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07.2012

Massachusetts Beverage Business

archivedOnWineReport

SHIPWRECK CHAMPAGNE FOR SALE

This is some serious treasure. Two years after its discovery on the ocean floor in the Baltic, a cache of 2OO-year-old bottles of Champagne is being auctioned off bit by bit. Four bottles of Veuve Clicquot, six bottles from the now-defunct Champagne house Juglar, and one Heidsieck & Co were scheduled to go under the hammer at Mariehamn in June. Mariehamn is the capital of the autonomous Åland archipelago between Finland and Sweden, near where the bottles were found in 2O1O in a wrecked schooner dating from 1825-3O. At the time the Åland government said it would run a yearly auction of bottles from the 168-strong cache, as a tourist attraction. The first auction sold a bottle of Veuve Clicquot for $41,OOO. Finnish Champagne expert Essi Avellan, MW tasted some of the wines from the wreck and found them “very much alive and remarkably fresh. As expected they were sweet in style, with a surprisingly bright, golden color and honeyed, toasty and farm-yardy aromatics.” The June auction is to be held by French house Artcurial. Each of the 11 bottles has an estimate of approximately $12,4OO to $18,65O.

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