Christie’s has announced the sale of three hugely rare bottles of 1774 vin jaune in its upcoming Fine Wines sale in Geneva on May 26.
Each is valued at up to $23,876, although the chances are good they will sell for a great deal more.
The last time a bottle of the 1774 was sold in 2012, it realised a massive $49,343 – a sum that puts it on a par with the very best wines from the 20th century.
This wine is also stored in 87cl bottles, meaning buyers will be getting extra bang for their buck compared to modern standard of 70cl.
That’s likely to be in part because it’s actually very good. The vast majority of wines are undrinkable past the 50 year mark. These are also the last remaining bottles.
Christie’s Michael Ganne commented prior to that 2012 sale: “One of the bottles from the same batch was tasted in 1994 by 24 professionals at Château Pécauld in Arbois, and was declared as ‘excellent’. The golden-amber coloured nectar, with flavours of nuts, spices, curry, cinnamon, vanilla and dried fruits, was awarded 9.4/10 points.
“Made to last centuries when of good quality, and nicknamed ‘the wine of kings and the king of wines’, this extraordinary bottle of Vin Jaune is probably the oldest unfortified example of what is to be still an astounding wine and another true rarity for wine lovers and connoisseurs.”
Vin jaune is a strong white wine produced in the Jura region of France. It’s matured using yeast, which gives a similar flavour profile to sherry – although unlike sherry it isn’t fortified with spirits.
These three bottles are consigned from the descendants of Pierre Vercel, an 18th century winemaker who is actually believed to have created this style of wine.
This bottle has been stored in the family’s cellar in Arbois, in the north of Jura, for almost 250 years.