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Fine & Rare sells 1855 collection for £80k

Fine & Rare is selling a Bordeaux collection containing one case from all 62 châteaux in the 1855 classification from the 2010 vintage for £79,500 in bond.

The UK merchant released a similar offer in November 2011 comprising one case of every classed growth from the 2009 vintage for £81,150 and, according to Joss Fowler, head of fine wine at the company, sold one collection.

Called The Ultimate 1855 Collection, this year’s offer was released this week at just £750 less than the price of the same collection from the previous vintage, although Fowler said of the two critically-acclaimed harvests, “Is 2010 better than 2009? That’s purely a matter of opinion.”

Continuing he commented, “It is a complete set of the definitive classification from what is one of the best modern vintages there is.”

He also admitted to the drinks business that Fine & Rare would “probably” do the same offer next year with the 2011 vintage.

“People have very impressive verticals of the first growths so why not have a complete horizontal? And why not have a vertical of a horizontal?” he added.

Fine & Rare have yet to sell the 2010 collection but Fowler said there had had a number of enquiries.

“It will be fantastic if we sell one but if we don’t, it was fun trying,” he added, stressing that such a collection is “an awful lot of work to put together”.

Although Fine & Rare don’t actually hold stock Fowler said the merchant had the supply in place for the full set.

As for whether the near £80k price tag is reasonable, he said that he believed the collection offered “value”.

“The words Bordeaux and value don’t often go hand in hand but owning the whole set has a bit of kudos attached to it, and there is a lot of serious wine in there.”

Indeed, he said that the five 2010 first growths were worth “just over £40,000” while the 14 seconds are valued at “just over £15,000” and the thirds at “just over £8,000”.

With 62 châteaux in the collection, and the offer comprising a case from each, the average price of a bottle in the collection is just under £107 in bond.

Speaking on Radio 4’s The Bottom Line last month, Graham Sumeray CEO of Fine & Rare, said the average price of a bottle of wine sold by the merchant was £120.

The Ultimate 1855 Collection contain a single case of 12 bottles (OWC) of each of the following:

Firsts – 

Lafite-Rothschild, Mouton-Rothschild, Latour, Margaux, Haut-Brion

Seconds – Pichon-Baron, Pichon-Lalande, Ducru-Beaucaillou, Gruaud-Larose, Léoville-Barton, Léoville-Lascases, Léoville-Poyferré, Cos d’Estournel, Montrose, Brane-Cantenac, Durfort-Vivens, Lascombes, Rauzan-Ségla, Rauzan-Gassies

Thirds – Lagrange, Langoa-Barton, Boyd-Cantenac, Cantenac-Brown, Desmirail, Ferrière, Giscours, d’Issan, Kirwan, Malescot St Exupéry, Marquis d’Alesme-Becker, Palmer, Calon-Ségur, La Lagune

Fourths – Duhart-Milon, Marquis de Terme, Pouget, Prieure-Lichine, Beychevelle, Branaire-Ducru, St Pierre, Talbot, Lafon-Rochet, La Tour Carnet

Fifths – d’Armailhac, Batailley, Clerc-Milon, Croizet-Bages, Grand-Puy-Ducasse, Grand-Puy-Lacoste, Haut-Bages-Libéral, Haut-Batailley, Lynch-Bages, Lynch-Moussas, Pédesclaux, Pontet-Canet, Dauzac, du Tertre, Cos-Labory, Belgrave, Camensac, Cantemerle

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