Rare Rioja wines dating back to 1863 are coming under the hammer at Christie's to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Marques de Riscal.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hsE_23Hx5j4&hl=en

Luis Hurtado de Amézaga of Marques de Riscal uses red-hot tongs and cold water to open a bottle of 1900 Marques de Riscal, Christie’s King Street, London 18 June 2008

Vintages from the renowned Rioja Alavesa producer going back to 1863 will be sold at the auction, at Christie’s London on 26 June.

Highlights will include one of the winery’s first vintages, the 1863, estimated to go for up to £800 per bottle, through to the 1964 (around £130 per bottle), wines from the Baron de Chirel range, and the Marques de Riscal Frank Gehry Selection.

Other vintages in the catalogue are the 1871, 1898, 1900, 1918 and 1924, magnums and bottles from 1938, 1945, 1946, 1947, 1952, 1955 and 1958.

David Elswood, international head of Christie’s wine department said the auction ‘provides an outstanding opportunity for Rioja aficionados to enjoy a rare chance to acquire wines direct from the vineyard at an international wine auction event.’

Vinos de los Herederos del Marqués de Riscal is one of Rioja’s most celebrated wineries – not least because it was at the forefront of the craze for celebrity architects, hiring Frank O Gehry to design its fabulous titanium-roofed wine centre in the village of Elciego.

It was also the first winery in Rioja to make wines using Bordeaux methods, and in 1972 it was first to promote the Rueda appellation – where its famed whites are produced.

Written by Erica Loi