First vintage of ‘Champagne Charlie’ to be auctioned

Christie’s is to host ex-cellar sales of Champagne Charles Heidsieck in New York and London this winter that will include the first ever vintage of the house’s famous ‘Champagne Charlie’ prestige cuvée.

The ex-cellar consignment direct from the house’s Reims cellars will be split between two auctions that are taking place on 7 December in London and from 8-9 December in NYC.

It is the first time that the house has released such an extensive collection of old and rare vintages for sale at auction.

Central to the sale will be bottles and magnums of the house’s prestige cuvée Champagne Charlie, which had a brief but popular run from 1979 to 1985 when it was axed by new owners Rémy Martin.

Since being acquired by the EPI Group, there have been promises to bring the label back although nothing has come about as of yet.

Fans will be able to bid on bottles from the very first vintage of the label (1979), as well as the 1981, 1983 and 1985 and the 1982 in magnum. Estimates will reportedly range from £400 to £4,000 although how much exactly is to be sold was not revealed.

Also up for sale will be various vintages of the house’s Blanc des Millénaires including the 1983, 1985 and 1990 (the latter being sold for £1,500-£2,000 per dozen) and the Cuvée Royale from the 1975 and 1966 vintages – the former with estimates of £400-£800 per two bottles and the latter £600 – £1,000 for two).

Rosé lovers should look out for bottles of the 1983, 1985 and 1996 Rosé Millésimé and Jeroboams of the 1989.

Anthony Hanson MW of Christie’s commented: “It is incredibly unusual to have such a range of prestigious vintage champagnes at auction and in addition, these pristine vintages have lain untouched in the house’s 2000-year-old underground chalk-pit cellars, since their original bottlings.

“Charles Heidsieck had been a ‘Sleeping Beauty’ among grandes marques Champagnes. The offering has depth and breadth. Aficionados of old vintage Champagne have the opportunity to acquire legendary bottlings.”

Stephen Leroux, director of Charles Heidsieck, added: “Opening our Œnotheque to the public is a passionate and powerful act. We want to enable wine lovers to obtain these bottles and have unforgettable experiences; it echoes the House
philosophy. What’s more, distributing such rare bottles in a responsible manner while ensuring a minimum are available for future generations, is an exercise in balance.”

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