Moet & Chandon Champagne from the 914 vintage harvested at the start of World War I goes on sale at a Sotheby’s auction in London in November, with bottles spanning nine decades marking the winery’s 270-year history.
The wines have been stored since bottling in Moet & Chandon’s cellars in Epernay, France, and the sale will comprise 270 bottles of white and rose Champagne as well as 174 magnums and three jeroboams, according to a Sotheby’s emailed statement.
The sale on Nov. 13 comes amid signs of stronger demand for regions such as Champagne, the Rhone and Italy compared with more muted buyer appetite for top Bordeaux, which comprises the bulk of the wine investment market. The Liv-ex Fine Wine 50 Index of top Bordeaux edged higher in August after four months of declines, leaving the benchmark up 4 percent this year.
“Champagne has proven to be a solid investment for buyers during periods of market instability,” Liv-ex said in its Cellar Watch monthly report, noting demand for diversification. “Buyers have moved beyond the traditional choices of Krug, Cristal and Dom Perignon.”
Six bottles of the 1914 Moet & Chandon Grand Vintage Collection are priced to fetch as much as 6,000 pounds ($9,600) per two-bottle lot, with another seven bottles from 1921 estimated at 5,200 pounds, also per two-bottle lot. Three bottles of the 1928 are priced to fetch 2,400 pounds each and a single lot of six bottles from the 1952 vintage is estimated at as much as 7,000 pounds, according to the Sotheby’s statement.
The vintage “1914 will be particularly evocative,” Benoit Gouez, Moet & Chandon’s cellar director, was cited by Sotheby’s as saying. “The harvest was brought forward due to the war, and the wine took a long time to develop, but today it is truly remarkable.”
Moet & Chandon is owned by Paris-based LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA, the world’s largest luxury-goods maker run by founder and Chief Executive Officer Bernard Arnault, which also controls Sauternes dessert wine estate Chateau d’Yquem and Saint-Emilion wine producer Chateau Cheval Blanc.
Here is a list of global wine auctions scheduled so far this year. Dates may be subject to revision, and links are to auction house sale catalogs and websites.
SEPTEMBER: Sept. 21: Hart Davis Hart, Chicago Sept. 26: Christie’s, Shanghai OCTOBER: Oct. 4/5: Sotheby’s, Hong Kong Oct. 5: Acker Merrall & Condit, New York Oct. 11: Christie’s, New York Oct. 23: Sotheby’s, London Oct. 24: Bonhams, London Oct. 24: Christie’s, London Oct. 25/26: Acker Merrall & Condit, Hong Kong Oct. 26: Hart Davis Hart, Chicago NOVEMBER: Nov. 7/8: Christie’s, London Nov. 13: Christie’s, Geneva Nov. 13: Sotheby’s, London Nov. 21: Acker Merrall & Condit, New York Nov. 21: Bonhams, Hong Kong Nov. 23 Christie’s, Hong Kong Nov. 23: Bonhams, San Francisco DECEMBER: Dec. 7: Christie’s, New York Dec. 7: Hart Davis Hart, Chicago Dec. 11: Sotheby’s, London Dec. 12: Bonhams, London Dec. 12/13: Christie’s, London Dec. 13/14 Acker Merrall & Condit, Hong Kong Dec. 18: Acker Merrall & Condit, New York
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