Bids were due today (3 February) for Scotland's oldest surviving wine merchant, Cockburns of Leith, which has collapsed into administration.

Administrator group Ernst & Young has "received plenty of interest" in 213-year-old Cockburns, a spokesperson for the firm told just-drinks today (3 February).

Bids were due by midday today for the wine merchant, which once took an order from explorer Sir Walter Scott for 350 dozen bottles of wine and 36 dozen bottles of spirits.

Other notable customers include novelist Charles Dickens and King George IV.

"The group has been impacted by the recent economic downturn, which has unfortunately led to a declining order book and the directors concluding that the business can no longer continue to trade," said joint administrator Colin Dempster.

Both the brand name and the group's stock are up for sale.

Edinburgh-based Cockburns was saved from administration in 2004 by a management buyout.