Auction of rare old Champagne could fetch $10 million

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Moet Champagne

Source: Acker Wines

WASHINGTON – A rare bottle of Champagne produced before the Titanic embarked on its doomed maiden voyage, before the globe was engulfed in its First World War and before Albert Einstein published his landmark theory of general relativity will come to auction this week.

Acker, the nation’s oldest and largest wine auction house, is slated to auction 877 bottles of vintage Champagne. Among them stands a bottle of brut imperial Moet & Chandon dating back to 1911.

The entire sale, which comprises more than 900 separate lots, is collectively expected to sell for a breathtaking $10 million. The Champagne vintages range from 1911 to 1943 and take the shape of 323 magnums, 10 Jeroboams, two Methuselahs and 30 half-bottles.

Richard Juhlin, who holds the world record for tasting more than 13,000 bottles of Champagne, shared his tasting assessment of the 1911 Moet & Chandon ahead of the auction.

“The taste is exceptional with superb length and intensity. Here, the dark forest aromas and smokiness have been accompanied by a delicious caressing sweetness from dried fruits and Crème brûlée,” he wrote, adding that the wine’s mousse was “very weak but nice when pouring.”

The aromas are “deep and forest featured with layers of wet stump, molded autumn leaves and black Vaucluse truffle.”

Juhlin, founder of The Champagne Club, explained that of the bottles up for auction this week, there are only two that he has yet to taste.

“One of them is Salon 1928, which I have never tasted and it’s supposed to be legendary wine. The vintage is so great and at that time Salon was absolutely incredible and it’s supposed to be one of the best wines they have ever made,” he told CNBC.

“The 1928 Salon and the Krug collection of 1928 and all the 1911’s which are the oldest, I think those will go for a lot of money,” Juhlin explained when asked to give more insight into the estimated sale price.

“But we’re coming back from the pandemic and we haven’t seen auctions for a long time and suddenly, the biggest auction is popping up,” he said, adding that it was “so tricky to speculate on the prices.”

The auction will be livestreamed at 6:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday and Thursday on the Acker site.

“A significant effort was put into vetting this historic Champagne selection and any bottles deemed to have suboptimal color or conditions were removed,” Acker Chairman John Kapon said ahead of the auction.

“The bottles offered in this sale are truly the cream of this collection. To offer such depth and breadth of Salon, Krug, Bollinger, Louis Roederer, Pol Roger and Pommery back to the 1920s, and Moet & Chandon back to the 1910s, is truly a rare privilege for myself as an auctioneer,” he added.

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