Christie’s auction house has just sold a treasure trove of rare Bordeaux which had been hidden for more than 60 years.
The hoard of old wine had been hidden from the Nazis during World War II in Paris’s Ritz Hotel.
Buyers bought 18 lots of illustrious crus, including Margaux 1928 and 1929, Haut Brion and Mouton Rothschild 1926, Yquem 1924 and Climens 1919, Christie’s told decanter.com.
In the early days of the war the hotel’s staff hid more than 120,000 bottles – one of the greatest restaurant wine cellars of the time – in a reserve cellar on the rue Lecourbe in the 15th arrondissement of Paris, just a few kilometres south of the Place Vendôme. The hiding place narrowly escaped discovery in 1943 – but in the event lay undisturbed until earlier this year.
The restaurant decided to sell 200 of those bottles, said Ritz press spokesman Matthieu Goffard. ‘We could not use them at the restaurant because the corks were a bit damaged or the labels were not clear,’ he told decanter.com.
But they proved of interest to wine collectors, who snapped them up at the auction last week, on June 6, the anniversary of the Allied invasion of France, D-Day.
The Haut Brion half-bottles sold for an average price of €234 each, and Mouton Rothschild sold for an average price of €216 per half-bottle.
Written by Panos Kakaviatos