By Alice Baghdjian at Reuters
The sale of a 200-year-old bottle of white wine for 75,000 pounds ($121,000) has set a new Guinness World Record for the most valuable bottle of white wine ever sold. The buyer of the 1811 Château d’Yquem was private collector Christian Vanneque, former head Sommelier at the Michelin starred La Tour d’Argent restaurant in Paris.
Though Château d’Yquem is famed for being one of the finest and most expensive sweet white wines, the 1811 vintage has a particular attraction for wine enthusiasts. The climatology of the year, reviews from tastings, as well as the auspicious appearance of the Great Comet in that year, all indicate an excellent wine.
“This wine is very special — it is attached to the most renowned white wine in the world, and it was produced in the year of the Great Comet, which was believed to enhance the quality of the wine,” Vanneque told Reuters. “It is a rare wine, which been tasted on three occasions and each time received five out of five stars,” he added. “It was not just purchased as an investment – it is also going to be an enjoyment.”
“I did not know it was the most expensive white wine ever sold when I purchased it, but I did know it was the most expensive wine I had ever paid for.” The high concentration of sugar in Château d’Yquem means it has a drinking life which far outstrips that of other wines.
The wine will be displayed in a bullet-proof, temperature and hydrometrically controlled showcase for six years at his restaurant, the SIP Sunset Grill in Bali. “I will open it in six years to mark the 50th anniversary of when I began work in Paris and share it with my wife, brothers and friends — I already know what the menu will be,” Vanneque said.
The private sale was by the Antique Wine Company, which had also held the previous record for white wine — an 1887 Château d’Yquem at $100,000. “I always have a tear in my eye when I sell a bottle of wine but I’m comforted by the knowledge that it has been purchased by someone passionate about wine and it’s going to a good home,” said company Managing Director Stephen Williams.