John Hawkesby MNZM’s Wine Collection Auction at Webb’s

Webb’s is conducting a live auction of Fine Wines & Whiskies on Wednesday 29 May, 6.30pm – Part of this sale includes exceptional wines from the cellar of renowned New Zealand TV personality John Hawkesby MNZM who has been an award-winning journalist, broadcaster, wine writer and judge.

John Hawkesby’s impressive collection has an emphasis on French wines from the Bordeaux and Burgundy regions Among the highlights from this sale is a wide selection of vintages from top Burgundy Domaine; ‘Armand Rousseau Pere et Fils’ including a bottle of 2005 Chambertin Clos-de- Beze Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits expected to fetch up to $6,000.

John Hawkesby MNZM
John Hawkesby MNZM

Some of the most impressive wines from the cellar of well known television celebrity and wine critic John Hawkesby MNZM, will be coming up for sale at Webb’s Auction House on 29 May at 6.30pm. Hawkesby — who has worked as newsreader, broadcaster, radio producer, MC and wine critic for media outlets such as TVNZ, TV3 and many more — became a household name as Top Half co-host (with Judy Bailey) as well as host of game show It’s in the Bag.

Hawkesby’s passion for wine began in the eighties, “when I was travelling in Hawke’s Bay,” says the collector, “and went to Te Mata Estate for a tasting and tried a wine called Coleraine. That’s a wine that turned my head.” From then, Hawkesby went on to become very interested in wine and “fell in love with French Burgundy and Bordeaux and started seriously collecting,” according to him.

His strategy was to understand the region as much as possible and invest in bottles from lesser known wineries that were producing delicious wines. “In terms of Burgundy I looked for good producers that came with a good reputation and whose primary aim was consistency,” says Hawkesby, “I tended to buy more in the ‘exceptional vintages’ rather than the ‘okay’ vintages.

“In terms of Bordeaux, I particularly like the wines of SaintÉmilion. They were wines that were reasonably affordable — not necessarily cheap, but they may have been second growth, third growth or even fourth growth and that really snuck in under the radar and, in a blind tasting, could give Haut-Brion or Mouton Rothschild a run for its money.” The strategy seems to have paid off, as many of those
producers have gone on to become world renowned chateaux and domaines, with many of Hawkesby’s bottles proving to have been astute early investments.

All of Hawkesby’s bottles in this live auction came from the most reputable New Zealand negociants, “and then went straight into my temperature controlled cellar in Waiheke Island where they’ve been lying flat in a dark place, at the right temperature, for over a couple of decades,” he says, “I’ve tried all the wines that I’m putting into the auction and I’ve loved them all, but my cardiologist says it is time to let them go.”

Highlights from this collection include wines of Hawkesby’s own small Waiheke vineyard— under the name ‘Hawkesby Coastal Malbec’ — produced by Stonyridge and which cannot be purchased anywhere else. These bottles were each named after one of his grandchildren and include: Josh (2007), Miller (2008), Fletcher (2009), Alice (2009), Dylan (2010), Lucas (2011).

French highlights: A wide selection of vintages from Burgundy-based winery Domaine Armand Rousseau Pere et Fils — considered to be one of the world’s best producers of Pinot Noir. Among these gems is a bottle of 2005 Domaine Armand Rousseau Chambertin Clos-de-Beze Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits expected to fetch up to $6,000.

Other Burgundy Domaines represented here include: Domaine de la Romanée Conti, Roumier, J.F. Mugnier, Michel Gros, A.F. Gros, Esmonin, de Vogue, Mongeart- Mugneret, Sylvain Cathiard, Bachelet, Liger-Belair, Mugneret-Gibourg and Florent de Merode. Bordeaux Chateaux represented in this collection include: Cos D’Estournel, Leoville las Cases, Chateau Leoville Barton, Chateau Pichon-Longueville, Chateau Lynch Bages, Chateau Lascombes and Chateau Rauzan Segla.

Webb's Auction John Hawkesby wines


Elsewhere in the catalogue Webb’s is offering an unprecedented collection of 45 bottles of Ardbeg whiskies with the crowning gem being a rare bottle of Ardbeg 1975, ‘The Awakening’ 38 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky estimated to be worth between $45,000–$50,000.
A cask of this same whisky sold two years ago for what is thought to be a world record sum of £16 million (NZ$31million at the time).

These whiskies are delicious and represent an amazing opportunity for an astute collector. Ardbeg’s whiskies come from the small, remote Scottish island of Islay: “A wild and untamed place, where Celtic monks found refuge from raiding Norsemen and early distillers smuggled their illicit ‘aquavitae’ at Ardbeg’s rugged rocky cove… Ardbeg has been called: ‘a whisky that’s worshipped around the
world,’ and six different Ardbeg expressions have won prestigious titles including World Whisky of the Year, Scotch Whisky of the Year and World’s Best Single Malt.”

Webb’s Live Auction of Fine Wines & Whiskies is scheduled for Wednesday 29 May at 6.30pm in our Mount Eden Gallery, 33a Normanby Road, and it includes nearly 300 lots.


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