Private collection of natural wines hit auction market

Natural wine has hit the mainstream, with books, articles, bars and fairs popping up everywhere. And now comes a natural wine auction. Felicity Carter asks what it all means.


A collection of 1,3000 bottles of natural wine is up for auction on The wines, from a private collector in France, include large format bottles and were stored in a natural, underground cellar in what iDealwine says were “ideal conditions”.

According to a press statement, the majority “are natural wines (vinified without any inputs or with very little sulphur) or similar,” from an owner who began collecting natural wines in the early 1990s.

The range of wines on sale are varied, with reserve prices ranging from €8 ($8.89) to €5,600, with the total reserve for the auction set at €110,000.

“We have seen a lot of interest in the collection and are expecting the reserves to be met and in some cases well exceeded,” said a spokesperson for iDealwine.

It’s an astonishing development for a wine trend that was, only a few short years ago, derided as the preserve of hippies and zealots, with wine experts calling natural wines faulty and flawed.

But 2019 seems to have be the year that natural wine hit mainstream acceptance, with the publication of books such as Jonathan Nossiter’s Cultural Insurrection, and Alice Feiring’s Natural Wine for the People, wine zines, and numerous think pieces in major news outlets.

Cyrille Jomand, CEO of iDealwine, says that while natural wines only hold a tiny share of the wine auction market, interest is increasing.

“Without a doubt, there's a market,” says writer Alice Feiring. “Overnoy has been on the auction market for a while, certainly Clos Rougeard as well.” She added that some of the wines listed in this particular auction are surprising. “To put someone's second and third vintage on an auction list is a bit bizarre-- but it is an indication of a lot of people looking for a very small number of possible wines.”

Does this mean that natural wine will soon be appearing in wine textbooks?

“There are currently some attempts at proper natural wine education, as yet not really organized by anyone who knows what they're doing,” says Feiring. “But it will come. It has to, whether or not it is through current WSET or MS channels.” 

The iDealwine online auction opened for bids on 11 October and will close on 23 October 2019. 

Felicity Carter

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