238-year-old 'Wine of Kings' set for $2m Christie's auction


1774 Vin Jaune
1774 Vin Jaune

A forthcoming Christie's wine auction in Switzerland will offer collectors the chance to acquire a truly 'vintage' vintage.

The sale, schedule to take place in Geneva on May 15, will feature 779 lots and is expected to realize more than CHF 2m (US$2,186,390).

The star of the sale will be the amazing 1774 bottle of Vin Jaune, originating directly from Arbois in the Jura Region of eastern France.  This 238-year-old vintage will appear in the sale with an estimated value of CHF 40,000 - 50,000 (US$43727 - US$54,659).

Describing the wine, head of Christie's Geneva Michael Ganne said:

"Being kept intact for eight generations by the Vercel family in a vaulted underground cellar in Arbois, the capital of Jura wines, this 'Burgundy-style' bottle  with a long neck and rounded belly, contains 87 centilitres.

"One of the bottles from the same batch was tasted in 1994 by 24 professionals at Château Pécauld in Arbois, and was declared as 'excellent'. The golden-amber coloured nectar, with flavours of nuts, spices, curry, cinnamon, vanilla and dried fruits, was awarded 9.4/10 points.

"Made to last centuries when of good quality, and nicknamed 'the wine of kings and the king of wines', this extraordinary bottle of vin jaune is probably the oldest unfortified example of what is to be still an astounding wine and another true rarity for wine lovers and connoisseurs."

In addition to the highly rare Vin Jaune, the sale will also feature highly sought-after wines including a 12 bottle lot of La Tâche 1959 valued at CHF 40,000 - 60,000, 12 bottles of Mouton Rothschild 1945 valued at CHF 65,000 - 85,000, and a superb collection Château Latour featuring close to every vintage from the 20th century.

With the Liv-ex 100 Fine Wine Index© reporting steadily increasing figures this year, and recent sales around the world achieving World record prices, 2012 could turn out to be as fine as 1774 for wine lovers and investors alike.


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