Paris auction to show 18,000 wine bottles

Many of the bottles do not look appealing, having been covered in thick black mould. But appearances can be deceptive.

Tour d'Argent is a restaurant which was set up way back in 1582, and has built up an impressive 450,000 bottles over the years.

The best ones were even walled away during the Second World War to stop the Nazis getting their hands on them.

But now the restaurant is sending the bottles to auction.

Bidders can be confident of the nature of the wines, because the restaurant has always sourced them directly from vintners.

Some of the bottles date back to 1875.

The restaurant is mainly selling duplicate bottles in order to diversify its wine cellar.

Whilst some are cheap and nothing special, a number of quality wines will be available, including Chateau Lafite Rothschild (1970, 1982, 1997) and Cheval Blanc (1928, 1966).

There will also be a few spirit bottles available, notably a couple of bottles of 1788 Cognac.

"I'm sure there are some amazing treasures in that cellar, and it's a good time to sell because the wine auction market has really come storming back", commented Michael Steinberger, wine columnist for the Slate.

Recent movements on the Liv-Ex 100 seem to support that idea.

All the bottles available will be stamped with a little tower mark.

That's in reference to the restaurant's name, which means The Silver Tower.

The sale will take place on December 7-8, held by Piasa auctioneers.

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