Shipwreck Champagne fetches ‘record’ price

A 200-year-old bottle of Champagne recovered from a Baltic shipwreck has fetched a record price at auction.

Champagne Juglar

The bottle – identified as Veuve Clicquot– was part of a cache of 168 bottles found last summer in a wrecked schooner dating from 1825-30 in Finland’s Åland archipelago.

It was sold to an anonymous bidder from Singapore for €30,000 (£26,700) by New York auction house Acker Merrall and Condit last Friday in Mariehamn, the capital of the autonomous Åland archipelago between Finland and Sweden, near where the bottles were found.

Acker said the same buyer paid €24,000 for another bottle of Champagne from the cache, from the now defunct Juglar house.

Finnish Champagne expert Essi Avellan MW, editor of FINE Champagne magazine, who tasted some of the bottles when they were opened last November, said she was astonished by their freshness.

‘Both the wines were very much alive and remarkably fresh. As expected they were sweet in style, with a surprisingly bright, golden colour and honeyed, toasty and farmyardy aromatics.

‘The Juglar was more harmonious and complete, while Veuve Clicquot’s aroma was overwhelmingly pungent and smoky, but the palate retained a freshness and immense concentration.’

While the auction house claims the price paid for the Veuve Clicquot is a record, this has not been independently confirmed.

Acker has claimed previous records for rare Champagne: in March 2009 it sold a bottle of 1928 Krugin Hong Kong for HK$164,560 (€15,900), and in 2008 two bottles of Dom Perignon Rosé 1959 were sold for £43,000, or about €27,600 each.

According to the BBC, the Åland authorities want to turn the Champagne auction into an annual event to boost tourism.


2nd Swartland Revolution – 11 & 12 November 2011

With the raging success of the inaugural Swartland Revolution organisers have made 250 tickets available for this year’s Revolution that will take place on the weekend of 11 – 12 November 2011 in Riebeek Kasteel.

With guest feedback that included praise such as “the best wine event that I have ever attended”; “like Woodstock… but without the sex”; “world class performance” and “a revolution against boring wines, against boring events; this was a revolt against the plain and the sad, the straight and the narrow; it was simply a benchmarking of joie de vivre” most of last year’s attendees have already booked their place at this year’s event.


The programme for 2011 has just been finalised and is bigger (and even better) than in 2010;

Three tastings of benchmark wines:

– Eight wines from the local Mullineux Cellar;

Olivier Clape presenting six of his wines from The Northern Rhone in France

– and nine wines, all personal favourites selected by London based wine writer Jamie Goode, ze German Sommelier Jorg Pfutzner and local kenner Michael Fridjhon.

The food will again be “simply superb” as noted by 2010 revolutionary: – Celeb chef Reuben Riffel and his team are ready to braai up a storm once more. If last year’s BBQ was any indication we can expect mountains of perfectly prepared meat, salads to stun and fire grilled veggies that will impress even the most hard core carnivores.

– For Saturday lunch the team at Bar Bar Black Sheep will again prepare a truly local feast to mesmerise guests.

The event will conclude with The Swartland Independent Street Party. At R50 per person this tasting is more accessible and open to the public. With local producers showcasing their natural wines it will attract a whole new crowd as we take over the Riebeek Main Street and party into the sunset.

Tickets are on sale at webtickets.

Full weekend package (incl all meals and tastings): R1750 pp

Reuben’s BBQ only: R500 pp

Breakfast and Coffee only: R75 pp

Bar Bar Black Sheep festival feast only: R350 pp

Swartland Independent Street Party: R50 pp


More info at:


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