It takes a true cognac connoisseur and one with extremely deep pockets to want to add a bottle such as this to his collection. The bottle in question is a rare Gautier Cognac 1762 and it fetched a whopping £118,580 (US$144,525) in an online sale, according to Sotheby’s. “Only three bottles of this exceedingly rare Cognac remain to this day, having been held in the same family for generations with their original labels attached,” it said in a statement. “This was the last and largest of these remaining bottles.”
The cognac, bought by an Asian private collector, was known as “Grand Frère” – or the “Big Brother” – of the trio, the auction house added. Its little sister is housed in the museum of the French cognac distillery Maison Gautier, while its little brother was sold at auction in New York in 2014.
— Sotheby’s (@Sothebys) May 28, 2020
The winning bidder will also enjoy a “bespoke experience” at the distillery included in the price, Sotheby’s added. The story behind the cognac is a remarkable one. The bottle had been given to the seller’s great-grandparents by an orphan they had fostered, whose name was Alphonse. He had left his adopted family in the 1870s to work in the Cognac region, and returned home a decade later with a cart loaded with bottles of Cognac. Most of them were soiled, but amongst them were the three Maison Gautier Cognacs, with their labels in pristine condition. Tragically, Alphonse subsequently fought in World War I in 1914 but never returned.
According to Sotheby’s press release, it states that, “The Gautier 1762 is renowned and revered across the world as a cognac that transcends the world of spirits collecting. This bottle represents not only an example of pre-phylloxera viticulture, but also of early cask maturation from the dawn of Gautier’s production and even precedes the French Revolution.”
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This bottle of Gautier Cognac 1762 is one of the oldest surviving cognacs in the world. Only three bottles remain to this day, having been held in the same family for generations with their original labels attached. The last and largest of these bottles, known as “Grand Frère”, or the “Big Brother”, will headline our online ‘Distilled’ sale, which opens for bidding from 1pm BST on 14 May and runs until 28 May. The bottle’s little sister (“petite soeur”) is housed in the Gautier Museum in France, and its little brother (“petit frère”) was sold at auction in New York in 2014. The year 1762 is notable for a number of historic events, not least Britain entering the Seven Years’ War against Spain and Naples, Catherine II becoming empress of Russia, and the first Saint Patrick’s Day Parade in New York City. But at the Maison Gautier, a family business that had only seven years previously obtained a Royal Warrant to produce Cognac, with a founding charter signed by the King Louis XV, history was also in the making for what has been described in the Guinness Book of Records as the oldest cognac vintage ever sold at auction. Click the link in bio for more details, and swipe to hear from our specialist Jonny Fowle, @wanderingwhisky, about what makes this rare Cognac so special. #SothebysWine #SothebysSpirits #Cognac #Brandy
“This should still be drinkable,” Jonny Fowle, spirits specialist at Sotheby’s told The Times newspaper. “High-ABV (alcohol by volume) liquids like this preserve themselves very well, although I would expect there to be discernible OBE – this stands for old bottle effect, which is how we describe the development of spirits over time. Sometimes this can impart very pleasant tropical notes, and at other times less appealing porridgy notes.” Sounds like this is a bottle meant for display purposes only. You wouldn’t want to partake in a sip lest its taste is less than satisfactory.
Rare cognacs are prized around the world and the Gautier hasn’t been the only bottle sold at an exorbitant price. Cellar master Pierrette Trichet from the Remy Martin distillery had decided to tap a 1909 vintage back in 2012, and bottles of the resulting Remy Martin Louis XIII Rare Cask 42,6 sold for around US$22,000. Only 738 decanters were available worldwide and the luxe black Baccarat crystal packaging has a rose gold feature around its neck topped with a black crystal stopper. If you haven’t been one of the privileged few to taste it, you can take note that it has flavours of gingerbread, prune stone, ginger, tobacco leaf, plums and dates.
Source: AFP Relax News