Top tips for the Barossa Wine Auction

26 February, 2019 - Emily Hay & Lieke van der Hulst

Emily Hay (2017 recipient) asked Lieke (2018 recipient) to share her tips for the Barossa Wine Auction.

Image: WCA Great Wine Capitals Wine Media Cadets: Emily Hay (L) and Lieke van der Hulst (R).

Barossa Wine Auction has a long and treasured history within the Barossa community. Beginning in 1965 the event was primarily a fund-raising avenue to support the delivery of the Barossa Vintage Festival.

Today the biennial event has a global following, but at its core it remains a celebration of Barossa; the land, its people and the community ties that result in the exceptional wines for your cellar… or glass.

The 2019 Barossa Wine Auction catalogue reflects this sense of place. Barossa’s social currency of choice, Riesling and every winemaker’s secret favourite, Grenache featuring
strongly amongst the classic Barossan Shiraz. The generosity of Barossan spirit is also on full display with exclusive opportunities to join winemakers in their homes, vineyards and cellars on offer.

This year’s event has a strong focus on women in wine; with Australian Women in Wine / The Fabulous Ladies Wine Society founder, Jane Thomson stepping into a new role as ‘Mistress of Ceremonies”. In 2019, 17 of the 60 wineries featured have women in leading roles, a significant increase from past auctions. Fittingly, in an extension of the event’s philanthropic roots, a portion of the net proceeds will directly support the placement of Breast Care Nurses in regional Australia through a partnership with the McGrath Foundation.

Offered both online and through the live event, the Barossa Wine Auction is the stuff that all vinous dreams are made of.


Barossa Wine Auction top picks

Lieke van der Hulst: Wine Communicators Australia Wine Media Cadet 2018

“Here is a list of amazing wines – do not worry about the price – pick whatever you like.”

Pretty much the start of a great personal dream here, ladies and gentlemen. So – if I would not have to worry about the cost of the items, what would I bid on at the Barossa Wine Auction 2019?

This question makes me think of how we choose our wines and why I leave my local bottle-o with certain bottles in my bag (or well, let’s be honest; it usually is a carton I walk out with). Unfortunately, as I am still struggling to shake off my self-image of poor student after years (and years, and… years) of study and the accompanying 2-minute noodle dinners I know price is usually something I look at. However, after that there will be the scene of drinking – am I settling in for the night with a deep, dark, brooding red or am I just picking something to slurp away while cooking?

Of course the variety is important in my choice and then; what is good, what is special and what is going to add a nice touch to my day? After all of these considerations I am also an absolute sucker for a good story, so if a wine comes with a bit of pizzazz around it (beautiful centenarian vines for example) or if it allows me to think back to some good times, it will probably end up in my shopping basket.

Last, but on some days certainly not least: a good label – which is a hundred percent undefined; one day I might go for that old-school vintage look, whereas the next I will definitely be swayed by a bold glitter design of a half naked man riding a unicorn.

Taking all of this into account (and turning my eyes away at the estimated prices of the lots), my top 5 in the Barossa Wine Auction are:

5. Lot 35L Penfolds Grange 2013, 6.0L Imperial

Ok, so maybe I was not totally honest with my ‘reasons to pick a wine’. Sometimes you also just pick a bottle because you know it will just stop the party as soon as you walk in with it – only to crank it up to 11. An Imperial bottle of Penfolds Grange that is described as sensorially supersaturated? This will do just the trick.

4. Lot 24L Seppeltsfield 100 Year Old Tawny + Decanter by Lalique

Seppeltsfield 100 year old Tawny? I will fight you for the last drop of this absolute nectar of the gods. The main reason why I picked this item is the memory of a great meal with great friends, finished off with a sneak peek of the Centennial Cellar and a couple of glasses of Tawny. Seppeltsfield fortified will always be greeted with a big smile in my house – and especially if poured out of this bling bling decanter!

3. Lot 4L Elderton Command Experience

I wanted one of my five picks to be an experience, and there are so many great ones in the Auction! However, if I really have to only pick one, I might as well make it the one that was just awarded an amazing accolade. Elderton Wines recently won the Great Wine Capitals Best of Wine Tourism award (November 2018), and what would be a better way to explore this than with eleven mates?

Now, who to pick to come with me…?

2. Lot 7W Punkt Pack – Chaffey Bros

In my closet there is a white t-shirt with a bright, neon really, pink asterisk on the front. I love the t-shirt, it looks good on me and I have no idea where I got it from. I also always forget that it is actually a Chaffey Bros t-shirt (clearly stated on the back of it), but I do not ever forget that I love their wines. Fresh, crisp, beautifully balanced whites that are usually my successful go-to for spicy food. Yes – I would love to get my hands on six bottles of bottled Barossa sunshine, of which one is the only Kerner produced in the Southern Hemisphere.

1. Lot 1L Barossa Old Vine Grenache Collection

Why? We cannot be friends if you do not like Grenache.

This lot ticks all the boxes of the wine version of choose-your-own-adventure; a great variety bringing out amazing spicy, red fruit notes and a soft palate, a story behind it – I can daydream about those old stubby vines producing such beautiful fruit for hours, some cracking labels and a bit of emotional value: sign me up!

The Barossa Wine Auction runs both online via langtons.com.au and at the Barossa Wine Live Auction and Lunch. Visit Barossa Wine for more information.