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Shipwreck Champagne to be auctioned

A cache of 200-year-old bottles of Champagne discovered at the bottom the Baltic is to be auctioned next month.

Four bottles of Veuve Clicquot, six bottles from the now-defunct Champagne house Juglar, and one Heidsieck & Co go under the hammer at Mariehamn on 8 June.

Mariehamn is the capital of the autonomous Åland archipelago between Finland and Sweden, near where the bottles were found in 2010 in a wrecked schooner dating from 1825-30.

At the time the Åland government said it would run a yearly auction of bottles from the 168-strong cache, as a tourist attraction.

The first auction, held in the same place by Acker Merrall and Condit, sold a bottle identified as Veuve Clicquot for €30,000 (£26,700).

Finnish Champagne expert Essi Avellan MW tasted some of the wines from the wreck and found them ‘very much alive and remarkably fresh. As expected they were sweet in style, with a surprisingly bright, golden colour and honeyed, toasty and farmyardy aromatics.’

Next month’s auction, entitled Aland’s Champagne Rendezvous. is to be held by French house Artcurial. Each of the 11 bottles has an estimate of €10,000 to €15,000.

Written by Adam Lechmere

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