Private collector splashes £1.2m on Yquem

A London-based private collector has spent £1.2m on 131 bottles of Château d’Yquem dating back to 1811 in one of the largest single acquisitions of the sweet wine ever made.

The sale, which included 38 vintages from the 19th century and 84 from the 20th century, took place last month through fine wine specialists Wine Source.

The only vintages missing in the line-up were those not produced by the Sauternes estate.

“Being able to hold such a part of history in your hands was a great moment. These bottles have lived through Napoleon and the births of Queen Victoria, Queen Elizabeth, Churchill and De Gaulle,” said Philippe Kalmbach, CEO of Wine Source.

“They were produced with love and care during world wars and major crises and serve as a true testament to some great historical moments,” he added.

The bottles were bought by Wine Source from a private collector in Europe.

Before snapping up the collection, the company had the bottles’ authenticity verified by Aymeric de Clouet, who was responsible for the recent sale of the French Prime Minister’s cellar.

“As a fine wine expert, I come across some of the rarest collections in the world, and this collection really stood out as being truly exceptional,” de Clouet said.

Earlier this month we reported that Russian restaurateur Leonid Shutov is to open a £15m site in central London boasting 100 vintages of Yquem dating back to 1887.

Ten of the vintages of the prized Sauternes from the last 30 years will be available to buy by the glass.

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