Veuve-Clicquot Champagne that has spent 170 years in a shipwreck goes on auction
Great vintage Champagnes, which continues to sell well has been a dynamic sector of the liquor market, as it crystallizes the attention of many collectors, connoisseurs and clients with a penchant for de luxe brands, who then pay higher prices for Champagnes, especially for the priced vintages. Earlier in year 2010, first two of the 162 vintage bottles (79 of them drinkable) discovered off the Åland Island, which spend 170 years in a shipwreck on the Baltic seabed between Sweden and Finland, the oldest ever found, were sold for $78,400 at an auction in Finland. When one of the auctioned Champagne bottles obtained a record-setting price of $37,290, the Åland government decided to organize yet another sale, with a hope to beat world record again and to be able to donate as large a sum as possible for the charitable causes. Now, after an international tender invitation, the government of the Åland Islands has chose to entrust the auction of 11 rare Champagne bottles from the early part of the 19th century to France’s one of the premier auction firm Artcurial Briest-Poulain-F.Tajan.
It is first in a series of auction dubbed as Åland’s Champagne Rendez-Vous, and as part of this auction scheduled to be held on 8th June at Alandica Congress & Conference center in Mariehamn, Åland, Finland, a 170-year old Veuve Clicquot is expected to fetch a five-figure sum of $12,430 to $18,650.
Reportedly, at the auction, the 11 bottles from the same stash of perfectly preserved champagne garnered a total amount of $156,000, including 1 out of 4 bottles from Veuve Cliquot, which got sold for $18,771, a price higher than expected.
In 2010, a total of 162 unique Champagne bottles were removed from the shipwreck, found in the darks of the Baltic seabed. During reconditioning, the corks revealed the Champagne to have been produced by three different houses, Veuve-Clicquot, Heidsieck and Juglar. And, of the 11 rare bottles to be offered at the auction this June, 6 come from the house of Juglar, a liquor firm which disappeared in year 1869; one from Heidsieck and 4 from Veuve-Clicquot. The Wine & Spirits experts at Artcurial Briest-Poulain-F.Tajan, Luc Dabadie and Laurie Matheson have assigned an estimate of $12,430 – $18,650 to each of these incredibly rare bottles.
Further, the Vueve-Clicquot will also enrich the historic auction catalogue with 17 more Champagne bottles from the prestigious lots from its cellars.
A number of bottles are also being kept for museum purposes, and the rest will be sold in series of auctions to be happened over the years, with proceeds going to Baltic marine conservation.
This liquid still retains exceptional aromatic and gustatory qualities, thanks to the ambient darkness, constant temperature of 4-6° C and pressure on the Baltic seabed.
Further, in collaboration with Veuve-Clicquot’s oenologist, the world renowned Champaghne expert, Richard Juhlin have tasted and assessed all of the bottles and stated that “the bottles found on the Baltic sea-bed off the Åland Islands prove that champagne possesses an undeniable ability to age perfectly. No other wine could have survived in such conditions and developed such aromas.”
Bottle Champagne Heidsieck & Co – Archaeological Refrence N° A62
Bottle Champagne Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin – Archaeological Reference N° A61
Bottle Champagne Juglar – Archaeological Reference N° C38