WW1 Champagne put up for auctionBy Rupert Millar
Next week’s Sotheby’s sale will feature a collection of Moët & Chandon dating back to the First World War and Bordeaux recovered from a 19th century shipwreck.
The leading collection on day one of the sale is a collection of Moët spanning 2004 to 1914, with each vintage selected by cellar master Benôit Gouez and Sotheby’s international head of wine, Serena Sutcliffe MW.
The collection is comprised of 74 lots, featuring 270 bottles including 174 magnums and three Jeroboams.
On a trip to London earlier this week to promote the sale as well as taste some of the vintages that will be for sale – the 1996, 1990, 1976 and 1959 – Gouez said: “I love to play with numbers so I’ve put together 270 bottles to celebrate our 270th anniversary, and we have 174 magnums and three Jeroboams in honour of our foundation in 1743.”
With the centenary of the Great War approaching next year, the 1914 vintage is of particular interest – legend says it was harvested under fire the Germans were so close.
Two bottles are valued at £4,800-£6,000.
Day two begins with a collection of Ornellaia, four double magnums from the 2004, 2005 and 2010 vintages, estimated at £7,500 – £10,000, are to be sold to benefit the Michelangelo Pistoletto Foundation.
Session three will see a collection of shipwrecked Gruaud Larose offered, the 12 bottles split into two six-packs are to be offered for £1,800 – £2,200 apiece.
The bottles are believed to be from either the 1869 or 1865 vintages and were salvaged in 1991 from the wreck of the Marie-Thérèse which sank off the Philippines in 1872.
The bottles were reconditioned at the château with new labels, corks and wax seals.
As usual there is also a fine selection of claret, Burgundy, Italian and Australian wines including Lafite 1945, Yquem 1865, Haut-Brion 1953, Pétrus 1989, 1990 Le Pin and 2009 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti La Tâche.