Nick O'Leary is unhappy about the representation of his wines at the Dieci e Mezzo liquidation auction on Monday, pointing out that the wines are not his eponymous and highly successful label, but a lesser batch he made for the National Gallery of Australia to be used as table wines.
Through Macqueen Auctioneers, liquidator Henry Kazar is selling plateware, glasses, kitchen appliances and wine left from the collapse of Fiona Wright and Jeremy Paul's Ten and a Half, which owned Dieci e Mezzo and ran the catering at the National Gallery. The auction includes 400 cases of O'Leary wines. The wines were advertised as Nick O'Leary Shiraz and Riesling, but the auctioneers now have an apology on their website, saying they should properly be described as 2010 NGA Rouge by Nick O'Leary and 2010 NGA Blanc by Nick O'Leary.
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“You should note that these wines differ from other wines ordinarily offered under the Nick O'Leary label. We apologise for any confusion or inconvenience caused,” the website says.
O'Leary says the wines are a riesling and a shiraz, but completely different to those he sells under his own name. They are made with lesser fruit and made as house wines.
“The NGA wines on offer for auction were made by me to specification from Ten and a Half Pty Ltd to be simple quaffing wines as most house/function wines are, and that would reach a broad audience and were priced to that effect,” he said.
By comparison, his Nick O'Leary branded wines were complex wines made for the cellar and using the highest quality grapes and oak, he said. The auction would include 10 bottles of this riesling.
The auction will also sell more than 350 Riedel glasses, an Orved 315 Vacuum Packaging Machine, a Robot Coupe GM3500 Ice Cream Maker, a Brice TJ12 Mincer, a Thermomix, and other kitchenware.
O'Leary is one of several winemakers owed money by Ten and a Half. He's owed $5000.