Danny Younis on Selling over 5000 Bottles of Highly Collectable Wines at Auction with Langton’s

The largest single vendor auction ever held by Langton’s is taking place tonight [September 26th] – where the hotly sought after wine collection that’s been decades in the making by Danny Younis, former Senior Analyst at Shaw and Partners, is up for grabs.

Around 5000 bottles from France, Italy, Germany and Spain have gone under the hammer over six auctions with Langton’s so far, with the final two taking place in the International Treasures Auction category  happening this evening.

So, what prompted Danny Younis to auction his dearly beloved collection to begin with?

Well, he explains he’s only parting with 75% of his wine collection.

“I have way too much wine,” says Danny Younis.

“I have 7500 bottles in Australia, and that doesn’t include the few hundred bottles I have in New Zealand, Germany, France and in the USA – which I have to get back here somehow. I will never be able to drink that much on my current consumption,” he says.

The auction series covers Bordeaux (and Sauternes) and Champagne, with a focus on Germany too– with all roads pointing to the jewel in the collection in Domaine de la Romanée-Conti or DRC.

“It’s getting harder to access great wines of the world – especially if you are into Burgundy, Champagne and Bordeaux,” says Younis.

“I used to buy six bottles of my favourite wines 10 years ago, and now I am lucky to even get one,” he says.

“The prices have gone nuts and many are fetching ten times more than I paid. Domaine Armand Rousseau was $500 a bottle 10 years ago, and is now $5000 a bottle. The cost is now prohibitive and the allocations are so restrictive and I can’t even get one anymore,” he adds.

Climate change is also impacting champagne vineyards in France which has seen production levels drop – in turn affecting what hits the collector’s market. Younis says the third factor is the rise of the Asian collector.

“The top 1% of the global wine market is now really being driven out of China, Taiwan, Singapore and Hong Kong,” says Younis.

“Asians weren’t buying fine wine 10 years ago, and now they have a passion for it. Historically they haven’t been allocated these wines and now Champagne and Bordeaux are shipping allocations there. Once they would have been bound for  Australia, now they’re going to Asia instead,” he says.

Younis recalls a winery trip to Germany 10 years ago when he purchased a bottle of HERMANN DONNHOFF Oberhauser Brucke Riesling Eiswein 2007. That bottle is up for auction.

“One of the most esteemed producers in Germany is Donnhoff. It’s in the beautiful village Nahe and I went there to get my first taste of one of the world’s rarest dessert wines,” he says.

“They only make one per decade and the grapes literally freeze with ice on the vines,” he says.

“This really concentrates the sugar in the grapes and they’re picked at midnight. It’s an expensive procedure and it doesn’t happen every year. We had booked a lunch with Helmut Donnhoff and his wife Gaby, drank 20 wines and waited for the  decadent final wine which blew us away,” says Younis.

“It was a transcendental moment. Knowing its rarity, we had a lot of trepidation asking if we could buy it. Donnhoff warned it would be expensive and then followed it with, it’s 80 euro. My jaw dropped! This was selling for $400 around the world at the time. We got two bottles for our travel group. It was a great experience,” he says.

Another epic wine trip saw him arrive in Madeira, Portugal.

“Madeira is a great love of mine. It’s a fortified wine that is virtually indestructible. It’s made on the island of Madeira in Portugal. I have always wanted to seek out old vintages. There are still wines out there from the 18th century – 1730s, 1750s and 1790s and 1795 and its always been a holy grail to nab one of these vintages and they’re getting rarer,” says Younis.

“Six years ago, I found a producer in Portugal who had wines dating back to the 1850s. It was D’Oliveiras Verdelho Vintage Madeira. I got six bottles that had been recorked and enjoyed my first 1850s Madeira. It was still fresh and highly acidic,” he says.

“You can open and drink over a year and they’re in perfect shape.”





Get Social


Don't miss

A NON alcoholic vice with Aaron Trotman

Premium non-alcoholic brand NON has certainly made some serious...

At The Bar with Fashion Designer Estelle Michaelides

Melbourne fashion designer Estelle Michaelides is best known for...

At The Bar with Morena Sommelier Pablo Toledo

Head Sommelier Pablo Toledo showcases the best of Latin...

At The Bar with Bertie Wine Bar Owner James Connolly

From working in Michelin-star restaurants to running bars in...

At The Bar with Musician Ben Lee

Multiple ARIA-award winning singer/songwriter Ben Lee has always found...