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1928 Krug sets world auction record for Champagne bottle

A 1928 Krug has broken the world record for the most expensive bottle of Champagne sold at auction.

The 75cl bottle, from the Krug Collection range (the library collection of the renowned Reims Champagne house), was sold at Acker Merrall & Condit’s first Hong Kong auction of 2009 last weekend.

Of ‘outstanding color and condition’, according to the catalogue, it went for HK$164,560 (£14,800; US$21,200; €15,900) – above the highest estimate of HK$120,000.

The record was previously held by a Methuselah (6 litre bottle) of Louis Roederer, Cristal Brut 1990, Millenium 2000 that sold in the US for US$17,625 in December 2005.

According to Serena Sutcliffe MW, Champagne expert and the head of rival auction house Sotheby’s, the 1928 Krug is ‘one of the greatest Champagnes ever made’.

At a Sotheby’s auction in London, May 2004, a bottle signed by Henri and Remi Krug sold for £1,955 (US$2,800; HK$21,000; €2,100).

‘Medium gold colour. Fabulous bouquet of vanilla ice (remember the first fermentation in wood). Deep dimensioned with bready notes, “sweet” and ripe on the palate, soft yet big,’ was Sutcliffe’s tasting note from 1999.

Sotheby’s is set to hold its first Hong Kong auction under the city’s new government on 4 April.

Acker’s auction, its third in the Chinese city, grossed HK$35m (£3.2m, US$4.5m, €3.4m).

Other notable collections in the sale included that of Robert Rosania – a real estate mogul known for his love of vintage Champagne – and a selection of rare Bordeaux and Burgundy bottles. The latter was spearheaded by a lot of 132 bottles of La Tache from top Burgundy estate Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, The wines, from vintages from 1985 to 2003, went for HK$1.89m (£170,000, US$244,000, €183,000), lower than its highest estimate of HK$2.4m.

Written by Oliver Styles

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