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French government auctions Elysee Palace cellar

The French government is due to auction off 1,200 bottles of its 12,000-strong official wine cellar.

The auction of the Elysée Palace wine cellar is to be held on May 30 and 31 in Hotel Drouot, a large auction building in Paris that dates back to 1852.

The auction house Kapandji Morhange – one of 70 independent auction houses operating within Drouot – will be specifically responsible for the sale.

‘The auction will be open to the public, as all Drouot auctions are,’ a spokesperson for Drouot told Decanter.com.

The Elysée cellar was created in 1947, under the presidency of Vincent Auriol, and was updated in 1965.

Among the wines of sale will be a 1966 Chateau Laville Haut-Brion (estimated €180-€200), two bottles of Haut-Brion 1990 (estimated €760-€840), two bottles of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Echézeaux Grand Cru 1989 (estimated €1800—2100) and a magnum of Lafite 1975 (estimated €750-800).

Other bottles include acclaimed Alsace names such as Hugel, Trimbach and Weinback, several Guigal Rhones, and Krug Clos du Mesnil and Salon from Champagne. Prices are expected to run from €15 to €2200 (for a Pétrus 1990), with many going for under €100.

The Elysée Palace has given the recent austerity measures as reason for the sale. ‘Some of the returns from this sale will be reinvested in more modest wines, and the rest will go towards the State budget,’ the official press release states.

All wines will be available for viewing on 28 and 29 May at La Chemin des Vignes wine storage cellars in Issy-les-Moulineaux, a suburb of Paris near to Versailles.

Written by Jane Anson in Bordeaux

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