Tāmaki Makaurau – One of New Zealand’s biggest auction houses, Webbs in Auckland, has secured the rights to sell former All Black the late Andy Haden’s wine collection.
Haden’s wine, with many bottles acquired during his All Black tours, has an estimate value of $25,000, Marcus Atkinson, Head of Fine Wines and Whiskies at Webb’s says.
Haden played 117 games for New Zealand, making his debut in New York as a 21-year-old. He left an enormous legacy on New Zealand’s rugby future and was one of its greatest, outspoken characters.
The overall Webb’s online auction is its highest value virtual auction ever, with a total estimate, included other collections, of more than $300,000. Bidding on the wine ends on Monday at 8pm.
Specially featured in the sale is Haden’s remaining personal cellar collection.
His son Chris, who is now running his father’s company Sporting Contacts, says they opened a couple of bottles from his collection with him in his last couple of weeks at home with close friends and family.
Included in the sale is a special bottle of 1978 Nobilo’s Huapai cabernet, which was specifically labelled for the 1981 All Blacks tour of Romania and France.
The final game of the tour was a test match against the French at the Parc des Princes in Paris. Wine-loving All Blacks Haden and captain Graham Mourie ordered a particular favourite New Zealand wine to enjoy at the after-match dinner, hosted by the Grand Hotel de Paris.
“Were he still with us today, no doubt the 41-test lock and former All Blacks captain would flash a wry grin, and perhaps send a less polite gesture in the direction of the Grand Hotel de Paris,” Atkinson says.
The wine in question was a 1978 Nobilo’s Huapai Cabernet Sauvignon, nine cases of which were specially labelled for the occasion. Six cases were delivered to France, the other three going to the All Blacks.
However, even the best laid plans sometimes go awry. On receiving the wine, hotel management concluded that it was too good to serve to a rugby team and withheld it.
Mourie says the hotel decided the Nobilo red was far better than the wine usually served at rugby functions. They were told the red was too good for a bunch of footballers.
Photo: Andy Haden