182 bottles of 750 ml or 272 bottles of 500 ml that will be delivered – together with all official paper including export permits where necessary – by the producer before the next Auction. The Tokaji Eszencia was offered in 250 ml bottles. Each bottle bears a label specially designed for the Confrérie de Tokaj’s Great Tokaj Wine Auction.

This year some lots were divided to make the wines more accessible to buyers. Next year, a computer program will allow potential buyers to create groups for bidding.

The Great Wine Auction shows the diversity of the wines of the region and allows buyers from anywhere in the world to buy – either alone or with a group of people – wines that are exclusive and to buy several types of wine at the same occasion, once a year.

Two hundred people came to participate in the Auction that took place in the stunning Castle of Sárospatak. More than twenty Hungarians and non-Hungarians subscribed to bid at the Auction, some by telephone.

A blind tasting of all the barrel lots was offered in the morning before the Great Tokaj Wine Auction.

After the Auction, eleven new members of the Confrérie from both Hungary and abroad were initiated into the Confrérie de Tokaj during a ceremony in the atmospheric castle courtyard.

In addition to the Great Tokaj Wine Auction, visitors participating in the Tokaj Spring series of events on the weekend of the 25th to 27th April 2014 were offered a varied programme including a tour of vineyards around Mád under the expert guidance of István Szepsy, a wine dinner in the Sárga Borház, and an exclusive gala dinner served by leading László Ruprecht as well as a performance by renowned folk singer Irén Lovász at the Andrássy Rezidencia Hotel. The Confrérie organised bus transport for participants between the venues throughout Tokaj Spring series of events.

The Confrérie de Tokaj is working to see the Auction continue to grow over the years. The next gathering will take place in spring 2015.