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Napoleonic era Cognac sells for 220,000 pounds

A bottle of Cognac dating back to 1801 has sold for £220,000 at London's Hedonism wine shop, making it one of the most expensive Cognacs in the world.

The bottle of Massougnes 1801 Cognac was sold to a buyer from Asia, said David Baker, managing director of Hermitage Cognacs Ltd and Brandyclassics, which originally procured the bottle and first reported that it had been sold by Hedonism in London.

Massougnes 1801 Cognac

The Massougnes 1801 Cognac. Credit: Brandyclassics / Hermitage Cognac Ltd

The Cognac’s £220,000 price tag (US$272,000) makes it easily one of the most expensive Cognacs in the world.

Hermitage Cognacs sold a bottle of Massougnes 1805 last year for around $230,000 – then £148,000 at 2015 exchange rates.

The Guinness Book of World Records said in 2011 that a bottle of Croizet Cuvée Léonie Cognac 1858 was the most expensive on the planet after it sold for the equivalent of £100,000 at an auction in Shanghai.

The Henry IV Dudognon Heritage Cognac Grande Champagne has been known to sell for more than £1m, according to Brandyclassics. But, its ornate bottle made up the vast majority of the price, it said.

The Massougnes 1801, in an imperial three quarter gallon bottle, came from Marie-Antoinette des Allées, Comtesse de la Bourdelière and a direct descendant of Louis VII and Eleanor of Aquitaine and their children, King Richard of England and King John, said Hermitage Cognacs, Baker said.

The Comtesse still lives in the Château on what remains of the Massougnes estate near Aigre in the Charente region of France.

Baker told Decanter.com, ‘The estate, or what remains of it, is very much falling apart but in its day was probably the largest Cognac producing estate in the Charente and I am told had around 360 hectares of vines.’

The opportunity to buy remaining Cognac from the estate is rare.

‘I only obtained those that I had through a good friend in Cognac who has from time to time looked after her,’ said Baker.

‘Despite my repeated efforts to get more of them the supply dried up about 10 years ago.

‘We have one remaining Massougnes 1805 of the same size as the one that was sold at Hedonism.’

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