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Haden cellar sale unearths 1976 Ormond wine

An online auction featuring some of New Zealand's finest wines included Gisborne wine dating back to 1976.

Webb's auction house secured the wine “cellar” of 29 bottles belonging to the late All Black Andy Haden.The collection, which sold for $11,000, was among 1000 lots up for auction.

The sale, which ended on Monday, reached just over $300,000.

Among Gisborne wines in the collection were four bottles of 1976 Ormond Estate Cabernet Pinotage, Gisborne, which went for $42.30.

Roger McLernon was manager of Ormond Estate Winery in 1976 and remembers the wine well.

“1976 was a very good year for quality rather than quantity,” he said.

“We started the initial processing at the winery based at Waihirere, then processed the grape juice at the Montana facilities in Gisborne.

Mr McLernon said the wine was wood-aged, then sent to Auckland for bottling. It turned out to be a hit around the country and sold well.

Winemaker James Millton said 1976 was a fantastic year for wine, but Mr McLernon said whoever bought the bottle should probably leave it as a souvenir and drink something else.

“That's 40 years old.”

If the cork was porous, the wine would have oxidised, he said.

Also under the hammer were four bottles of 2010 Vinoptima Ormond Grand Reserve Gewurztraminer, which sold for $270.25, and two bottles of Matua Valley Late Harvest Muscat from 2002 and 2003, which went for $35.25 and $32.90 respectively.

Another interesting wine sold was a unique bottle of 1978 Nobilo's Huapai Cabernet, which was specially labelled for the 1981 All Blacks tour of Romania and France. It fetched $822.50.

A POPULAR DROP: The 1976 Ormond Estate cabernet pinotage was a popular blend of French and South African grape varieties that sold well around New Zealand after an excellent vintage. Picture supplied