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A complete collection of vintages from Chateau d'Yquem since 1860 to 2003 is looking for a new owner. A historic moment in the world of wine rarities.

The king of sweet wines

The Antique Wine Company, with its headquarters in London, is in the fortunate position of being able to auction off a total of 134 vintages of what is probably the most legendary sweet wine in the world - Chateau d'Yquem. A document of time of a special kind, highly viscous in consistency and a colour like that of gold bars. It starts with 1860, the year Billy the Kid was born. The following year, 1861, Abrahm Lincoln was elected the first Republican President of the United States of America. In 1863, the London Underground, called the Tube, opens. In 1868, Cartier produces the first wristwatch for men, its price probably hovering in similar spheres. Six years later, Jacob Davis and Levi Strauss produce the first jeans. Albert Einstein saw the light of day in 1879 and cornflakes in 1884. The following year Karl Friedrich Benz built his first automobile. Probably the greatest comedians of all time, Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, come into the world in 1890 - certainly not without some complications. Exactly eight years after Karl Friedrich Benz started building cars, in 1893, Rudolf Diesel invented the diesel engine named after him. In 1895, X-rays were discovered by Wilhelm Röntgen - henceforth called X-rays.

One could now continue to the year 2003, but the gentle reader may do so at the end of this story, with the historical facts of each vintage of d'Yquem.

History of the collection

The foundation of the collection was laid between 1966 and 1985 by the French wine merchant Didier Segon. After 1985, the collection was expanded by a British wine enthusiast, to be finally completed by the Antique Wine Company. In addition, of sixty-eight vintages, second bottles are present. Only the vintages 1910, 1915, 1930, 1951, 1952, 1964, 1972, 1974 and 1992 must be missing. No wines were bottled in these years for quality reasons.

Nine specially produced bottles from the non-produced vintages of d'Yquem% empty, of course

History of D'Yquem

If there is such a thing as a queen or king among sweet wines, then it is d'Yquem. The crown on the label indicates this unmistakably. The history behind the Chateau does indeed harbour connections of royal origin. Initially, the estate belonged to Eleanor Duchess of Aquitaine, today's territory around Bordeaux. Through her marriage to the future King Louis VII of France, d'Yquem's blue-blooded life began. Eleanor married again in 1154 to King Henry II of England. As a result, d'Yquem was a British estate until 1453, the end of the Hundred Years' War. About 150 years later, in 1593, it came into the sole possession of the Sauvage d'Eyquem family. Another 192 years later, the Lur-Saluces family became part-owners of d`Yquem, who already called Chateau de Fargues their own. Through the turmoil of the French Revolution, they first lost everything, only to regain sole control of d'Yquem later.

In 1851, Marquis Antoine-Marie de Lur-Saluces inherited the estate. Through marriage to Marie-Geneviève de Filhot, the Chateaux Filhot and Coutet were added. One remained among one's peers, even or especially at that time.

A special document of the times: 134 vintages of Chateau d'Yquem

In the 1855 classification, d'Yquem was the only wine to be raised to the level of a Premier Cru Supérieur. At that time, the prices of the wines were already many times higher than those of other wineries in the Sauternes region.

Throughout the years, until 2003/04, the chateau was owned by the Lur-Saluces family. After that, the luxury group LVMH took over and appointed Pierre Lurton, who already runs Cheval-Blanc, as the new manager. What a lucky man Pierre Lurton must be to preside over two such icons among the wine estates. But it is also an unparalleled responsibility.

Who offers more?

It goes without saying that this collection from d'Yquem is absolutely unique and will probably never be auctioned again in this form. Unless, of course, the current buyer loses interest and puts the collection up for auction again sometime.

What does one have to pay for this line up from 1860 to 2003? At the time of writing, the price was over 1 million US dollars, and it is unlikely to stop there. The petty cash should be well filled to bid for the rent. Even if the price includes two handmade air-conditioning cabinets of the finest design. No matter which bottle you want to drink, and this is actually the purpose of a wine, it cost at least $7500. But do you really tear a bottle out of the collection? Probably an inner battle every time, which the new owner will fight with himself there.

This is how legends are born

This wine collection will join the ranks of legendary collections like those of Lord Andrew Lloyd-Webber and Hardy Rodenstock. Or those in Jatta on the Crimean peninsula, with a large wine cellar estimated at 45,000 bottles. All the things that make legends are present here. A renowned chateau, well over a hundred years of vintages and, of course, the exorbitant price that the new owner has to put on it. The certain little icing on the cake is not missing either, of course. The specially handcrafted climate cabinets made of walnut wood. The specially made nine bottles from the non-produced vintages of d'Yquem, empty of course. The labels on these bottles confirm that no d'Yquem was produced in these years - very unusual.

Two handmade climatic cabinets of the noblest design - included in the price

It will be interesting to read more details in the future to keep the legend alive and to add one or two anecdotes. But one thing is certain, such stories are the certain something in the great global ocean of wines. They give rise to dreams, and wine lovers live off these dreams for the rest of their lives.

Incidentally, a European from the mainland won the bid for the entire collection for the equivalent of 1.15 million euros.

(Information and pictures: The Antique Wine Company / London)

The historical events of the individual vintages as PDF:


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