On the Aaland Islands somewhere near the seabed between Finland and Sweden an array of Champagne bottles were found in a shipwreck. The 179 bottles were discovered in 2010 by divers Christian Ekstrom. Out of the 179, 62 bottles are still in a drinkable state and belong to the prestigious Veuve-Clicquot, Juglar and Piper-Heidsieck brands. The champagne bottles have been traced to the years 1841-1850. This vintage champagne which is 170 years old will go on auctions and an estimated price of €10,000 has been assigned to the 11 bottles that will be available at the auction. All the three brands of champagne will be auctioned. The auction will include four bottles from Veuve-Clicquot, One bottle from Piper-Heidsieck, and four from Juglar. The Juglar brand it is said is no more in vogue and it closed some time in 1829. All the connoisseurs and collectors of vintage champagnes are invited for the auction and can go in either for a telephonic bid or online through the Artcurial Live Bid. The bids will be held in Mariehamn.
The 11 rare champagne bottles are however not the first ones to be auctioned at the Aland Islands. The islands have previously auctioned two bottles which were also unearthed from a shipwreck. The auction was held last year and new world record was created after one of the bottles fetched a price of €30,000. Encouraged by the success, the Aland Islands received an international tender invitation and the Government of Aland Islands decided to conduct another auction as well. The current auction is being organised together with the Artcurial Briest-Poulain-F Tajan. The auction is called the Aland’s Champagne Rendezvous.
Lets have a closer look at these vintage champagne bottles.
The Veuve-Clicquot Auction
The Veuve-Clicquot Ponsardin is a prestigious house of Champagne belonging to the exotic town of Reims in France. A historic brand, the Veuve-Clicquot was the most favoured brand amongst the royalty and nobility all across Europe. It is also a part of the Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy luxury brand and besides making champagne the Veuve-Clicquot also manufactures related products like the Clicq’up Origami Ice Bucket which can also be folded and easily stored in your laptop bag during the course of your travels. When relaxing one can cool the champagne in this very unique looking ice bucket.
Coming back to the Veuve-Clicquot auction, it will be held at the Alandica Congress and Conference Centre located in Mariehamn, Finland on the 8th of June. This rather historic bottle of champagne discovered after 170 years in a shipwreck can fetch anywhere between $12,430-$18,650.
One would be however like to know as to how these bottles are stil in a drinkable condition despite being buried under the sea for over a hundred years. Wine experts suggest that it was due to the adequate pressure of the Baltic sea, the temperature of around 4-6 degrees Celsius, which remained consistent throughout and the darkness provided a conducive environment for the champagne bottles to retain their quality and aroma.
Richard Juhlin, a champagne expert who tasted all the champagne bottles discovered at the shipwreck has stated that the unearthing of these bottles from the shipwreck has proved that even champagnes have the ability to age gracefully. They can over the years improve their quality and also develop the perfect aromas.